Don’t Fuck With The Bus

As mentioned innumerable times before, my commute kinda blows. To prevent it from ending up with me on top of a tower bellowing threats at a SWAT team, I have to find ways to distract and amuse myself, particularly since the driving itself is no fun at all nor engaging because it’s really hard to fuck up and crash OR just enjoy putting a car through its paces when you’re averaging 9MPH the whole way. So, podcasts and music do the heavy lifting of distracting me from the boring tediousness of this kind of driving. Once in a while, though, I also get to witness the kind of dumb shit that proves it’s been and will continue to be worth my time to work very hard at not getting angry while driving.

Take this morning. Any commuter whose route has them on city surface streets for any length of time knows what it’s like to deal with busses. As part of my “Stay Zen” commuting philosophy, I don’t waste any energy trying to get ahead of busses or cut them off when I need to turn right and they’re in the turning lane… it’s a fuckin’ bus. No matter when and where you come across one, at some point REAL SOON, it’s going to pull over to let people in/out and you will pass it. And they’re keeping a large number of folks from being on the road solo in their own cars themselves, clogging shit up worse.

In short: Busses Are A Good Thing. Don’t be a dick to busses.

Of course, not everybody adheres to this philosophy. Nay, FEW people do. Most people, for whatever reason, look at a bus in front of their car like it’s fucking their mom or something. These people, to be clear, are fuckin’ assholes.

As was the guy I saw this morning.

Picture your textbook shitty old white guy.  In his 70’s or just a badly-maintained 60’s… white hair flying out all over under a cheap baseball hat. Perma-scowl etched into his face. The kinda guy who you know just by looking at him, he’s gonna vote for Trump. The kinda guy that you know ruins at least one Denny’s waitress’ (he ain’t got IHOP money) or Dollar Store clerk’s fuckin’ day, EVERY day. Just a shitty dude, who has no empathy or sympathy for anyone else as we are all, at best, annoyances getting in the way of his slow march to the grave. And he was NOT about to let a goddamned BUS, paid for by HIS tax money so a bunch of poor browns could possibly come into HIS neighborhood, to get in front of him.

No. Fucking. Way.

Now… busses are big and powerful, but slow. Takes time to get anything that size up to speed. There are VERY FEW cars that can’t out-race a bus from a dead stop.

A 2014 Toyota Corolla, however, is one of those cars. Much to Ol’ Shithead’s impotent fury.

The bus driver was an African-American man, middle-aged. He had a look of such grim, focused determination on his face that was positively frightening: this old white prick was NOT getting in front of him.

Now, I’m ascribing a lot of motives I can’t possibly have been privy to here, but, c’mon: I’ve seen enough driver vs. bus shitheadery to be able to tell immediately what was going on. I don’t know if these guys had been dogging each other for like a mile down Lawrence at this point already or if this was just a single stoplight making of eye contact between two dudes who instinctively oppose each other that led to this, but it was clear that Some Shit Had Gone Down and now these two dudes hated each other.

What I _was_ privy to was this sequence of events:

Shitty white guy, red-faced and angry, absolutely flooring the miserable 4-pot engine and crap-assed automatic transmission that base-spec penalty box Corolla comes with for all it’s worth. Which ain’t much.

A bus being pushed to (and possibly beyond) the absolute limits of its accelerative powers, to the point that I swear the front end of this thing was rearing upwards as it screamed down the street.

The bus didn’t win outright, but it got far enough ahead of the Corolla to where it could impose its will in this game of chicken. The parking lane was coming up soon, and the bus either had to hit the brakes or make a move to take the lane.

Of course, duder chose to take the lane, and FUCK the asshole in the cheap little import trying to interfere with that plan out of sheer orneriness. Corolla Guy had been trying to fully pass the bus since the previous stop, but his sadmobile had barely got him even with the back third of it by this point. So he’s NOT gonna pass the bus, period.

The bus driver, for his part, the fuck does he care? His bus weighs about 40,000lbs, empty. That Toyota doesn’t even weigh 3,000. Bus driver knows he ain’t getting hurt if the Toyota doesn’t give and smacks into the back side of his bus.

Here’s where I find that it gets interesting, though: if Corolla Guy had any spine to back up his impotent anger, he could’ve taken the hit. Even full out, neither vehicle managed to build up much in the way of speed (I think both that bus and that car are officially rated to do a 0-60MPH run in “maybe”), so the collision would’ve been annoying and probably really bad for the car but it’s a new enough car to be safe enough that a sub-30MPH sideswipe collision is not going to hurt the driver much at all unless the odds are REALLY against him. And then he’s basically written himself a check on the City’s dime for damages and pain and suffering.

But no, that would take even one iota of balls to go through with. Instead, like most screamy old fuckers when actually challenged on their bullshit, Grampa Grumpy backed down, slammed on the brakes, and let the bus take the lane.

By now, my lane is moving, so I take one last look at his face: the engulfing depression of utter defeat barely masking a deep-seated, decades-built rage. Yet another defeat, and you, sir, are now 0-for-A Lifetime.

