freakin' m-holes

I have to blog about this (fits into the "life in Boston" category) before I cool off because this sort of thing (let's call it a little interpersonal attitude problem) happens ALL the time! So I'm walking from my art history class at Tufts back to the T. Right at the corner of campus (it literally comes to a point where a rounded sign reads "Tufts University") there's this huge rotary (round-about, circle of death, whatever you want to call it) where you have to cross several streets that branch off from the center. There are lights and stop signs, neither of which people really pay much attention to, and when someone does hit the "please let me cross and live" button, traffic screeches to a halt for about five minutes after the person's already made it to the other side. So I usually just cross, in the crosswalk, and people ususally at least slow down to let me pass in front of them.

Anyway, I made it safely through the first crosswalk and was about a third of the way through the second when this guy in a silver SUV, going pretty slowly, I might add, so as to give me the impression he was, I don't know, stopping for me, honked at me, and when I continued to cross and looked back at him in utter confusion that quickly accessed the deep pit of anger and rage that always lurks within me, rolled down his window, came to a complete stop in the middle of the crosswalk, and called me a "jackass." I'm a "jackass," he continued, because I trust that people will stop for me. Clearly.

Anyway, I took another moment of his precious time to point out that it's Massachusetts state law to yield to pedestrians once they're in the crosswalk (and just general decent humanity to stop for a pedestrian waiting to cross a crosswalk, but that would be asking an awful lot). I may have added some colorful language for emphasis, but that was the general gist of our exchange.

I couldn't help but notice, during the remainder of my walk, the numerous bright, yellow signs, at every block or so, urging motorists to stop for pedestrians. Hmmm...interesting.

To be fair, I realize this kind of thing happens all the time, everywhere. Hey, I had my fair share of near-death experiences along Geary Boulevard in San Francisco. But it seems like around here, whether you're behind the wheel or walking, there's an added layer of just plain meanness and utter disregard for the law that makes life, well, challenging.

The irony, of course, is that he spent way longer scolding me than if he'd just taken the thirty seconds to let me cross.

1 comment:

Chrissa said...

On this current tour of duty in Massachusetts, I've found her residents much more charming than I'd remembered ... except when they're behind the wheel. I actually feel like I got side-swiped and "the rolling creep" as a pedestrian way more often in San Francisco, but the sheer naked hostility that comes along with the same incidents here is stunning. Installing some proper stop lights and getting rid of all the dumb crosswalk push buttons that everyone ignores because they take too long might be a start. Oh, I could go on, I could go on ...