Fall is here. I love this time of year. Being from the Left Coast, humidity and I don’t get along. I can’t stand walking out of the shower, only to get wetter. The air is now drying out. The leaves are changing. Junior only has to cut the grass every third week! The only bad part is getting stuck behind a bus now that the kids are back in school.
Rant # 1: Under the heading, “I could not have said it better myself,” J. of Munster wrote this week, “I want you to know how much I enjoy your column. I share many of the ‘rants’ that are sent in and love seeing them in print. You are a 12-step program to prevent road rage. Bless you.
I'm sure my rant is one you hear over and over again, but I can't dismiss my thoughts. I am amazed at the number of vehicle operators who never use their turn signals. I was beginning to believe that those huge SUVs were not equipped with them. Then I noticed that many sizes and models were not using them. Could it be that their turning signal bulbs are burned out and those drivers are ignoring the constant clicking sound that occurs when that happens?
No, that can't be it, there too many. Could it be that all these drivers have no left arm? Now that's a little preposterous. Then I made a tremendous discovery. These drivers are missing an arm! They need a third arm! How can one be expected to steer the vehicle, drink coffee, apply makeup, eat a doughnut, and talk on the phone, with only two arms? And then we expect them to use the turn signal? How silly of me! Now that I've figured it out, I will no longer become impatient with these self-righteous, egotistical, discourteous, moronic, law-breaking drivers. Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts. Keep up the great writing!”
J, I thank you for the support and hope you are feeling better now. See it helps to get these things out in the open. It’s like I suggested last week maybe we should start up Aggravated Anonymous: a calm and peaceful place to bring solace to our lives when we are overstressed by moronic drivers who are oblivious to all of the other innocent people who are blessed to be driving nearby. We can sit in a circle, in a dimly lit room, and breathe deeply and maybe listen to some calming music. I can hear it now, “Hi my name is Ben, I got cut off by this!@#$% on the Borman.” Scratch what I said about peaceful and calm.
Rant # 2: Along the same lines, Tom from Chicago wrote in, “To the driver who exited the Dairy Queen on Indianapolis Blvd. in Hammond, turning right into merging traffic, clutching an ice-cream cone, a cell-phone wedged between your chin and shoulder with your head propped against the window. Do you think it was absolutely necessary to do all three things simultaneously...and poorly? If you don't care about the safety of yourself and the other drivers, could you at least think about your family in the car with you? If you only knew how ridiculous you looked, maybe that would be enough to change your mind.”
Tom, it wouldn’t. To quote the famous philosopher Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
Rant # 3: This is a drag-racing alert, Marlene wrote in: “On the corner of Ridge Road and Burnham in Lansing, both east and west narrow from three lanes to one. Drivers line up at the light to see who gets the winning lane. It’s a perfect set up for road rage.
Here is my simple solution, make the outside lane a right-turn-only lane. When I talked to the police chief and a trustee I got some mumbling about this being a state road. How strange: There is a right-turn-only at Wentworth and Ridge going west.”
Marlene, you might try to send the idea to the state highway authority and see if you even get an answer. At the least you can point out the inconsistency. However, you are trying to make sense to an Illinois politician that may require “other” forms of convincing. Just joking. Maybe publicizing this problem will draw the attention of Lansing’s finest who could try to slow the lousy drivers down with law enforcement.
It’s Audience Participation Time...Have a Dimwit Driver alert? Is there an intersection that gets you angry? Need a bumper sticker? Send your rant or address to: RoadRants@nwi.com. You can also call the RANT LINE at 219-933-1010. Leave your message. Include all the details. We will work it into the paper. We are also on Facebook, NWI Road Rants. Until next time, be safe. No one else is.