Paul From Minneapolis

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Few Of Us Need To Drive Like Sheepdogs

Monday: I approach the intersection of Lyndale Avenue South and 40th Street in Minneapolis on my way home from work. I’m headed west. The light is red. I stop.

The car stopped facing me is under the nominal control of a woman talking on a cell phone. Her left turn signal is flashing; meaning, if I can take her at all seriously, that she intends to turn left, across the path I will be taking when I proceed straight. It is my understanding that I have right of way in this situation.

I can see she is involved thoroughly in her conversation concerning whether she has time to go carry a big anti-W puppet in a march somewhere. (This is south Minneapolis, recall.) Her signal is engaged, her attention is not.

It is as if we’re following a script. The light turns green. She accelerates immediately and begins to turn left, acting like I’m not there. And in her little head, I’m not! Had I been unaware that I was dealing with the functional equivalent of a village idiot, I might have been killed! But I was prepared, so I gave the horn a tap and she stopped. She looked irritated, but she stopped. That redounds to her credit.

Tuesday: I’ll tell you what. To save space, just go back and read the last three paragraphs again. (It happened again, is what I'm saying.) (No lie. Different woman, same intersection.)