From the mind of a mild mannered maniac

Posts tagged ‘casualties’

School crossing or Race Course?!!

Oh the wonders of humanity!
On the one hand, we are an amazing bunch. Look no further than the Mona Lisa, The pyramids, the Sistine chapel, The empire state building, the international space station etc… All of these are man made, and showcase our skill, artistry, creativity and ingenuity to the nth degree. Not perfection, but not too shabby either.

Then there’s the other hand.

I won’t touch on the current global/environmental/political insanity nor will I speak to crime, violence and the very many other social ills that plague us all daily. As pertinent as they all might be, that is beyond my purvue.

No, my issue is much, much closer to home.

Parents of young preschoolers who dress their young charges in the warmest winter clothing, and who lovingly hug and kiss the children goodbye whilst instructing them to behave, to play safe and to listen to their teachers. So far so good, right?

Some of these, though, are the self same individuals, with the children on board decals proudly emblazoned on their rear windows, who will tear off with reckless abandonment in their minivans, attempt to reach maximum velocity out of the parking lot, and then proceed to careen right through the school crossing without slowing down. (let alone actually stopping, and seeing that the kids get safely across.)

The poor crossing guard should be receiving danger pay. I’ve personally witnessed a few such occasions where the poor soul has had to jump aside to avoid an oncoming vehicle there. I guess his big red sign with the embossed, iridescent lettering, is too vague?!!

Just today, as I came from dropping my Nephew off at his preschool, I had the distinct impression I was strolling along the Indianapolis race track during the time trials!!!!

Slow down !!!!!

Please understand, I’m not painting everyone with that same brush, there are far more caring individuals who obey the traffic laws, and who don’t have a self indulgent desire to cause bodily harm, at least in my neighborhood, anyway, but my word, those who do, do so in style!

City counsel has done everything in their power to keep our school kids out of harms way, but their crossing guards, additional signage etc, will only help if people bother to obey them. That could be your child stepping off that curb!

How the same Human Race that inspires such beauty and wonder, in the world, can show so little regard for its own kind is beyond me.

Sorry for the preachy tone of this post, but I just needed to get that off of my chest, before I implode.

Be safe everyone.

~ Cliffy

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RED LIGHT

REDLIGHTbcl

The red seemed permanent, I rapped anxiously on my steering wheel, and glared at the traffic light  in as intimidating a manner as was humanly possible. Staring hadn’t worked either, I’d blinked over a dozen times and yet still the angry crimson orb peered, back at me, as constant as the throbbing in my brain.

Several car horns , repeatedly voiced their opinion of our current predicament, but mine did not join the chorus. It was with me at the front of the line,

I was so tempted to abandon my little Corolla, and walk home; I probably would have, too, if I hadn’t just made the final payment on her, two weeks earlier, and if home wasn’t, at least, twenty-three kilometers away, of course.

With so few vehicles approaching from any of the three, alternative directions the other temptation was to jump the light and get on with my day. Why didn’t I ? That is a great question, I am glad you asked it in so timely a fashion.

Not twenty feet from where I waited, with rapidly dwindling patience, sat a Vancouver City police car. It was unoccupied, but I somehow sensed that it’s driver was, even as we speak, scrutinizing this scene from his window seat in Madison’s Cafe.

I wondered how long he could possibly leave it before he intervened, and ushered us dutifully through the intersection. A new city ordinance against the use of a cell phone whilst behind the wheel of a running motor vehicle was, for the moment, preventing me from summoning  himself, or one of his colleagues.

A few cars were, now, performing illegal u-turns; Others were zipping past me, in the inside lane, and turning right. I counted to twenty a half a dozen times, but still I waited, and still I stared at that, confounded, red light! It would have been so simple to break that law, many others would have, of that I am sure. Curse my parents for raising a lily-livered, law-abiding citizen!

I turned on the radio, half expecting to be mentioned, on the traffic report.  Speaking of traffic, it was backed up, behind me, by now, for several city blocks at least. People were hollering, horns were blaring and my head was pounding like a thousand Ringo Starrs. I rested my right hand on the hand-brake lever, and sat poised with one foot hovering over the clutch, and the other by the throttle. My patience was at an end.  I was all set to break the law!

The guy behind me finally lost it, he yelled at my rear-view mirror while waving his up-raised fist in some sort of unfriendly salute. His big-block Chevy engine roared angrily, clearly in tune with its agitated owner, and his vehicle pulled out and around mine in an, impressively, aggressive leap.  As his head drew even with my passenger-side window, he glowered at me and I clearly remember the throbbing vein, dancing away on his glistening forehead; well that, and then as the Chevy accelerated into the intersection, the squeal of protesting tires and brakes, and the gut-wrenching  explosion as two perfectly good vehicles became one mass of smoking rubble.

copyrightCopyright 2014 – Clifton J. Lewis

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