Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Own Personal Mario-Kart Morning

This morning was quite an adventure. Driving to work made me feel like I was in some kind of video game, with obstacles such as malfunctioning railroad crossings, distractions off to the side, kamikaze drivers and police cars. It was nuts!

The drive started out normal enough, until I got to a part of the drive that used to be forested on one side. Apparently they decided to cut down about three acres worth of trees between yesterday morning and today. That was quite a surprise, and so shocking that I almost missed seeing a car pulling out in front of me. I was deep in thought about how upset I would be if I were one of the people that had lived across the street from this now-empty area. Here they had a house with a nice view of a pretty forest, and now? Nothing. Just an empty field and some dump trucks full of cut trees.

As I was thinking this thought I was approaching the lone railroad crossing on my drive. I have seen a train here once before and then it was far down the tracks and the gates had not yet come down. Of course, today when I’m running a little late is the perfect day to get stopped by the train. Of course! While the (six-car-long) train passed the gates were opening about halfway and then slamming back down. They did this about three or four times, and then stayed closed after the train passed. Finally about a minute (and twelve confused drivers) later they opened, but just long enough for a car or two to go through before they came slamming back down. This happened twice more before I gunned it to make it through the intersection without denting my car. Once I was safely across the tracks the gates went up and stayed up. See what I mean about the video game? Once I made it safely through the stage the threats were no longer operating. At least until this point.

Since we had been stopped for a little bit, there were about seven cars behind me, when usually at this time of morning the road is fairly deserted. Well, the seventh car (a PT Cruiser, which is kind of shaped like the turtle shells in Mario games, therefore spawning the Mario-Kart reference in the title) decided that the six in front were going to slow. The road is pretty hilly and almost entirely a no-passing zone. This did not stop the seventh car, who went flying past the six of us like we were standing still, getting to the front at the top of a hill. Talk about taking a chance. A car passed right when she finally got over. I would have wet myself I had been in that car. She proceeded to go a good twenty miles an hour over the speed limit, barely pausing at the stop sign before proceeding to the next section of road. This next section is where a cop sits about every other morning lately. As I stopped at the stop sign (because I know the cop is going to be there) she flew on down the road and then stomped on her brakes right where the police car was sitting.

And nothing happened. She didn’t get pulled over, despite speeding and running a stop sign. If only I could be that lucky when I was doing something so stupid. Had it been me, I’m sure I would have been pulled over in a heartbeat. I’m just that kind of lucky.

After that the drive got fairly routine, but I laughed at the absurdity of the morning drive the rest of the way to work.

All this of course would happen the one morning in the past month that I was exhausted from a sleepless night (because of a ridiculous, yet frightening dream about a rainbow-colored duck pecking it’s way through the door to get me), and therefore not the most aware I’ve ever been. At least the start to my day wasn’t dull, I guess. Here’s hoping the rest is just as entertaining, but with less stupid drivers on the road. I really hate stupid drivers, and the world seems to be full of them.


At 7/19/2006 9:46 PM, Anonymous TB said...

A technicolor duck coming after you? Somehow that doesn't seem as strange as three lots worth of trees cut down overnight. That would freak me out!

At 7/20/2006 11:12 AM, Blogger Julie said...

I also seem to have that kind of luck. Here the big thing with the trains is that they get just past the road/crossing and stop. Or they stop and back up. One day I counted how many times I got caught at train tracks - 6 times in one day!!!

I saw the same thing yesterday - a woman driving like a bat out of hell and right past a cop. He just sat there. Guess it was too hot for the cop to work.


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