Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four.

While driving home from dropping of a handwritten resume (that’s right, handwritten resume), Ted and I came across an intersection with a line of cars stretching about four blocks. We were perturbed but not surprised. Atlanta is pretty bad at setting up road systems that are able to support the volume of cars it is supposed to support. The fact that it was rush hour played into our acceptance of the situation as shitty, but not overly stupid. This however, all changed when we reached the intersection.


The intersection in question is a fairly main one. It connects Ponce De Leone with Boulevard, which may not mean anything if you’re not from the area, but those are two streets that connect a lot of businesses and two pretty main sections of town. Now, this important intersection, filled in all four directions with cars trying to go home from work or out for a bite to eat or to the grocery store or to visit a friend’s house or whatever, had four red lights. I don’t mean that they had four red lights awaiting one side to turn green, I mean the lights were red in all four directions and they weren’t going to change anytime soon.


I had seen this once before at an intersection not too far from my apartment. The lights turned red and stayed that way for a couple of days. This, however, wasn’t too big of a deal since the intersection was one that you normally wouldn’t even pay attention to because of its insignificance. I’m not going to say that I understand how it didn’t get fixed for a couple of days, since it was right next to a hospital so someone in some form of authority had to notice it, but I can understand how it wasn’t too pressing of an issue.


Today, however, seemed like it could result in an accident or at least a great showing of road rage at any moment. Before we reached the intersection, we saw a cop car waiting to go. He figured out he wasn’t going to be able to go so he flipped on his lights and continued along his way. We figured he might stop, call for help, and get the situation figured out. This didn’t happen in the next half hour that we were there so I’m guessing it didn’t happen at all. He got through and basically said “fuck you” to everyone else. Thanks, buddy.


When we finally got to the intersection, we saw the car in front of us go. We then waited for cars the opposite way to go so we could go next. You know, like a four-way stop. Like the way any sane motorist would approach the situation. We waved on the next car on the crosss street which opened the floodgates for all kinds of assholes to start piling through in front of us. Eventually one or two cars figured out to stop, keep in mind the cross street has two lanes each way, while others keep sliding through. Ted decided to say “fuck you, it’s my turn” and started driving through. I made eye contact with a man coming up on the passenger side, driving right at our car at about ten miles per hour, not understanding that he needs to stop driving before he hits us. There’s a car blocking our way, waiting to turn left, that is now being blocked by this idiot. There’s another car coming the opposite way of us that has to stop because everyone decided to go at one time. I wasn’t even driving, and I was yelling because everyone was being stupid all at one time. It’s as if we all had an agreement to just try and go, not thinking about the fact that we can’t jump each other like Speed Racer.


We eventually got through the intersection and stopped yelling about how screwed up it all was when we got pulled over. Ted pulled around a car waiting to turn left and made a point to use his blinker since there was a cop behind us, I watched him do it, but we still got pulled over. The reason? “You didn’t put your blinker on when you switched lanes back there.” Oh really cops? Thanks a lot. You’re two for two in being shitty in the last hour. Way to go.


At least the gas station had a handful of crazies to watch. Otherwise the trip would have been a total waste.

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