So ... the inevitable "other drivers are idiots" post. How do we address this otherwise overdone issue? Easy, by introducing some excitement and differentness into it!
"But dEn," you say, "what new is there to add about drivers being idiots? We all know they are!"
And quite right you are. Every driver but you is an idiot, that is scientific fact. Although I do often yell to other drivers "Sorry, my bad! I'm an idiot!" you probably do not.
Last night though I had a fun encounter with dumb drivers. Not the exciting dangerous kind. Not the mean I'm going to cut you off kind. Not even the oblivious I can't read the No Turn On Red kind. No, these guys were honestly just slightly stupid.
The trouble began as I tried to go up to Hollywood Video to drop off a DVD I'd rented the previous weekend (spending seven hours in a theater wasn't enough movie watching for one weekend). To get there, you have to make a left turn on a pretty busy road. Luckily there's a left turn arrow there so you're going to get a chance to turn. Unfortunately it's one of those You Can Only Turn Left When the Arrow Is Green intersections. But nicely, the turn arrow comes on at both the beginning and the end of the green light at the intersection.
So as I get near the left turn lane I notice that pretty much everyone is lined up too far to the left on this part of road--they're all the way over on the yellow diagonal stripes. Well, everyone except this truck which stopped a ways back from the light in the place where the turn lane actually is and behind the last car that's actually there.
Applauding his ability to actually go to the correct place in the lane, I pull up behind him. As I do so, several more cars pull up behind me. However, they also keep lining up to my left, on the part of the road that isn't actually the turn lane.
As we sit there waiting for the light to change to a turn signal, I realize that turning is going to be kind of ridiculous once everyone realizes that there's only one lane to turn into. "Oh well," I think to myself, "We'll figure it out when it's time to turn."
Continue reading the harrowing experience
But as we're sitting there I notice that the light changes to red without our getting the end of the green light turn arrow. Thinking that maybe it was some sort of fluke, I start re-evaluating how well I actually know the turn signal system.
After waiting for the crossroad's light changes to red though, I'm surprised to see that we again don't get a green turn arrow.
That's when the realization that we only get the turn arrow when someone is on the left turn sensor--which most of the traffic is lined up right beside. There isn't a good way for me to get up there though with the truck in front of me parked that far back and all the cars lined up to the left. Plus there's a fair amount of traffic on my right, making pulling around to the right a difficult proposition.
I honk at the truck hoping he'll pull up. He just kind of looks at me like I'm a jackass. By this time though, the light's changed back to red--again not giving us the bonus end left turn arrow. People in the left turn lane are beginning to think that the light is broken and are making turns through the red arrow.
Knowing that I could end up sitting there for hours at this rate, I manage to dart between the slowing traffic on the right and pass the pickup in front of me and then pull back into the left turn lane. The truck that I passed is obviously annoyed at me and pulls up and gets right on my ass. He clearly thinks I'm doing this to be a jerk.
Finally though, thanks to my amazing driving skills, the next time the light changes we get a turn arrow.
Ahhh, but what about the two lanes trying to turn into one lane issue from before? Well, since I'd cut to the front of the line, it was no longer my problem. I quickly dart around the idiot to the left and successfully manage to return my movie.
Still, it makes me wonder how long those guys would have been sitting there without my keen awareness of how left turn signals work (you have to be on the sensor ...). I'd like to think that this is because I'm sort of driving genius but sadly, I think the more likely answer is that every other driver is an idiot.