Posted On May 8, 2014 By In Miscellaneous, Rants

Rant 001: On Road Rage

 
 

There are few things on this earth that piss me off quite like driving. In general, I am a fairly laid-back kind of guy, save for the obvious hot-button issues. However, behind the wheel, I Hulk out. Every time. Ripped purple pants, the whole shebang; my T-shirt budget is enormous. It baffles me that normally halfway-intelligent people can instantly morph into completely bewildered, oblivious, and even pompous dumbfucks the second a one-ton steel killing machine comes into the picture – you know, the perfect time to not be a complete fucking halfwit.

Boulder magnifies the problem tenfold. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for walkable/bikeable cities. I love all the cool parts to be centralized and to not have the need for a vehicle. Using your own power to get places just feels better. Sometimes though, there is no way around driving. For example, when you’re chronically late. For everything. Not that I know what that’s like from personal experience, though… In this case, the whole ped-friendliness just becomes a pain. And right you are, I could very easily resolve this dilemma by just getting my shit together and being on time. Old habits die hard… This is so much easier said than done. But again, I’m all for walkability and encouraging the green movement. Exercise is cool. However, a city that prides itself on encouraging such (wo)manpower also spawns entitled assholes. The thought process suddenly becomes: “Well, Boulder encourages and prioritizes pedestrianism and drivers’ sharing of the road, and I am a pedestrian, so therefore I own the road.” It is simple modus ponens, but skewed in favor of the self-important jerkoff: “Boulder centers around pedestrians; I am a pedestrian; \Boulder revolves around me – and I can do whatever I damn well please, while sweeping any sort of traffic etiquette under the rug.” Yes. Please do take your precious time moseying across the street while I wait to hang a right. You have the walk signal and a good 20 seconds or so to trek that 20-foot gap. I encourage you to use all of them, because you in fact are the only one with anywhere to be, even if you’ve got all millennium to get there.

Parking lots are a biggie, too. Peds get the right of way, sure, and if we pull up to an intersection or crossing at the same time, tie goes to the walker. I’ll let ya go first. Every once in great while I do make a concerted effort to not be a bitter dick when I drive, though the eight years of operating motor vehicles under my belt often make me question why I even bother. You have first dibs on crossing, but still, I could easily just tell you piss off and burn some rubber right in front of you. But I don’t. I don’t because I am forever indebted to you, the noble, divine pedestrian. I am obliged to wait for you for as long as you see fit to stride those seven or eight yards. And don’t you dare wave thanks or acknowledge me in any way. I don’t deserve it, and frankly would be offended if you did. It is my social duty and my life’s great honor to kneel before you in the Target parking lot. Even moderately quickening your pace or making an effort to get out of the way is a tall order, and I wouldn’t wish anyone, especially you, the goddamn Duchess of York, to be saddled with such a burden.

Then there’s the cycle issue. Boulder caters to cyclists like no other city I have ever seen. Bike lanes everywhere, on nearly every road. However, the same attitude often prevails. I get it, man. You shelled out three or four grand on your quarter-pound, NASA-engineered Specialized or Cannondale, and got the whole speedsuit/cycling shoes/top-of-the-line, ultra aerodynamic helmet combo to go with it, that way you can go real fast on your trips to the grocery store and for all that racing you don’t do. But I’ll be damned if I’m not impressed by your devotion to showing off just how much you are willing to spend to make sure you roll up to Whole Foods in style, while also fooling the world into believing you to be the cycling guru you say you are. Back to the original point. If you so adamantly insist that you are a serious enough cyclist to disregard the lane painted just for you, or at least that part of the road that isn’t smack dab in the middle of the lane, keep up with traffic, Landis. The peloton of cars 20-deep nipping at your Shimanos should tell ya you ain’t in the lead pack, no matter how much you believe the contrary. Move over. Them groceries can wait an extra five minutes. To clarify, I am in no way stereotyping all cyclists, or even all the ones who roll around on the expensive stuff. I realize many of them buy top-of-the-line because, I don’t know, they’re actually serious about cycling and it’s worth the cost to them. Either way, to the ones who assume their superiority to traffic and everyone else on the road, kindly fuck yourselves. No, get out of the road first, then fuck yourselves.

I understand that this really is not a major problem as much as just a minor inconvenience. However, I don’t think it is asking a lot for those of you on foot or two wheels – the ones that are dicks about it – to move over a couple feet, or at the very least speed up a bit. I promise you you ain’t hot shit. People got places to be, so get over yourselves, ‘cause the “to hell with everyone else but me” mentality is killing my blood pressure.

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Mike Burleson gets stupid ideas. These ideas then undergo a hellacious, bootcamp-style initiation, in which the cream of the crop that will make him look the most dumb are sifted out and given a rose. These ideas are uploaded to the Writtalin website for you to make fun of. A narcoleptic some of the time, he enjoys napping around the globe, self-confidence, and geriatric culture. Hailing from the Great Plains outside St. Louis, MO, Mike currently takes up lodging in Denver, and is pinching pennies to one day open a prairie dog farm. Other pastimes that help him to make sense of life include hiking, Seinfeld, watching dogs poop, poop humor, Dick Valentine. Put a little mustard on that mustard!

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