Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Confounding Thing Happened on the Way to the College

I have been driving over a decade. Since Americans are scared to actually get on a bike to pedal and fearful of our feet doing too much repetitive motion on concrete sidewalks, many of us have spent more hours than necessary driving.

I have driven in numerous cities and states. I have been in the presence of my husband as he drove around in numerous cities and states. And I have seen my share of impatient drivers. Chicago. Minneapolis. And let's not forget the bustling metropolis that is Roland. And yet, South Bend isn't willing to settle for bronze. She has tried to rival the best of them in her enigmatic antics, but what I saw this week certainly takes the award for unnecessary and unfruitful impatience.

I had made the decision to run home for lunch and was then returning to work while I was stopped at a red light. This particular intersection is a reasonably busy one in town, and I happened to be in the right lane with quite a few other commuters, as my right turn was coming up in a block. The left lane was nearly empty in comparison. Our green turn arrow was finishing up its cycle, and at most we were ten seconds away from resuming forward motion.

Cars were crowded bumper to bumper in front of me, inching closer in anticipation. Being the defensive driver who needs her personal space, I opted to wait to advance instead of pulling up to fill the recently vacated car-length space, only to have to come once again to a stop.

Suddenly, someone two cars behind me pulls out into the left lane. I imagine she likes the idea of space as well and wants to have a head start on the others by sidling up to them in the left lane. No. Not even close. Instead, she slinks around us, only to angle her car directly in front of me. And stop. For all of two seconds, until we received the green light.

Never before have I been passed at a red light. I will never understand what drives someone to such lengths. South Bend may be busy traffic-wise on home-game Saturdays (which this wasn't, being a Wednesday and all), but as a general rule, two car-lengths does not constitute an intelligible difference.

1 comment:

Jen said...

My son and I call bad drivers like that (and Minnesota is full of them) doofuses. And this woman may have won the Grand Doofus award. I just don't get people sometimes.