28 January 2010

Dumb Animals - An Adventure in Nearly Killing Someone

Now that my heart has been shoved back down my throat into my chest cavity, and the brown stuff cleaned out of my shorts, I get to rant about the stupidest person that is still alive.

I hate my commute. Thirty minutes of stress from stupid drivers, toll plazas, waaay too many cars. But this morning topped the worst of the days driving twenty-one miles to work.

The drive was ridiculous today. There is a winter storm predicted for tomorrow night and Saturday, so everyone was driving like fools - three or four miles of twenty miles an hour, back up to fifty-five or so, then "oh look the sun, let's slam on our brakes after sliding in between you and car in front of you that is also slamming on his brakes." I'm used to all that, and just try real hard not to tailgate anyone. Mario Andretti I'm not, though I think almost all drivers today think they have somehow inherited NASCAR driving skills just by watching the races on HDTV.

I got off of I-64E at the airport exit. There is a scant quarter mile to come off the ramp, and shift three lanes over to the left turn lane.At the best of times, it can be dicey because of the traffic already approaching the intersection, and this morning was no different. The light was red going towards the airport (my direction), so the traffic was backed up. I managed to get into the left turn lane and was slowing down for the red light.

HOLY CRAP!!! THERE'S A PERSON IN FRONT OF ME!!! This idiot truck driver had parked his rig on the other side of five lanes of traffic (on the shoulder), crossed Airport Drive to the WaWa, then jaywalked through the red light traffic. He stepped out from in front of box truck right in front of me. There was absolutely no way to see him. I slammed on the brakes - fortunately I was already slowing for the light - and shuddered to a stop. He could have put his hand on my hood. The fool doesn't acknowledge me, wave, nothing, just continues his stroll across the highway. Of course, at this point he's holding up traffic because the light has turned green and he is half in the lane with the truck beside me. Maybe he was as shocked as I was. I hope so.

How many ways was he stupid??? Let me count the ways. One, he'd parked illegally on the shoulder of the road. Getting coffee is not an emergency. Two, he could have turned right and pulled into another convenience store, parked on a spacious lot, and walked a lot less distance to get his coffee and donuts. Three, he could have turned left, and parked in the WaWa lot if WaWa coffee is the only kind he'll drink. Four, he could have crossed at the intersection instead of threading his way through traffic making him effectively invisible.

But no, he does all these stupid things and comes within about one quarter of a second and about two feet of spending time in a hospital or morgue. Once again my theory is proven: There is no animal dumber than the general public.

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