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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Second Hand Road Rage

This year, my before-school duty is monitoring the crosswalk out in front of the school. I get to make sure that the kids don't get run over before they can enter our halls of higher learning. This is a relatively easy and pleasant morning job. I get to say good morning to a lot of children, talk to some of the parents, and smile and wave at most of the teachers as they pull into the parking lot (ironically, the one teacher who never waves is someone on my grade level).

But after being out there for even only a couple of minutes, I have to wonder if some of these people got their driver's license from the bottom of a box of Count Chocula.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part, the parent who drop their kids off are definitely excellent drivers, following all of the standard laws of traffic and vehicle operation. However, there are those select few who seem to be auditioning for a role in Mad Max Road Warrior Part 2.

I'm not a traffic cop; I'm not supposed to even act like a traffic cop, I'm just supposed to help kids get across the street. So oftentimes, all I can do is watch as someone drives maniacally, and hope that I don't witness any fender benders or worse.

If I carried a radar gun with me, I am certain that I would be able to track some people going upwards of 40 mph.

It is routine for people to pull up to the curb, turn off the car’s engine, get out of the car, and help their kids out of the backseat. Unfortunately, it is almost just as common for people to do these things WITHOUT having pulled to the curb first. They just stop right in the middle of the street.

Some people don't seem to understand that the broken yellow line in the middle of the street indicates traffic flowing in TWO directions. Instead, they merely see it as another lane that they can pull into to pass a slower moving vehicle. I have even seen one or two of the school bus drivers do this!

My favorite was the lady who pulled up to the curb to drop her kids off, but who did so while facing oncoming traffic. In other words, all of the drop-offs HAD been passing me from left to right, but this lady pulled in from right to left. BRILLIANT!

Even though it is quite easy to complete a full circuit around my school in order to drive back out the way you came in, some people insist on showing off their driving skills, I guess. Completely oblivious of all other cars, these people will perform a 3-point turn in order to turn around. While my partner sometimes goes the "Paula" route and says, "wow, that was a perfectly executed maneuver!" I am often more tempted to play “Simon” with, "I always wondered what it would be like to see Ray Charles driving..."

I'm thinking about possibly carrying around some certificates in the morning. You've heard of the Darwin Awards? I'll have to start passing out some Learn Me Good awards.

And heck, while I'm ranting, I may as well express my dismay with one particular white Mazda sports car. The great thing about this car, which passes by my school almost every morning, is the totally hot babe that it contains. The bad thing about this car was that this morning, the babe was sitting in the passenger seat…


happychyck said...

LOL! It reminds me of the hassle I like to call "Picking the kids up from school." Normal driving and parking rules do not apply. Oh! And children do not need to use crosswalks at this time. This can just dart out in front of cars not obeying practical rules. Grrrr.

Spanky said...

Not to change the subject, but I had my own "grade-schooler" moment and thought I'd share …

Yesterday, I was at our local grade school for a Veteran's Day Celebration. There were several veterans in attendance, along with members of the Women's Auxiliary.

After the program, we were invited to punch and cookies in the lunchroom. One youngster looks up at a member from the Women's Auxiliary and says, "Are you a lunch lady?" Then, the little dude beside him says, "No dummy, she's a veteran-arian."

Mister Teacher said...

That's pretty funny, Spank.

J said...

a few years ago before the new addition was built, when Morning Duty was outside, I used to watch ALL the school buses speed through the school
zone on LARMANDA. Some I would estimate were driving nearly 40MPH in the 20, then most would run the stop sign on the Town North intersection.

I swear it is the truth. There obviously has been a crackdown on Bus Drivers. Most now keep it under 30 except for E B who is exempt from all traffic laws.

Mister Teacher said...

hahaha, EB DOES play by her own rules, doesn't she?

And man, I miss outside playground morning duty...