Monday, May 16, 2011

Let's Revisit the Pedestrian Rant

This is a revisit of an earlier post. And it deserves another look because IT KEEPS HAPPENING!

Okay, I am finally going to do it. My first “remember when” rant; this is the final nail in the oh crap I am not 20 anymore coffin. So here goes. 

Remember when pedestrian just meant a person who was trying to stay out of your way while going from point A to point B? When did these creatures turn into out of control monsters who sole purpose in life is to make sure I am shaking and terrified spitless every time I leave a parking lot? 

Take yesterday for example. Little did I know that my trip to Target was going to turn into psychological warfare. I did my usual going in for toothpaste, which costs $3 and coming out with bags of stuff that costs $50 instead, and I was ready to leave the parking lot. would think. 

I carefully and responsibly packed my bags in the truck, rather than in the rearview window, because I am a conscientious driver and wanted clear lines of site – noble of me I thought. I got in the car, started the engine and didn’t even turn on the radio because I haven’t had one in 7 years, my new car has one, and I wanted to be silent in respect for the backing out procedure. I put the car in reverse, which I know engages the little white lights that mean “Hey, I’m backing out here!” I even checked later after the trauma to make sure they work – they do. I carefully checked both directions, remembering, it’s motorcycle season, then I proceeded to back. Then BAM! suddenly there are two people walking directly behind my car, completely oblivious to me, and chatting up a storm. I slam on the breaks and think bad thoughts. Then I attempt the maneuver again. This time it’s a woman and her stroller. “Really lady? Not only are you going to walk behind a moving car, but you’re pushing your progeny into the path first?” I made it about six inches that time. 

Now I am about 10 inches into the lane, it is quite obvious that I am backing out my car. By this time I am afraid to move. I am still between the two SUVs, because ITS ALWAYS SUVs!, and I can’t see. Now comes the faith in God part, because now I’m praying like this. “Lord, I just want to go home without maiming someone or bumping my new car on something and apparently I need divine intervention to do so - HELP!” 

I continue backing; a car streaks behind my half backed up car because apparently the apocalypse will come if he is not out of the lot before I finish backing up. Never knew I had such cosmic might. Now I can see about 2 inches of true viewing from my windows, you know the ones WAY UP FRONT, one more time I check both ways and finally, shattered, shaken and speed dialing a therapist, I am free! 

In the good old days before some bureaucrat gave pedestrians the right-of-way, people were a little more genteel about it. They would cross the lane to walk behind the opposite cars when they saw the little white lights, not difficult, but kind, to the poor frazzled car-backer. They also would not saunter across, they would MOVE! I miss that. In my darker moments, I envy the European countries that get to run over their miscreant pedestrians – but only in my darkest hours (insert ominous movie music here). 

Ah well, be safe out there people, was something we only had to say to the police and firemen, but now, I say it to you. “Be safe out there people, and watch out for pedestrians; and yes, they ARE out to get you!”

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