Monday, June 10, 2013

Idiot Drivers--written back when I lived on 2900 East. Whew, I was on one...

It’s that time of year again. You know the time. The kids are out playing in their yards, riding their bikes and risking their lives in the process. I say this because there are so many people who drive recklessly through residential neighborhoods. My neighbors and I have talked to police officers and city officials, begging for speed bumps, lower speed limits, and more rigorous police patrol–all to no avail. Our only options are those we create ourselves. While some have tried writing “SLOW 25" in the middle of our street, others choose to give speeders the slow down signal (which, when done with a smile, is often mistaken for an eighties dance move). I, however, am at my wit’s end and feel I have no other choice but to make fun of those who drive like idiots down my street. If you happen to be one of these idiot drivers, please take offense to what you are about to read. The rest of us are going to enjoy a laugh at your expense.

Let me preface my remarks by clearly stating: I am not advocating that children be allowed to play in the street, I am only suggesting that adults act like adults and children be allowed to act like children. It is common knowledge that children are sometimes unpredictable (I know this is obvious to responsible readers, but remember, I am addressing the jackwagons of our community). One never knows when a ball is going to roll into the road with a child chasing close behind. A driver may also be surprised by a child who quickly veers into traffic while riding a bike. And, while this too may be obvious to responsible readers, there are those who would argue (like idiots) that if those things were to happen, it would be the child’s fault for getting in the way of a vehicle. This is where some grown-ups need a lesson on how to think and act like...well, grown-ups. Does it really matter whose fault it is...if YOU strike a child with your car? Knowing that you killed or maimed a child would be a tough burden to bear. Wouldn’t it? Please, don’t answer yet, especially the ding-bats. If these are things you don’t care about, and you are really that big of an indignant jackass, please allow me to offer one more argument which may appeal to you.

Let’s see...doesn’t care about killing or maiming a child....let’s move on to your reputation as a jerk. As I have watched speeders react to the “slow down signal” my neighbors and I often use, I have been amazed at the responses we get. First, and most entertaining, is the one finger wave we get in return. It is especially delightful when it is given by someone we know teaches Sunday School. A close second to the “one finger wave” given by those claiming to be Christians, is the reactionary “I’ll show you by driving faster” approach. Yes, there are people who are old enough to operate a vehicle, yet still maintain the maturity of a first grader (but unlike first graders, they aren’t toothless and cute in their attempts to be defiant).

On occasion, people pull over, thinking we are waving to them like a long lost friend. Some of them even thank us for our vigilant attempts to keep children safe. This, however, was not the case last spring when a friend of mine was given a lecture and a threat from yet another “grown-up” who claimed that she had no right to signal him to slow down after he had recklessly swerved around a child on a bicycle. Apparently, he was driving the speed limit and felt that stopping for the child was not necessary; swerving in the same direction the child was traveling, however, was sufficient. When my friend tried pointing out that in his attempt to miss one child, the idiot driver could have veered into the children playing in the adjacent yard, he abruptly ended the conversation (which he initiated) by insulting her and telling her to keep her kids out of the street. Ironically, she was not advocating in behalf of her own children at the time, but rather, a neighbor’s. The thing that baffles me most about this situation is that while this driver did not have time to stop for the child on the bike, twenty minutes later he had time to stop and patronize my well-meaning friend as he passed back through our neighborhood.

Well, there you have it, my last ditch effort to bring drivers with sub-par intellect up to speed on child safety. Now, if only their cars were as slow as they are...

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