Sick of commuting

On the drive into work this morning, I was stopped at a red light. This was unusual because, oh…wait…no it wasn’t.

I hate red lights.

There were three or four cars in front of me as we all sat there for around half an hour waiting for the fucking lights to go green. After a few minutes the driver in front of me opened their1 car door and appeared to vomit directly onto the tarmac.

Classy.

Then again, this is Las Vegas during the days between Christmas and New Year, so I suppose it’s not that unusual, right? There is a lot of drinking going on around this time.

What concerned me the most was that I was worried more about rolling my tyres [tires] through their previous evening’s poor fast food choices than the fact the driver might still be drunk.

Then it occurred to me that maybe the driver hadn’t been sick at all, but had simply dumped out their coffee cup.

That made more sense as I could see there was a little bit of steam rising from the dark puddle of questionable fluid slowly spreading out across the road.

Then the lights turned green and the traffic started to move.

As I approached the puddle of coffee I decided to drive around it, no longer concerned about the level of inebriation of the driver, but by the fact the ‘coffee’ appeared to have some lumps of – I want to say – carrot?

So, not fast food then.

Which is it? You be the judge….

1 – I didn’t see the driver, so let’s play the pronoun game!

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2017 is already a crazy ride!

Before I start……Happy New Year!!!!!

It’s New Year’s day and I’m working.

My shift started at 4am, so I had to leave the house around 3am.  This meant driving through post-New Year crowds and traffic….in Las Vegas.

This is what I encountered:

  • A mere 45 seconds into my drive an oncoming car veered into my lane for about 10 seconds before realising they were on the wrong side of the road.  I had to stop the car otherwise I would have hit them!
  • A multitude of cars were drifting between lanes without any indicators [turn signals] or awareness of others around them.
  • A few cars straddling lanes for extended periods of time.
  • Lots and lots of red lights.  Seriously, I was at a set of red lights for almost 5 minutes, with no other cars going through the green lights on the cross street!
  • A truck stopped in the middle of the road, blocking everyone.  No reason that I could see.  Also, no driver that I could see.
  • Lots and lots of cars cutting each other up/off.  One driver was so impatient at a red light that he moved into the ‘Right Turn Only‘ lane and then when the lights went green he went straight, cutting up the driver to his left just to get in front.  He pulled over and parked 100 yards later.
  • Lots of loud, drunk people teetering on the edge of the pavement [sidewalk] threatening to walk out in front of my car.

Now, this was the first time I had EVER had to drive to work on New Year’s day in Las Vegas.  I couldn’t believe the experience compared to my normal commute…..

It was no different.

toystorybaddrivers

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.

I’m walking here!

Today on Oxford street in London I saw a man get beeped at by a black cab driver as he crossed a side road.  The traffic lights had changed before the guy had finished crossing and the cabbie wanted to ensure the man knew it.

Believe me, from his two fingered salute I’m pretty sure he knew it.

Without uttering a word, these two strangers had engaged in the following conversation…

Cabbie – “Come on mate, I haven’t got all day here. The lights have changed and I need to turn left into that street, but you’re causing me to delay that turn by a further 4 seconds.  So i’m going to beep my horn at you unnecessarily just so you and those around you are alerted to the fact that you’re taking too long!”

Man – “Fuck off”

I love London. I really, really do(n’t).

image

Lunchtime laugh

I wandered out at lunch to grab a bite.

As I meandered down the street I saw a guy coming the other way. Nothing untoward so far.

However, he suddenly slowed down, frowned and then mouthed the words “shhhhit. Oh for fuck’s sake”. Clearly he’d suddenly realised there was something he’d forgotten to do.

For the rest of the time it took to pass him he looked proper fucked off.

Ha ha gutted.