Last week I was at the stop light at intersection of Dalraida Drive and Atlanta Highway in Montgomery. For those of you who don't know the area, it's a spot that has a four-lane highway and a two-way street that, only for the intersection part, branches out into right/left/1 and 2 straight lanes, respectively, and then goes back down to their "allotted" amount of lanes.
Not only is there major congestion there since someone decided it was a brilliant idea to pop a Walgreens Pharmacy right smack on one of the corners, it also has four schools within, I'd say, half a mile of this intersection; three of which are pretty much located within sight distance...even for me...even without corrective lenses.
I routinely go there as I have to cross this intersection to bring/retrieve my daughter to and from school, so the timeframe I'm speaking of is just when all these schools are either starting or letting out. Now I'm no stranger to "creative" driving, God knows I've driven in Philadelphia, LA, New York City, Atlanta, DC, et al, so I've spied a wide variety of "tactics" that people come up with to go that extra pavement inch.
I've also seen people drive and simultaneously talk on cell phones (I think Montgomery, seriously, has got to be the worst...they really need to implement some law here), put on make-up, look at maps, unfold maps, refold maps, read books, drink various beverages; both hot and cold, eat, drive with their knees because both hands were otherwise occupied, and, uh...even bore witness to front-seat "love sessions" a few times...and every combination of those you can think of...but the guy last week literally took the cake.
Not only was he chowing down holding a massive "to-go" styrofoam container with one hand, eating with a fork or spoon with the other, seemingly talking either to himself or on the cellphone...or maybe he was cussing out the guy in front of him for not running the light. Regardless, he was also "knee-driving" thru this same intersection that you really should be devoting at least one iota of your attention to do. I mean, this guy wasn't just juggling a super-hot McD's coffee in one hand and a sausage biscuit in the other...we are talking about balancing a mega-huge container probably laden with food, with that flip-top lid part up no less, virtually blocking whatever windshield view he had, rendering him pretty much "more useless" than he probably is the rest of the day. Think of that iconic portrayal of the little old lady, about 3 feet 5 inches tall, precariously balanced on a stack of five or six phone books...and not those scrawny Wetumpka phonebooks neither...those mega-huge DC kinds, having to scooch forward in order to reach the pedals. Oh, did I mention that even WITH corrective lenses she couldn't see those three schools? Well, add that to the mix and then you'd have a pretty good idea of what this guy seemed like to me.
Anyway, as I sat there at the light biding my time, about three minutes 30 seconds worth of time to be exact (it's a long light)...I watched the routine traffic antics play out and had a brilliantly wicked idea spawned from witnessing "Mr. Styro" shovel food into his face. But first, before I forget...it is always fun to see people try to ignore the fact they've "inadvertently" rolled their 2000 pound hunk of metal into the middle of the road, blocking off two lanes of traffic, and pretending to be totally unaware of the fact. Oh, the faces they make...it's quite comical actually. It's actually some of the best entertainment Montgomery has to offer...oh, c'mon this place isn't exactly the mecca of all things social, so don't fault me for making the most of an otherwise tedious and annoying situation.
But back to sitting there at the light...I envisioned a website run by the authorities where I could take a cellphone shot of this guy (and countless others) and have him duly fined for reckless driving, driving in a school zone without using any hands, failure to use turn signals (heaven knows what appendage he'd have to employ to do that whilst doing all the rest...and something tells me he wasn't THAT talented), and basically being a total idiot. "Sorry, officer, the only way I could think of giving myself the Heimlich maneuver when I was choking on that piece of Kung Pao chicken was to ram my car into the guy in front of me...and guess what? It worked!"
So, I'm almost tempted to at least provide some bandwidth on my own site, HumorMeOnline, to showcase similar boneheads caught in the act of failing to realize that you can also see IN through that same window YOU are supposed to be concentrating seeing out of. The least I could do is post their pictures up on my PhotoLaughs contest and use them for comedy fodder. I've even coined a word I made up describing this whole "regular citizen turned vigilante photocop" - yes, I Googled and no one used it yet...a "Videoante"...being the person who snaps said image of an auto-perpetrator and turns them in.
The only downfall I see to my whole "brilliant" scheme is being snapped in turn by someone else who is also a Videoante...being caught at your own game so to speak. I certainly wouldn't want a whole nation going all suburban/urban über-Paparazzi...and I'm sure there's only so many covert images of guys picking their noses one can take...at least I hope so.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".