By MIKE STACEY
As I approached the bottom of Ganges hill the other night I strained my poor eyeballs trying to see the crosswalk through the rain and headlights pointed at me.
I knew that no one in their right mind would be wandering across the road through busy traffic in those conditions, but as a rule that does not apply around here. Sure enough, I detected the faint glow of a cell phone in the middle of the road, being the focus of attention of someone dressed all in black making his way through no man’s land, oblivious to his immediate surroundings. With my usual cat-like reflexes (okay, older cat, not overly frisky) I slammed on the brakes.
Now, don’t get me wrong, here, I did not give a rodent’s derriere if this clown survived long enough to reach the opposite curb, but I did not relish the thought of standing in the cold rain for hours speaking with the police while our first responders extricated his corpse from my radiator. Sliding to a stop, I asked myself, “At what point did an ever-expanding part of the population become no longer responsible for their own survival, passing that duty on to everyone else?”
I recalled the previous summer sitting at TJ’s and watching a woman march out in front of a car, then waving her arms when the car could not stop for her. A few days later, there she was again, same corner, and straight out into traffic, waving her arms again. Slow learner? I considered getting into my truck and finishing her off for the good of mankind, but there would probably have been repercussions, and my coffee wasn’t done yet.
There was a time when we all lived in trees and caves and had to contend with lions, tigers and, you guessed it, bears (OH MY!). In those days no one was going to appear suddenly to assure the attackee that none of this was his fault, he was a victim and he would be looked after, forever. Nature had a way of sorting things out, so to speak. Mr. Darwin explained it all years ago, but in recent times some well-meaning buffoon started throwing life preservers into the gene pool and natural selection thus lost its ability to cull the herd.
People walk behind trucks backing up, secure in the knowledge that the driver knows they are there, sees them clearly and will do everything possible to keep them safe. I have been driving trucks long enough to know that all the above ain’t so. When this sort of thing happens again and again, the driver will begin to entertain thoughts of plowing the pedestrian into the pavement. Call it a learning experience.
Another example of a person assuming I care was a guy on a bike riding on the sidewalk who decided to make a hard right turn onto the crosswalk directly in front of my truck. I opened the window and informed him politely that his cerebrum consisted of fecal matter.
Vehicle drivers are not exempt from my disdain, as stupidity is all-inclusive. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve witnessed a car passing a bicycle, then immediately making a right turn in front of it.
A form of entertainment I enjoy when driving on a busy highway is watching a car in front of me and figuring out when the driver is texting. The vehicle will proceed in a more or less normal fashion, then begin to wander into the other lane and/or off the road. I am easily amused.
The way I see it, human intelligence must have an upper limit. Stupidity knows no such bounds.
Totally agree. Folks seem to think that as long as they can see, everyone else can see them…not so! Please, people, wear something reflective when you are out at night! The life you save may be your own!