Monday, September 10, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait!

There were several opportunities over the weekend for me to observe the
continuing phenomenon of "hurry up and wait," also known as "gas still
doesn't cost enough."

I am driving north on a 4-lane road and there are two stoplights before
the T-intersection where most everybody turns right to get onto a 6-lane
road. Speed limit = 45.

I see the stoplight ahead is red at the gas station, so I ease up on the
gas and slow down as I coast to the stopped cars. This is usually a
very long light with green turn arrows that last too long. After
waiting for my turn, the light goes green and our two lanes press
onward. A little red Cavalier with one of those "brrrapppp!" mufflers
rips up behind ans weaves past me (I am in the slow lane and he darts
past in the fast lane).

A quarter mile later, we're again stopped at a red light by the fire
station. Another quarter mile will be a two-lane right turn to get on
another main road. Most people get in the right hand lane because that
is the only lane that can turn right on red.

Out light turns green and the brrrapppp! Car zips away, around a couple
other cars and stops ahead in the LEFT lane waiting to turn right. Sure
enough, my lane turns right on red and I catch up with him slowly.
Again.

As I turn the corner, the light turns green for us all to turn right,
and the brrrappp! Car whips around and takes off as fast as his little
economy engine can go. He changes lanes twice and then swerves way into
the left lane-- a left turn only lane that again is controlled by a left
turn light. Of course, this light is red for him as well.

I continue on my way and cruise on past him as he waits for his light to
turn.

I wonder why people like this continue doing things like this. If I
drove like that, I certainly would be extra frustrated at the sight of
the very same people I flew past moments earlier, flowing by me in the
main body of traffic as I wait in a turn lane.

How embarrassing.

What makes it worse for this guy, in my opinion, is that even with all
those flashy traffic moves, he's still just in a Cavalier.

Of course, I am in just a Corolla, but I don't try to zip around in it
like it's a Corvette.

Maybe this guy likes the feeling of acceleration, but at $2.50 a gallon,
it's not worth it.

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