Thursday, August 25, 2011

People who need to die. Chapter 28.

I figure that anyone who's smart enough to own a home, hold down a job and raise a family is also smart enough to recognize the extraordinary dangerto others as well as himselfof jogging or cycling down a curvy, narrow, rain-slick backwoods road. If your IQ is higher than a dandelion's*, you know that under those conditions, a driver's slightest emergency course correction can set in motion a catastrophic chain of events. So I assume that the problem with the asshole/jogger I encountered this morning in the teeming rain, near a blind curve on exactly such a backwoods road, was not an IQ deficiency; rather, it was a total disregard for his fellow human beings.

I would therefore like to serve notice, not only to this morning's asshole but to his like-minded assholes-in-arms, that if it ever comes down to a choice between (a) swerving into oncoming traffic and (b) turning you into a hood ornament, this particular motorist will not be swerving, thank you very much.

I will, however, send flowers to your widow. Maybe even drop by to console her....

You'd expect nothing less from me, nice guy that I am.

* Giving credit where it's due, this is actually an allusion to a line from Jim Bouton's hilarious baseball tell-all, Ball Four. At one point Bouton quotes a ballplayer who famously said of a coach, "If his IQ were 3 points lower, he'd be a dandelion." That may not be the verbatim quote, but it's close.


Fit and Fibrous said...

You're blaming the jogger for what exactly? Risking his life to get exercise, scaring you, something else...?

I wonder if drivers all around the world feel like the roads were handed down by God Himself to let them do whatever they want at whatever speed they wish or if this is an American thing. From the times I've been to the States, I didn't feel any urge to kill pedestrians but I did feel like someone should have a long, stern discussion with the people who designed the roads to be safe only for drivers and lethal for everyone else. And that's without drivers feeling the urge to kill because pedestrians have the temerity to use the road.

In some ways, I wonder if roads that make drivers feel the touch of death might in fact be safer. Roads which "feel" safe encourage faster speeds and less attention, leading to more lethal crashes. "Traffic" by Vanderbilt discusses some thought-provoking studies on this seeming paradox.

Steve Salerno said...

Fit, I think you're going way off the beam here. I understand your consternation, I truly do; I especially understand it, given the jaundiced way in which "outsiders" tend to view us and our love affairs with our cars.

But, you know, there's reality and there's idealism. The reality is that certain roads clearly are not wide enough to accommodate two cars traveling in opposite directions, at speed, plus a jogger who seems oblivious to the fact that he's encroaching on the actual roadway. When all three intersect--say, at a blind corner, in the rain--something's gotta give. I assume that if you're jogging, you're probably within a few miles of your house, tops, so you know the lay of the land. You understand that if you all arrive at that fateful blind corner at the same time, the odds of catastrophe are very high. Especially on wet surfaces. Why put people in that position? Paved roads were designed primarily for cars (or other motorized vehicles). That is fact. A jogger doesn't need a paved road to jog; he can run on a trail in the woods. (And FYI, there are several VERY good ones not far from that same subject road.) But I, in my car, don't have the option of seeking out an isolated trail in the woods. I need the road. So does the driver traveling in the opposite direction. We are just going about our business, on our way to work. And that jogger is risking our lives.

It's simply inconsiderate to do what the jogger was doing. If anyone deserves to get hurt or even killed as a result, it's him.

Cal said...

I admit I had to laugh at the original post. I could never do what some of these joggers/cyclists do for training. I have always thought it's way too dangerous to do that on some of these roads. The margin for error is so small.

And to be honest, your reaction to what you would do should probably should be taught in driver's education. But I'm sure it's not, because that wouldn't be politically correct. Usually swerving to avoid something (unless it's some big truck where you'd be demolished), is not the best course of action. It leads to chain-reaction accidents a lot, where there are multiple injuries/fatalities.

Steve Salerno said...

Cal! If this is indeed "our Cal," long time no hear! Great to have you back.

(And if it's a "new and different Cal," great to meet you.)

Cal said...

Thanks Steve..same guy. I still check out the blog frequently, but I just haven't commented a bunch. Sometimes I think I'm saying the same stuff again.

Hope you stay safe as Irene passes. And anyone else out here in its path.

Steve Salerno said...

Cal: You feel that you keep saying the same things? How do you think I feel after six years!