Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rotten Tomatoes

Okay, Mr. Irate SUV Driver, I think I understand why you're so angry.

  1. You spend a lot at the pump to keep your gas guzzler rolling. 
  2. It's hard to find parking for that big honkin' thing in the city. 
  3. There's always traffic in DC, and you're stuck in it. 
  4. Pedestrians don't cross the street quickly enough for your taste. They pay no attention to whether the light says they should be walking or not. And it's worse on Sundays. (I have to deal with them, too, by the way.)
  5. There's a good chance you were not loved as a child... or frankly, with that mouth, as an adult.
It must suck to be you. But do you really need to lean out the window and yell at a cyclist for being on the road? (Legally, we cyclists actually are supposed to be on the road, rather than the sidewalk. but somehow I doubt you are up on modern urban transportation policy.) Let me ask you: is it appropriate to yell and curse at a total stranger across the street because you didn't make it through a barely yellow light, where you'd have to wait at the imminent red light on the next block? No.

Did you bother to notice that it was not the cyclist but the dawdling automobile driver in front of you on his cell phone who was probably the reason the line of cars didn't move quickly? It was not the cyclist who even held you up, sir. (Okay, let's be real, sir is a stretch.) No, again.

Is the world a better place, are you happier, feeling more fulfilled having made a young woman feel anxious and frustrated on her way to the farmers' market this morning? She tried to explain that it was the car in front of her as she was trying to make a left turn, but did you listen, or even care? Once again, no.

Why do so many drivers seem to actively hate bikers? Though I do have a "Cars Are Coffins" bike water bottle, I actually am not a universal hater of cars or their drivers. I have friends who drive. (Ha ha.) But seriously, I've been trying to cultivate better driver-biker relations in my own small way since becoming a cyclist back in 2009 -- moving out of the way so cars can make right turns on red lights, taking my allotted turn at stop signs, signaling when I'm going to change lanes or turn, not going the wrong way down one way streets. Even so, some people like you, mister, really make me want to throw a rotten tomato at your windshield. Except I wouldn't want to waste the tomato: it would do more good in the compost.

(Incidentally, that's the same reason cars double-parked in a bike lane RIGHT NEXT TO AN OPEN PARKING SPOT don't get tomatoed. That, and the fact that I don't usually bike around with a satchel of rotten tomatoes.)

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