I Piss On Dothraki Laws

societyWe were at a busy four-way stop. Amazingly things were proceeding apace. Each car was doing what it was supposed to be doing. It was like winning the lotto.

Then, finally, just before it was our turn, everything went sideways. Right on cue. The car to our right that was supposed to go next just sat there, not going and stuff.

All motion stopped. Suddenly we were engulfed in a dead calm. It was surreal. Somewhere a bald eagle screeched. I heard the shake of a rattlesnake’s tail. A chicken clucked. A fly buzzed. A tumbleweed drifted through the intersection.

All heads turned and everyone stared at the idiot. What the hell was going on we collectively wondered.

Then, with a start, the car leaped forward. Like my dad used to say, “Put it in ‘L’ for Lunge.” In a grand elegant arc the car made its left turn and aimed right at me. “Oh my God,” I whispered breathlessly into my crash helmet. “One bogey passing on the left.”

And then I saw it. There, behind the wheel, a woman was driving with one hand, had an abominable phone pressed against her face, and was gesturing wildly with the other.

She was talking on a phone!

My brain quickly calculated the meaning. Why, that’s supposed to be illegal now! This criminal had just ruined the four-way stop dream of perfection for all of us. Veins popped out on my forehead in a full relief map in the shape of Florida. My hands gestured, too, and with every force of my being, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “We’re trying to live in a society here!”

I think it was right around then that I had my epiphany. I’m willing to share it with you now. Obeying the law is for suckers.

As a favor I was picking up a friend at the airport. One of the perks of being in the big city is that I can do this for friends and take care of their cars while they are gone and offer free food and lodging. It’s all part of the service.

The airport provided four lanes for arriving travelers. The two left lanes were designated for thru traffic. The signs made no bones about it. “Absolutely”  no stopping at “any time.” The two lanes on the right were designated for quick stops for the purpose of loading only.

Make sense. Such simple rules that will ensure the smooth flow for everyone involved.

One problem. Everyone did anything they wanted. Period. A hedonistic heroin-induced orgy would have been less anarchistic. Everyone was stopping in the right lanes. Everyone was stopping in the left lanes. Might as well since all the cars ahead were stopped, too.

It was a total systemic failure and collapse of order. You know those little laps you do while waiting for your pickup to appear? They took about 35 minutes each.

If only a few people obeyed the law, a nod towards efficiency gains of the basic underlying rules, things might have moved along. But no one was willing to be that schmuck.

I was thinking about stuff like this later when I took my wife to the movies. Before you get to the theater there’s a street that you have to cross. An intersection has been provided for your crossing convenience. And, in this intersection, is a signaling device that toggles between two messages: Walk and Don’t Walk.

Call me a sap, but I don’t give a flying fuck of a damn what the shitheads around me are doing. When I stand on a curb and see Don’t Walk that means I don’t go. Even when the throngs of humanity in every direction are pouring across that intersection like scarab beetles in The Mummy movie. My body will physically twitch but I fight the urge and remain still.

I’ll go when the damn thing says walk. I don’t care what the idiots are doing. It has always been a line in the sand for me.

At the movie theater, though, this presents a little problem. You see, all the people that ignore the Don’t Walk sign get there first. They are in the line to buy their tickets. That means, but the time I legally arrive, I’m the only one who pays any form of penalty. I’m talking about, of course, being the last motherfucker in that line.

After you, assholes.

Based on this I’ve been forced to revise my worldview. It’s every walker for themselves now. If there are no cars, I’m going. I don’t give a damn what the signal says. I refuse to be last behind the criminals. Obeying the law is for suckers.

Thanks for beating the remaining bit of good out of me, society. Well played.

11 responses

  1. Nono – the laws are for everyone.
    Except the special flowers.

    And everyone thinks they are a special flower.

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    1. The lie that everyone is special may be even bigger than that crap George Lucas tried to pull about always having a vision that Star Wars would be nine movies. Yeah, right!

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  2. And what the hell is a “dothraki”?

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    1. It’s a Game of Thrones reference. The fact that you don’t know it means you are less trendy than me. Congratulations!

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  3. Yes, people are jackasses when on the streets. Which is why I prefer biking – side streets with less assholes 🙂

    I love your sense of humor BTW.

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    1. Smart! I’m glad to be in such a bike friendly city. And thanks for the nice compliment. 🙂

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      1. Me too ~ Tucson is a great biking city.

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  4. I tend to find that the perpetual stoppers at stop signs/intersections are trying to be uber-polite, which is almost as annoying as talking on the phone. Their misguided attempts to defer just slow everything down.

    As for those “guidelines” about where to stop and where to cross, people think that those things just “don’t apply to them, because I’ll only be a second”. Yep. Though I will say that having grown up in an urban environment, I pay zero attention to walk-don’t walk signs. You go when cars aren’t barreling down on you. This drives my Straight-Arrow Beloved crazy and she’s sure we’re going to end up in Jaywalking Jail. Of course, we used to play football in the street.

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    1. To me, the problem is pedestrians who ignore walk-don’t walk signs when it’s supposed to be the car’s turn. That fubar’s the entire situation like shaking a bottle of champagne until the cork explodes.

      At a four way stop with cars waiting in all directions, the pedestrians, of course, ruled the scene. When it was finally my turn to go a pedestrian stepped in front and cut me off, depriving me of my one chance and making me wait for another opportunity to come a few hours later.

      I don’t understand that “you’re in a car so I’ll fuck you no matter what” mindset. I really don’t. When I’m a pedestrian I see nothing wrong with showing a tiny bit of courtesy. “I say, old chap. I see you just allowed 40 people to pass and now there’s an opening. Go ahead and take it. It won’t ruin my life to pause for two seconds to do you a favor.”

      Alas, it doesn’t work like that. It’s more like a bunch of nematodes in a growth medium.

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  5. Two of the most dangerous spots on my daily commute (until recently) were the crosswalks from Union Station to the Capitol grounds, where the same people who draft our laws and advise our legislators cross to get to their offices but are too special to obey the “don’t walk” signs, and a corner known as “the intersection of power and prestige,” where crossing guards are required in the morning to help the most educated, powerful, wealthy people in our nation’s capital cross the street because so many of them, drivers and pedestrians alike, don’t realize the rules of physics still apply, regardless of your salary or pedigree. End of rant.

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    1. LOL! They’re probably a breed apart. 🙂 The bottom line is that a fairer and efficient transportation system is of no concern to our society and it never will be. There are bigger fish to fry. So we’ll always have pedestrian behavior that makes absolutely no sense except to the pedestrians.

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