Thursday, November 29, 2012

Road Pizza

With a certain substitution, the joke goes something like this:

Question: What's the definition of eternity?
Punchline: 4 Victorians at a 4-way stop.

(Ok, so it's supposed to be "blonds", instead of "Victorians" but that's not very nice is it? My poor, sad, blond friends who feel soooooooooo discriminated against...)

Well, if you live here in our wee city, you are probably chortling even a little, particularly if you have observed and cursed at the kajillion 4-way stops that are splattered all over Victoria B.C. and of course, if you are thinking about telling that joke later to a sad, blond friend of yours.

BUT IT'S NOT FUNNY, so STOP CHORTLING. Even if you are not sure what chortling means, stop it now. It's not funny because, every morning, I am now sitting in the passenger seat as my "L"-licensed child drives us to his high school. Did I mention that he is still technically a child and that he also technically has a license to propel our 4000-pound family Ford Focus through the law-breaking-cyclist-jammed, jaywalking-pedestrian-entangled, unsynchronized, 4-way-plagued streets of Victoria? Oh yes, I said it. You've been thinking it. Some of you have been doing it. My question to you: Why do you want to be road pizza?

Once, in Thailand, I'm certain I ate road pizza disguised as,well, something unrecognizable. My BFF and I called it pizza because calling it road kill came too close to acknowledging that yup, it's a rat. Or maybe a small, hairless dog. Whatever it is, it is flat and hanging from a hook at a roadside "eatery". That shack was roadside for a reason and not just because there was lots of foot traffic. But we were hungry.

Victorians, you are one careless step or wheel rotation from being hung from a hook in a Thai roadside shack. Lunching at or lurching off a 4-way stop is not the real problem in our fair city. If only.

No, you charming but seemingly self-entitled Victorians think drivers are paying attention to you as you swoop your cyclist ass into traffic without signalling, shuffle across the road with your ipod on and head down, spring onto (egads!) a crosswalk without even looking at the car that is currently in your path and couldn't stop even if God himself pressed his mighty thumb on the front tire. Guess what? Some of those drivers are 17-year old newbies that are still trying to figure out which pedal is the clutch and how to turn off the back wiper blade. Your Evel Knievel ass? That driver hasn't even thought of you yet, never mind prepared to save you from your solipsistic self. Just how magic do you think these new-fangled cars are?

But it's not just the 17-year olds; driving is HARD and not getting killed or making road pizza generally hinges on everyone else doing what they're supposed to be doing too, plus some luck. And visibility. And dry roads. And. So, you two-legged and two-wheeled citizens; if you're near or on a road, you are just as responsible for your own safety as the 4000-pound Ford Focus hurtling towards you is. If you don't start paying attention - in a contest with a 4000-pound gorilla, my money is on the gorilla.

p.s. This awesome song has very little to do with road pizza and 17-year old drivers. Or does it?

p.p.s. For those of you younger than my old self, this is: Evel Knievel

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