I forgot about this!
But obviously I remembered as I’m writing about it now. Ugh – this whole intro was expositionally inappropriate. I use big words!!!
A few years ago a cop took my license away.
I should mention that I have had a perfect driving record for nigh on fifteen years. I think I got a speeding ticket back when I was twenty-two. That could be a dream I had, however. I truly don’t remember.
The only car accident I’ve been is was twenty years ago on the day after my sixteenth birthday where I totaled my Merkur XR4Ti. This was a day after receiving my license. I nailed this couple in a Cadillac driving up from Florida to Chicago to see their only granddaughter’s high school graduation. Destroyed their car, too. The guy was pretty sore at me and yelling, “Look at what you did!” The only satisfaction I had that day was hoping that they didn’t make the ceremony.
Four years ago I started riding a bicycle to work. I’ve talked about this ad nauseum and how I hadn’t been on a bike since I was fourteen, and I always thought bikes were lame, etc. And, you know what? Bicycles are sort of lame. I can say that as I’m on one almost two hours a day. Sure I burn a few hundred calories, but it’s not cool. I’ve owned convertibles and you will definitely catch a young lady’s eye as you round a corner in mid June. You look cool. I doubt a woman ever saw me speed by with my dog strapped to my back, dripping in sweat with my extra-big helmet for my huge melon and thought, “I want two pieces of that guy’s awesome!”
Anyway, I was riding to work one day and I came to an intersection. I really don’t like biking on the street. That shit’s dangerous! I go along the lakefront here on a special trail for runners and bikers (I still refuse to acknowledge roller bladers).
I have never met one normal person who rollerblades. They’re all weirdos or narcissistic dickheads. Sorry – somebody needs to speak the truth about these horrible people.
At the intersection they’ve got the left turn arrows which come on before the light turns green. I feel like there are some cities where this is reversed and the arrow comes on at the end or some nonsense. Just wanted to clarify.
Now, the crosswalk sign doesn’t flash to “walk” until the left-turn arrow goes away. Why? Because you’d be walking into people turning left and get run over. This is important to the story.
Since I believe the rules don’t apply to me, one of my little “screw youse guys!” to the world is that I cheat the light. When that bastard starts turning yellow on the other side (soon to be red), I know I have a scant five seconds to blitz through the light. I make it across just as the green arrow is coming on, thereby saving a whole seventeen seven seconds. It’s somewhat dangerous, but is a nice morning thrill.
I’d like to add that this was before I started taking my bike to work. I would never do this now.
So, as I did every morning I saw the opposite traffic hit the yellow light, and as soon as I assessed that nobody was going to try to drive through before it hits red, I bolted across the crosswalk.
The red and blues flashed immediately and a voice from a car speaker yelled, “Pull over, biker!” For a second I was like, “Oooh, I hope it’s a Hell’s Angel and he pulls a knife on the copper! That would be neat.”
I swear that at first I had no idea he was talking to me. But he was.
I’m already at 600 words – let’s finish this up tomorrow. Go hug your kid or dog or cry yourself to sleep because you don’t have children or pets. I still love you.