Friday, September 28, 2007

The 4-Way Impaired

In town here we have many, many 4-way stops. Almost every intersection is a 4-way. It makes sense for us. We're too small to have traffic lights everywhere and too big to trust each other on the road.

I'm sure you all know what 4-ways are. Everyone stops and the person that got there first proceeds through the intersection first. If it's a tie, the person on the right goes first. Sounds simple right? Well, there are a lot of 4-way impaired people out there.

You've got several profiles:

1. The coaster - This moron doesn't believe the rules apply to him. Instead of coming to a complete stop at the intersection, regardless if you are already there, he slows down and just coasts through without regard to you or any small children who may be at play.

2. Mr. Far-sighted - This guy never learned what the big white line across the intersection means. He pulls out over the line and prevents you or any other driver, especially large trucks, from making a turn onto his road. Thus he panics and throws the car into reverse only to learn the hard way that another Mr. Far-Sighted has just pulled up behind him.

3. Joe Hospitality - I'm all for politeness while driving. I think we would be a happier people if we could just be courteous on the road. HOWEVER, this is very dangerous at a 4-way. Every once in a while there's that happy-go-lucky asshole that, although he was there hours before you, decides to wave you on. Now you have an unexpected decision to make: do you return the wave, saying "no man, you were here first, you go" and then proceed to get into an inching-forward battle? Or do you say thanks and go, trusting that he will not blind-side you half way through the intersection? Or does he know something you don't? Like maybe there's a broken water main ahead and cars are being swallowed by its collateral sink hole.

4. Mr. All-Business - This is basically "The Coaster" but with a cell phone stuck to his ear. This guy is way too important to be bothered by pedestrians, rules, or other drivers. He has an important lunch/ suck-up meeting with his CEO followed by a chest wax, and mani/ pedi at the Adonis Spa for men.

And finally...

5. Mrs. It Sure Looks Like a 4-Way - This genius seems to channel 4-ways from another dimension, because they AREN'T THERE! There are several requirements you must meet in order to obtain a driver's license and being able to see is one of them. This lady is either blind or schizophrenic because she imagines that there MUST be a 4-way even though it's a 2-way! This happened to me TWICE this week. I came to a stop at a 2-way and a woman approached from my right and stopped in the middle of the street and looked at me like I was crazy for not going. So I sat there mouthing to her "There's no stop for you!" This seemed to make her angry so her wave became very forceful like I had the problem. Now I could either go and risk a blind-side from my left, or I could return that wave and again mouth the words. But alas, I was in no mood for confrontation so I just checked left and proceeded through the intersection at her insistence hoping that some pedestrian saw the whole incident and agreed with me that she was a moron.

So there you have it. Now I feel better having ranted about WC driving. Get me a beer.