Thursday, July 12, 2007

Half Right

Certain riding seasons seem to have a signature move that motorists perform over and over, as if competing with each other for style and effectiveness.

This year I call the move the "Half Right." They push past me, set up for a right turn and then stop dead in the middle of the lane, inviting me to shoot through the death hole on their right. Then they act surprised, even offended, when I decline to do so.

Today it was the Short Bus again. They choked the lane completely, bringing me to a halt before they finally lurched into their turn and went away. I extended my right hand, palm up, but with all the fingers out. It was sort of like the finger, but with the finger's friends in the gang with it.

Earlier, out the highway, some jerk in a Jeep had passed a whole string of motorists on a blind rise, honking his horn in annoyance. I enjoyed the spectacle of unabashed assholishness from the safety of my bike on the shoulder. It would have been gruesome to see the multi-car smash if someone had come over the rise as The Lord of the Highway claimed his share of their lane. In a car I'd have to be in there among 'em.

More than forty thousand direct fatalities a year, people. That's just deaths as a direct result of motor vehicle accidents. That doesn't include maiming, deaths due to pollution or sedentary life style or wars for oil. I rechecked my statistics from this earlier post.

Zoom zoom zoom.

On the plus side, I caught two drafts, one from a dump truck, the other from a box truck, that helped get me to work only a few minutes late.
In a comment on my earlier post, "Driver Education," crazy inlaw said...

"I believe the use of the middle finger in these situation is as very important to test the sanity of the offender . I also like to sacrifice a water bottle to the windshield gods when the balance of power is in my favor."

The finger is a gesture of futility. I use it as part of a whole arsenal of vulgar gestures I hope will anger my antagonist enough to get them to return and settle the matter with manly fisticuffs. It never works and it never satisfies my need to express myself. I prefer to win on the merits of the case. I certainly did that in my encounter with the man in the silver VW Cabrio. We both knew I won. And I had class. That made me an even bigger winner.

I seldom have that kind of luck, timing and self control.

My "Cars R Coffins" tee shirt has been getting some good comments. I wear it at least one day a week at the bike shop. With my shop apron in summer position, the design shows all day, not just when I remove the apron for a coffee run or brief interludes on the sales floor.

Cars R Sensory Deprivation Tanks doesn't have the same blunt force. Cars Make You Stupid also lacks dramatic impact. I realize that modern civilization needs to make use of some sort of powered vehicles. But as a conversation starter, Cars R Coffins throws up an undeniable challenge.

4 comments:

Dr. Logan said...

The hand-gesture you spoke of reminds me of my usual yelled response to bad-driving; "Heeeeeyyy!". It doesn't have any exact meaning per se, but it gets the point across.

The donut guy said...

My favorite hand gesture is to hold up 3 fingers straight up and then rotate them 90 degrees.

Most folks get it.

Fritz said...

I like fakin' them out on the "Half Right" -- the motorist stops and I cut to their left. Because they're looking right and waiting for you to pass they never see you. They keep looking and looking and finally realize that you're in front of the car.

cafiend said...

I pass on the left when they leave room...if I don't think they'll just jackrabbit forward at the worst moment. But the Short Bus blocked the whole lane so I couldn't go around without swinging into the oncoming lane with no view of what might be coming.