South Harrison, at the Creighton stoplight, is wide enough for a northbound lane, a southbound lane, and a parked-car lane. Assuming, that is, that
- everyone is in their lanes like proper motorists
- one doesn't mind about 6 inches of spare space on either side of one's car.
I happen to mind the spare space, which is why when I come down Harrison at 30 miles an hour, I pray that the light is green and nobody's there OR that the light is red, so everyone's going all slow-like.
Today: The light was green. There were cars in all three lanes - mine, the northbound, and the parked lane. So I slowed down a little and put both hands in paranoid-position on the wheel. And that was when I noticed that the parked car was
A full two frelling FEET out from the curb.
Remember those 6 inches? The darling going north scraped the curb with his wheels and I did that particular parked-car slalom at like 3 miles an hour. And as I'm accelerating back to travelling speed, glad that Harrison widens to almost four cars' width by the time it jogs at Rudisill, I see that the front end of this parked obstruction is all banged up and bashed to hell.
This is a prime example of the "learn to park, asshole," syndrome.At the risk of hearing my lovely Clarabear tell me she never wants me to drive again, here's another "Someone wants to kill me" car story.
There's a curve in town. At the Columbia Street bridge, for those of you who know Fort Wayne. Where it goes under the tracks and turns into Clay and Main. Two lanes of traffic - narrow lanes, but fully wide enough for me to drive my dad's full-sized Chevy conversion van through without endangering life or limb, even as a reckless 16-year-old. Now I'm driving Michel-Ange, who is my wonderful 1987 Honda Accord with 229,000 miles and a stick shift on it. He's a good car, even if I think he might be gay. It's the purple-tinted windows and the pink "Protected by faeries" sticker that does it to me.
Anyway. The curve, as mentioned, goes over the bridge and then curves left into a fairly smooth 60-degreee turn as it passes under the tracks. No trouble at all at 30 miles an hour. Whoosh. You can add in the fact that on the left side of this left curve (the inside of the curve) there's a concrete divider that's pretty darn solid-looking, and on the right - the right lane is slightly wider - the lane curves right through a green arrow stoplight and onto Main. Sort of a very casual S-shape for geriatric slalom artists. It is easily navigable in an 88 Civic at 60 miles an hour, although I'll never do that
I'm in the left lane. To my right is a large white van with no windows in the back - the kind they abduct children in. And maybe, maybe there was a kid in the back or something and that excuses this asshole. Or not. As we come around the LEFT turn, he drifts LEFT. That's correct - takes the turn even tighter
than he needs to, apparently because he's afraid of the 3-inch curb on his right, or the bridge post that's six feet from the road makes him nervous. This puts him a good six inches to a foot into my (already narrow) lane. I didn't honk my horn. Instead, I hit the brakes, grabbed the wheel to hold the car on the straight and narrow between child-abducting van and extremely-tough-looking concrete, and let him have the road. He's like five times the size of poor Michel-Ange. And as I then hit the gas, speed back
up to a whopping twenty-five miles an hour, and glance over at him in the last moments before he turns right and I go straight, trying to decide if I should flip him off or not, I see him giving me the Glare of Death (tm) that motorists reserve for reckless teen-age drivers over his shoulder.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, I just want to know one thing.
You could have turned my car into some sort of mutant car-pedo shape. The hell do you get off on looking at me like that, when you're the one who can't colour in the fucking lines?
There's a Sprite can in our driveway. Left side, where if I tried, I could run over it. It's been there for three days of so. I keep thinking I should run over it, but I'm afraid (1) it'll be full, and somehow make my tire blow up (2) It's full of something noxious which (a) will melt my car or (b) render Michel-Ange into a Towering Inferno of Automotive Doom (tm), from which I will have to escape, napalm-style, and roll in the lawn.
And then I'll smell like burned hair for decades.
As I come up Crescent (for those of you who know the area), just before you get to Coliseum, there's a divider between the northish (north-easterly?) and southish (south-westerly? I get all confused when Crescent starts crescenting, can't figure out which way's north any more.) A divider. A big one - the kind that means "Don't turn left here."
The motorist in question (I'd post his license plate on the Internet, but I'm too busy driving
to stop and write it down), rather than going up to the light, doing a perfectly legal U-turn, and heading the half-block back down to the ITT-Tech (am I right? Or is it another Tech there?) campus, where he could then make a perfectly legal right turn into the campus drive, will stop right where the divider begins. In the middle of the left lane of Crescent, when people are driving, forcing everyone to change lanes to get around this asshole with the left blinker on in the middle of the fucking road. And he will sit there. And sit there. And sit there. Until the light at Coliseum turns red, stopping the influx of south-westerly-bound traffic. Assuming, of course, nobody wants to make a perfectly legal right turn onto Crescent. Because as soon as all lanes are clear, he crosses the median and goes a good half-block north in the southwest lane, crossing the three (counting the special right-turn lane to get into the campus drive) lanes of traffic at a leisurely 10 miles an hour. And turns into the drive
as if that were legal, safe, and perfectly reasonable.
Totally ignoring the fact that maybe, just maybe that divider is there so that assholes like him don't clot up all of Crescent Avenue with their desire to make a left turn across three lanes of traffic, ONE BLOCK from a light (with a green arrow left and everything) where they could U-turn and then make a perfectly safe and reasonable right into the campus.
Clarabear, sometimes I wonder if you're right not to want to drive.