Thursday, May 26, 2005

Left Is Right and RIght is Wrong

My neighborhood is abuzz with chatter, owing to the fact the police have finally arrested an elusive man locals have affectionately dubbed the "Parking Nazi." Seems this guy would vandalize resident's vehicles with a screwdriver, spraypaint, dog poop, and glue while out walking his Doberman. I guess he thought himself a sort-of Chuck Bronson vigilante type, because he only vandalized vehicles who had committed some type of violation or broken the rules of parking ettiquite. Whatever. The man is clearly insane, but after reading about him I couldn't help feel just a small itsy-bitsy twinge of admiration (and relief that he never touched my beloved Flo. I'd have kicked his ass.) I felt admiration not in how he perfomed his vigilante justice... no, no - he was a jerk about that AND on what he deemed violations of law and ettiquite - but in the fact that he was doing something to fix what he saw was clear and obvious wrongdoing.

I don't know... to a certain extent I'm talking out my ass here, but over the past two years, since moving to this neighborhood it's become increasingly clear to me that with respect to driving and parking, in this area anyway, that people are both incredibly selfish and insanely stupid. It's often stated that if you can drive in Boston, you can drive anywhere. 'Tis a load of crap, mi amigos, and don't you go believing it. All driving in Boston will do is show you how much common sense the other drivers lack. Want an example? How about three of them?

(Oh, and of course they all happened to me this morning - wouldn't be writing about them otherwise. ;)

The first two were what I like to call the "Boston Left." Basically, it's when two cars are stopped and facing each other at a red light only to have one of them immediately take a left in front of the oncoming traffic as soon as the light turns green. Insanity. Unfortunately, it happens all the time though and while most people stop short when they see the car turn in front of them, I like to play chicken - which is what I did this morning. No, nothing disastrous happened but the guy who was trying to turn left in front of me braked suddenly and honked his horn as if I was the one committing the traffic violation. I smiled, waved and kept driving, secure in the knowledge that if an accident were to occur, his dumb ass would've been at fault. Only one block further, I found myself at another intersection and ahead of me was, you guessed it, a mini-van who needed to take a left. This time, however, I could clearly see there were children in the car, so I opted not to play the chicken game (and proceeded to beat myself up for having done it before - could have been kids in that car I didn't see - selfish idiot.) So, when the light turned green this time, I inched forward to see if she would let me go by. No such luck. This woman actually spun her tires in an effort to take a left before I reached her. By the way, did I mention she had kids in the car? Nice.

The last "Masshole Maneuver" was mild by comparison, but still mind-boggling. Sitting at my third red light of the morning commute (which takes only 15 minutes, I might add) the guy behind me must have gotten tired of waiting, so he pulls out from behind, goes around me, looks both ways, and takes a right turn directly in front of me (and ignoring the "No Turn On Red" sign.)

I'm not asking for a "Driving Nazi" to come along and save the day, or even a police officer to stand guard and cite every violator he/she sees (which would never happen anyway.) But did you notice that if people (myself included) used a little more common sense there would have been a lot less stress for all partied? Of course, I'd having nothing to write about this evening so it couldn't have been ALL bad. But still, when it comes to driving (and life), allow me to quote the words of some famous man whom I forget.

"Use your head."

I'll practice it if you do. Deal?


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