Next time? Maybe let the bus in, and get to Denny’s 30 seconds later than you would have otherwise, and leave a fat fuckin’ tip when you’re done and go home with your dignity intact.

Everybody On The Road But Me Has A Deathwish

Surprisingly, this was only the SECOND stupidest thing I saw on my drive home today:

commute_01

I can only hope that a revenue agent, whoops, I mean cop pulled this dude over at some point and just handed him a hefty ticket for “being an unsafe asshole on the public way”.

The DUMBEST thing I saw, I unfortunately couldn’t snap a pic of in time, but involved somebody driving through like 10 of those construction saw horses the City and IDOT put up when they need to shift lanes of traffic over from their usual path. Y’know, these fuckin’ things:

commute_02

Some dude in a shitty pickup (shitty pickups being today’s theme, apparently), decided that he wanted nothing to do with the ten or so of these lined up to move traffic over on Lawrence Ave.

So he plowed right the fuck through ’em.

Seriously, it’s just a mess of shattered wood pieces all over Lawrence near Rockwell, or at least it was around 6:40pm Monday night. Fuck your construction site, fuck your worker’s safety, fuck the tires and suspensions of other cars that are certainly going to drive through the ripped up lane and/or debris field this caused, because Johnny Silverado has to get to the Taco Bell and he ain’t got time for no steerin’.

Jesus fuck but do I ever hate everybody.

Lookit These Fuckin’ Maroons

I’ve long since established that my commute would make Magellan weep at my hardships, so that’s not news. But I got some sweet pics of total fuckin’ morons today, so I thought I’d share those.

Moron The First:

vw

Apologies for the blur, we were hauling some ass at this point in time (by Kennedy standards, which means we were doing about 15MPH. So save the complaints about me snapping a pic while driving, please, that’s about the safest thing I saw happen on the drive in this morning).

My question is… who the fuck does that to a poor VW Jetta? I mean, even in their fastest zoom zoom configuration, they’re not exactly race cars. This thing had THAT paint job and murdered-out black forged-alloy rims on the tires… just so fuckin’ dumb.

I’d point out that the driver was some variety of Asian fellow in his early 20’s from the looks of it, but you already knew that.

Moron The Second:

car

This particular example of dipshittery is becoming more and more common, and It. Is. INFURIATING. Let me set the scene:

This is the Butterfield Rd. exit ramp off of I-88 WB. A two-lane exit from the highway that widens into three lanes; a left-turn only lane at left, a center lane that allows left-turn or go straight, and a right-turn only lane at the right.

The right lane is backed up worse than usual because they’re doing work on the ramp it feeds into, though they didn’t bother putting any signage up for that PRIOR to the ramp, so it’s a clusterfuck.

The lady in the Nissan here was in the center lane the whole way, with her right turn signal on. I’m in the right-lane, and I see her signal so I leave a nice big Nissan-shaped gap for her to avail herself of.

This ramp is slow in the best of conditions; with the construction, people are dumber than usual. I usually spend a good 5-10 minutes just on this ramp, for 2 or 3 of those long-assed suburban light cycles that I really don’t understand how you all tolerate every day. Today, it’s worse, because nobody can figure out what the fuck to do from the right lane.

Point being, I’m not rushing her at all. I’ve got this gap open for a good two minutes for her to take, because people are usually dicks about people trying to make a lane change and I like to not be a dick.

She never takes it.

What she DOES do is, with that right-turn signal flashing merrily and uselessly the whole time, is merge LEFT.

Now… I think we’re all used to the fact that people just don’t signal anymore, particularly since signalling is generally seen by other drivers as an attempt to TAKE THEIR SPACE that must be resisted at all costs. Okay, that’s fine. Got it.

But signaling the opposing way of where you’re going to actually go? That’s a new level of dickheadery that manages to make basically all lanes near you unsafe. Well done.

I hope both of these dopes end their day in a ditch somewhere.

The Last Straw

So, Strike One is that I haven’t had a smoke in four days. We’re both giving quitting an honest, solid try right now and it’s going well, but I don’t have a lot of margin for error at the moment. Strike One Point Five? Haven’t had a drink in six. Drinking and quitting smoking don’t exactly go hand in hand.

Strike Two? CHANTIX. Yeah, it’s a wonder drug when you’re trying to quit nicotine, but it does fuckall for keeping you on the “able to” side of “keep your shit together”.

Strike Two Point Five? Wife’s been outta town since Tuesday. So it’s just me, the cats, and not smoking or drinking. Not a recipe for calm.

Strike Two Point Nine Five? This fuckin’ weather. Driving in the rain blows.

So, what was Strike Three, you may ask, if you’ve hung in so far?

A little old lady.

Scene: smr is driving home after a nice dinner with his brother. He’s tired, crabby, smoke-free and sober, and heading home to a house without a wife in it because said wife is in Utah. Okay, fine.

