Sunday, April 11, 2010

Of Cars and Men

Today on my long run, something happened. It is not something new, as it happens on almost every run that I'm on. The difference this time was my reaction. While I'm not terribly proud of my reaction, I stand by it.

About one mile into my run today, I was crossing a busy street at an intersection. A car that had a red light decided to ignore the stop line and stop in the perfect centre of the crosswalk. Normally, I just run around the car while giving the driver the stink-eye. But this time something snapped. You could call it the straw the broke the camel's back. The single drop of water that caused the river to break its dam.

As I was running past this transgressing vehicle, I spied that the driver had his window open. I took this opportunity to face the driver and let him know what was on my mind. I started polite by informing him that the stop line was 8 feet back from where he had stopped, and he was not in the crosswalk. No reply. I informed him that I knew he could hear me since his window was down. His reply of "F*** off" threw me off my A-game. I had no recovery.

I later imagined myself insulting this man with a continuous stream of wit. Making allusions to his questionable parentage, possible abusive relationships with authority figures, and his morbid obesity. Alas, my mind is not quick enough to be able to pull something like that off. And now as I sit typing this out, I'm glad that I don't. No good would have come from that exchange. The man would still carelessly mow down pedestrians from the comfort of his tin wagon, possibly with hurt feelings, and certainly would have ignored my opening salvo.

It just pisses me off that when I run I constantly have to treat everybody who drives as if they were an idiot hell-bent on running me over. The law is on my side: When I arrive at a marked crosswalk, stop sign, or green light, I have the right of way. When vehicles stop at stop signs, and traffic lights, they must stop at either the stop line (if one exists), before the sidewalk (if one exists), or lastly right before the crossing road. I just wish violations of this were enforced half as much as speeding vehicles. In my opinion, rolled stops are *far* more dangerous than speeding or parking violations and should be enforced as if they were.

Am I out of touch? A bit crazy?


  1. Nope...not out of touch and definitely NOT runners we deal with this on what seems to be a daily basis.

    Taking the high road was the right road...even if you nearly got mowed off the road ;0)))

    Keep running!

  2. I read this on Tony's buzz and thought it had happened to him. At any rate, my opinion stands:

    Bah, moral high ground never got anything done. You should have dropped trou and pissed on his car. Then yelled "Bitch!" and gone about your day.