Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Can't Fix Stupid

#1 -- I was at a four-way stop yesterday, where two four-lane roadways cross. There are left-turn lane for each direction, and paved shoulders. A woman was stopped at the stop sign, in a righthand lane. She was putting on her makeup. She did not have her flashers or blinker on. She was just sitting there, using her rearview mirror, putting on her makeup. Drivers who pull up behind her, thinking she was going to move, had to back up and move to the left lane. It's one of those instances when a paint-ball gun or some eggs would have come in very handy.

#2 -- There was some kind of picnic in the city park over the weekend. The park is actually just the block that the library sits in the middle of. People park on the side streets and in the drug store parking lot and walk to the park. There are three state highways that come together at the traffic signals at northeast corner of the park. When there is an event in the park, people tend to bunch up a little on the sidewalks at the traffic signal waiting for the WALK signal to light up. Rooty and I just happened to be at the traffic signal on Saturday evening, just about dusk. There were a bunch of people waiting for the signal to change. A twenty-something guy decided not to wait for the signal and weaved his way through traffic -- everyone else followed him -- including parents pushing babies in those canvas strollers. Cars weaved! Brakes stretched! I guess if you're unable to read the instructions on a pack of condoms we can't expect you to understand the meaning of DONT WALK.

#3 -- This is actually the second time I have seen this happen, at the sesame intersection. It's an intersection where two busy streets cross, but not at right angles to each other. One street runs due north and south; the other runs northwest to southeast. I was at the left turn lane on Tuesday afternoon waiting to turn from the N-S street onto the NW-SE. When the signal changed, the car ahead of me started to turn, but stopped in the middle of the intersection. He started out when we had a green arrow -- but looked up when he got to the middle of the intersection and saw the red light meant for traffic on the cross street, and stopped. I almost hit him. The car behind me almost hit me. All of us had to go around him. You would have thought all of us honking and cursing at him would have made him reconsider coming to a complete stop in the middle of the intersection. When the light turned green for through traffic on the N-S street, he was (of course) blocking two lanes of traffic. I heard honking but did not go back to see how it all turned out.

Just in case you doubt that the locals would do these things, consider this: They have been reconstructing Route 66 in town for what must be coming close to two years. It's a major project, rerouting the highway and widening it from two to five lanes. Today one of the construction crews cut through three copper cables and one fiber optic cable belonging to AT&T, plus a city sewer line. Oops. At last word, 10,000 customers and the local university were without phone service. In case you're wondering, they fixed the sewer line first.


:P fuzzbox said...

Nothing like a good vent. Feel better?

Nicole said...

I'm always amazed at the utter stupidity of people. Number 2 is my favorite!
it's the answer to the old question "If everyone jumped off a building, would you?" The answer appears to be "Yes."

Bruce said...

I've always said that people are idiots. You proved me right; thanks.
I like, once it's obvious that they have done the wrong thing, they continue anyway!!!!!!!!!!!

The Phoenix said...

I saw that about the construction mishaps over there on your side of the river. It happens all the time. That's why kids should never mess with those utility flags they put into the ground!
it's also why contractors are supposed to call and have the utilities marked! in this case, IDOT should have known where all the utilities were before they began construction. that sewer line and those cables actually cross the nearby creek in mid-air right next to the road, it's was not exactly a secret that they were there.

jnickola said...

The title of this post leads me to ask: were you a Jim White listener too? I still have my You Can't Fix Stupid bumper sticker, somewhere around here.
Ron White, but you knew that :)