Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Michigan thinks it's all bad ass...

Oy! I hate this freakin' state.

Michiganders and me, we'll never get along. See, we're operating under totally different social contracts. This is most obvious, not surprisingly, on the road...

Where I come from, if you're waiting to turn left at an intersection, and you get a green arrow - YOU GO. Not that hard, right? You trust that others are obeying the traffic laws, and are waiting their turns...that you are safe to go, Go, GO!

I have been confused since I got here (oh these years ago) why I never seem to make it through the green arrow. Usually, the arrow offers plenty of time to get the average line of waiting traffic through with no problem. In Michigan, however, you will often find yourself waiting through multiple light cycles, inching ever forward toward your the prize: your turn in the spotlight, your 15 seconds of fame...the intersection! You see, instead of just driving through the damn thing, people act like they are merging onto a highway with blind spots and roundabouts.

look right,
look left,
look right again - WATCH OUT!
(oh, phew, just a leaf!)
going, going, easy, easy, don't choke here...


Why, you may ask, do they take such caution? I believe it is because they themselves do not trust others, nor are they trustworthy themselves to uphold the rules of the road if they had the chance to get away with breakin' 'em. How do they know that someone is not going to come plowing through the crosswalks, eager to take advantage of the "break" in traffic. Heck, they did that last week - everybody was just stopped, and they thought to themselves: "Hell, I'm goin' while the goin's good..." only to realize later that people had pulled over for an ambulance (seriously, nobody stops for sirens here). If cars actually do pull over, people also have the delightful habit of whipping back into traffic after the ambulance has passed and not allowing you to re-enter the flow. "Heh, heh," they think, "suckers!"

Dude, we have a social contract that keeps us alive on the road! Learn it, love it, live it.