It’s dark and rainy out. smr is a careful driver, so he’s keeping the speed down and watching intersections and crosswalks carefully.

smr comes to an intersection where he has the red. He’s in the right-hand turn lane, as he needs to turn right. The two lanes to his left already have cars stopped at the light and backed up. He is approaching them in his right-turn lane.

Since smr can’t see through the cars stopped in the left lanes into the crosswalk, smr starts braking as soon as his line of sight is closed off and is almost at a complete stop a good six feet before the start of the crosswalk. As traffic is coming through on the cross street at a good clip, he’s not going to be able to turn until it’s green anyways.

As smr’s erstwhile Jetta rolls to its final stop (again, many feet clear of the START of the crosswalk), a sweet little old lady enters his field of view from the left, in the crosswalk. As smr is already finishing braking, and almost fully stopped, he thinks nothing of it.

TO BE MOTHERFUCKING CLEAR: there is no risk to the old lady. At all. She is crossing in front of two stopped cars in the lanes to smr’s left, and smr is just about stopped a good six feet back from the crosswalk. Why, smr could take his foot off of the brakes at this point and his car wouldn’t have the momentum left to roll into the crosswalk.

So, does the old lady just finish making her fucking way across the crosswalk and onto the sidewalk? Oh no. Of course she doesn’t.

smr has been paying her no mind, focusing instead on the light, waiting for it to change to green. He saw the old lady enter his field of view, so he just finished braking and is at a complete stop six feet short of the START of the crosswalk. He’ll get on the gas when she’s out of the street and the light goes green. smr does not creep-roll red lights, and yells at Mrs. smr constantly for doing that when she’s driving.

The old lady is Perfectly. Safe.

smr has to turn his attention from the light to her, though, because, while she HAD been proceeding north through the crosswalk and facing north, she has now clearly stopped dead in front of smr’s car and rotated 45 degrees to where she is now facing smr dead on.

Including the hood of smr’s car, there are AT LEAST eight feet between her eyes and smr’s eyes, which are now locked onto each other.

It’s raining, and dark, and smr has the windows rolled up and music cranking, so, if the old lady is saying anything, smr has no fucking clue what it is. But it is clear that the old lady is annoyed, nay, SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF that smr has only left a gap between his front bumper and the start of the crosswalk long enough to fit two of the old lady’s corpses stretched out head to toe.

She is making this point by gesticulating angrily at smr’s car, which is six feet away, and the start of the crosswalk, which is right under her hands.

IE, six feet away from smr’s car. Which is stopped. Completely. And has been for a while at this point.

A reminder: smr is tired. smr wants a smoke and an Old Style. smr is not going to get either of those things. And while smr normally holds a little life rule that says “give little old ladies a veritable fuckton of leeway”, because that is what well-raised men just do, and smr’s momma raised him the right way, and he has always kept to that rule, smr. just. can’t. even.

Because, smr thinks, “This. Is. BULLSHIT”.

“I am goddamned stopped over a car length away from her, and I slow-rolled to this stop because it’s dark and rainy and that’s what a careful, considerate-to-pedestrians driver fucking does, and I am ALL of those adjectives. MAYBE I could understand this like if I had to jam on my brakes to bring my bumper to a halt three inches from this tired dusty bitch’s arthritic knees, but that’s not the fucking case, now is it? No, it fucking ain’t. She literally has no reason to be giving me shit right now, and I’d normally let this go, but the part of my conscience that normally suppresses these thoughts is fueled by nicotine and alcohol, and I’ve got fucking NEITHER of them in my system right now so guess, what, granny? I don’t give a fuck if your seven decades have been an unrelenting shitshow that Dickens could’ve written a fucking novel about, I’m not having it. I don’t care if everything went to hell for you the day you let little Mickey Sullivan from one parish over have his way with you and put the first of your eventual seven ungrateful kids into you back when Tricky Dick Nixon was running things, and you’ve spent every hour since regretting that moment because Mickey liked to talk with his fists so you’ve spent the last four decades getting knocked off of more furniture than Michael J. Fox’s shins, and now Mickey’s dead and your kids hate you and you’re all alone and that sucks, I realize, but that’s still NO reason for you to be a DICK TO A TOTAL STRANGER WITHOUT CAUSE.

So, forgive me, old lady, but as you finally stepped out of the crosswalk, pausing only to turn one last time and literally give me the ol’ “hand swiped under the chin” curse that you probably learned at your toothless gypsy grandmother’s knee back in the old country, I felt permitted, nay, OBLIGED, to return it to you via the modern, updated version, consisting of double-barreled birds aimed at your face, with a FUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUU mouthed so slowly that even your Alzheimer’s-ridden wreckage of a brain that never really fully learned English in the first place could comprehend EXACTLY what I meant.”

smr’s not proud of this. It was a moment of weakness. But smr doesn’t feel TOO bad, because age alone does not somehow automatically grant one the right to be a total fuckin’ asshole to strangers for absolutely no reason.