A truck filled with wood, plastic and all things irony

This morning I was driving behind a pick up truck filled to capacity with an assortment of ladders, poles, planks, pointy metal things, tubing, plastic containers and other dooberrywhatsits I couldn’t describe if my life depended on it.

One of the things I CAN describe is the big white sticker on the back that read ‘Safety Is My Number One Goal’.

I noticed this sticker just before he violently mounted the central reservation (median) and nearly scattered indescribable carnage across the road like the dramatic end of a drunken Jenga match.

So that was terrifying.

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Here kiddy, kiddy, kiddy.

There is a little known fact that American children are made of glass.

It’s true; they’re such delicate little snowflakes that the mere thought of them near danger results in the country childproofing everything!

Think of the children!”

I’d rather not; you can get arrested for that shit.

Nothing demonstrates this more than the roads outside schools. There are big signs indicating a ‘School Zone’ with yellow lights that, when flashing, indicate you must slow down to the speed limit shown on the sign.

The Police are VERY vigilant of this I’ve been told.  After all, “Think of the children!

school_zone

These speed limits vary from 25 mph all the way down to ‘Get out of your car and push it‘, and start about 30 miles outside the ‘School Zone’.  “Think of the children!

At face value this is a great idea, but I have never EVER seen an unsupervised child cross the street outside a school. This isn’t The Goonies.  In fact, I’ve never even SEEN a child outside a school when the lights are flashing.

Ever.

Oh, wait, that’s not true.  I have seen kids outside when the school kicks out.

Hundreds of little miracles, hands firmly held by their parents or being loaded into cages.  At these times there are Lollipop men/women (crossing guards) walking out into the street, slowing and stopping the traffic.  These people make the flashing signs redundant.

Take a look at this..

This is a Google street view of the school I actually attended as a 7 year old boy in England, with a school I go past regularly here in Vegas (and the inspiration for this post).

skoolsukusa

Anyone for Frogger?

Back in my day (insert Yorkshire accent here) you left school and crossed the street between parked cars by looking both ways before doing so.  It was called ‘common sense’, or ‘not wanting to be splattered by an oncoming car’.  The speed limit was (and still is) 30 mph.  It’s slow enough to stop if a child runs out, and fast enough to speed up if a child runs out.  We like choices.

But in America we have to drive 15 mph in case, god forbid, an unattended child should run out of the school, across the vast car park (parking lot), past the planters and shrubs and onto the wide open road that has no parked cars obstructing them from view.

Seriously, I could be doing 70 mph and see these little angels coming.

I’d have to work really hard to actually hit one. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Those fuckers are fast.

In this mollycoddling nation of snowflakes and participation trophies, the little lambs are never let out of the sight of their parents who usher them from the school building to their oversized SUVs like a celebrity leaving a nightclub.

papped

So why do we all have to slow down from a measly 35 mph to an awkward kiddy-fiddling kerb crawl?  I get nervous when I have to drive by a school slowly, especially with only one hand on the wheel.

10 to 2.

Eyes straight.

But seriously, where is that healthy respect for traffic we all had growing up?  What happened to looking both ways when crossing the road?  Where is the Green Cross Code?

People need to ‘Stop‘, ‘Look‘ and ‘Listen‘.

Instead they ‘Don’t Stop‘, ‘Don’t Look‘ and ‘Sue‘.

In every country in the world, pedestrians need to watch out for oncoming traffic…but in America, traffic has to watch out for oncoming pedestrians. It’s ridiculous!  I know I’ve touched on this before, but it baffles me how backward this is.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big advocate for road safety…..but not as much as I am for natural selection.

Here kiddy, kiddy, kiddy.

Cycle-path-ic tendencies

While walking to the office this morning, after the nightmare train journey into London, I heard a distinct “Fucking idiot!” from the other side of the busy road.

Of course my attention was drawn to it straight away and I saw the aftermath of a man who had clearly stepped out in front of a cyclist without looking.

The cyclist was stood there with his bike between his legs; front wheel on the floor and the back wheel up behind his back.  It was clear he’d slammed on the brakes causing the bike to stop suddenly, and him a little less suddenly.

He’d then obviously performed that awkward stumbling forward like a man with 50lb testicles which had resulted in the bike riding up behind him.

The man who had stepped out in front of him had chosen to continue walking; ignoring the chaos and carnage he’d left behind.

The cyclist loudly shouted something at him as he walked away, but I didn’t hear much of what he said due to the noise of the traffic.  I did pick out the words ‘prick’ and ‘fucking’, so I suspect it wasn’t, “please be careful when stepping out into the road, I’d hate for you to be injured”.

The cyclist hopped back onto his bike and cycled away, turning a corner out of view.

The man was going the same way as me, but on the other side of the road and before long we came to another junction in the road.  It was at this point the cyclist came out from the side road, pulled up next to him and made SURE the man had clearly understood what a “complete fucking prick” he was.

He didn’t argue it.

He would’ve lost.

bike rage