When Stupid Takes Two

Time to start shoveling

Time to start shoveling

Apparently, I will never be completely done with posts about crazy drivers, dangerous drivers, self-appointed-important drivers and the more common clueless drivers among us. I could be done if I had to make up these stories, but these often fall into the “you can’t make this stuff up” category. Today’s stories, and accompanying diagrams, fall into the “if you made up that story, no one would believe you” category. If these things weren’t true, they would surely be bad fiction.

In case you haven’t guessed, as the title implies, today’s stories required two drivers or at least two people, working in an intellectual bar-lowering exercise. Not only can you not make this stuff up, you can’t even do it by yourself.  Please note: these events did not occur on the same day, but they did occur on the same road, over the course of about 7-10 days.

One: As I was coming to work last Wednesday, I was following a school bus. I was already a little late, which is to say I was less than an hour early, for work, having cleared the snow from my driveway, and ending up behind the school bus was an extra bit of frustration.

You should understand, that I am no longer bothered by the fact that the school buses stop at houses at which the child has not yet come outside. I could play the grumpy-old-man card and remind you that my father let me and my friends wait inside, but someone had to be at the door, watching for the school bus, and “don’t anyone be inside when that bus arrives.” That man was on a schedule and God forbid that you should alter that schedule. I’m willing to assume that schedules now allow for children to meander to the bus, after it arrives.

However.

I crossed the “ok, now I’m frustrated” line when, not only was the child still inside, but no one in the house had shoveled the steps:

  • Bus pulls up, stopping traffic in both directions.
  • Mom comes out and begins shoveling steps
  • Mom shovels side walk.
  • Child exits house and walks to bus.

Two: A little farther south, the road takes on an interesting configuration. Two left turn lanes are carved out of the now four-lane road, but both left-turn lanes are taken from one side. Southbound traffic retains two southbound lanes and steals one northbound lane for turning left into Dunkin Donuts. Well, it’s a plaza, but Dunkin Donuts. Northbound traffic in the left lane must turn left at this intersection.

Except for our Furd*.

Furd decided that the person in front of me had failed in his duty to continue driving through the intersection once the light had turned yellow. Furd drove around me on the left in an attempt to go around both me and the guy in front of me, but had an “oh sh*t” moment when, opposite him, at the intersection, waiting to turn left into Dunkin Donuts was a cop. In addition, two cars were exiting Dunkin Donuts, turning right on the street ahead of us.

This left Furd in the intersection, under a red light, face to face with a police cruiser. Furd weaved left and proceeded to drive the wrong way in one of the southbound lanes, re-entering the northbound lanes behind the cop.

The light turned green and the cop turned into Dunkin Donuts.

Three: My third story takes place about ¼ mile south of this same intersection, at a point in the road where there are two lanes going in each direction. A tractor trailer in the right lane put on his left turn signal. “This vehicle makes wide turns” and it was about to make one.

Except, there was nowhere to turn.

The truck driver was attempting to make a U-turn. Maybe his GPS said “make a U-turn.” My GPS does that all the time.

Tex* who was behind me and two other cars behind the truck, decided that his mission was too important, so he pulled into the left lane and sped toward the truck.

When the truck didn’t stop, Tex drove into the left lane of the southbound side. When the truck still didn’t stop, we had ourselves a situation, and a few seconds later we had ourselves a cluster.

In addition to the truck and Tex, two cars had pulled up behind Tex. I was pretty sure we were going to have to pry a cop out of Dunkin Donuts to clear this mess, but after a flurry of expletive-laden instructions from the truck driver, people backed themselves up to let him make his ill-fated U-turn. In one last effort by Karma (to show she has a sense of humor), Tex found himself in the left turn only lane at the intersection with half-a-dozen cars in the right lane who wouldn’t let him merge.

* I’m borrowing names from John Howell today. Where’s Tiny* when we need him?

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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80 Responses to When Stupid Takes Two

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Note: Due to a conflict, my editor was unable to review this. I take full responsibility for any grammatical errors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot help but admire your upgraded diagrams. Even I could follow everything perfectly. And I only noticed one typing error but can’t find it now (aha, Example Two: “turning right on the street ahead if us.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Relax... says:

    Back in the day, if you weren’t AT the bus stop, the bus didn’t stop! As for crazy drivers, I often ask aloud, “What? Has my car gone invisible again??” Husband was driving us in it the other night, and asked almost the very same question. (No one told us a Sentra goes invisible when others want it to! On New Years Day, when only I and one other driver were on the roads, she pulled out before I had fully gone by and managed to clip me!) I have often wished vehicles came with a PA system! Well, anyway, stay safe, Dan!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      A PA system would be a great idea! The drivers that just can’t wait, or somehow feel entitled to just go when and where they want. IT does feel like my car is invisible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • msgt3227 says:

        A PA system wouldn’t help… On numerous occasions I would be running siren, horn, and red/blues going, and people would STILL pull out in front of me, or across my path… I once even had an “Einstein” PASS ME!!! (He got 3 tickets….) Life is so much less stressful these days!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          Pass you? What could possibly have made that seem like a good idea. When I see these things, I often wonder what these people do for a living (and what other bad decisions are they making).

          Like

  4. GP Cox says:

    I used to be able to navigate the streets of NYC with ease, but here in So. Florida – they’re NUTS! Your posts on drivers are so funny because they’re true!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      You can’t make these things up. The last time I was walking in New York, I overheard a truck driver yelling at a guy in a car at a light. I texted the blue-streak to my daughter and asked: “guess where I am?” It didn’t take her long.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. rwzagami says:

    I’m confused, which is understandable considering how late I was up celebrating the Patriots incredible Super Bowl win . . . oh wait, this is about stupid drivers in Connecticut. Did anybody actually “hit” anybody else? I was doing training over at Long View RV that morning and I think that is the Dunkin Donuts I stopped in at around 7:30 to pick up coffee and refreshments for the class. What time did this circus of clowns perform? Sorry I missed it . . . . not!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. loisajay says:

    But just think if you had been on time….you’d have missed all this chaos. Seriously though, the mom waited to shovel the steps as the bus was waiting for the kid? No words…..just no words.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m sitting here shaking my head because I’ve seen every single one of these scenarios. I call it Centre-Of-The-Universe Syndrome.

    The only difference is that in scenario 2, I was a driver coming in the opposite direction facing the car coming at me head-on. After I slammed on my brakes, throwing everything on my front seat to the floor, the other car dipped back onto their own side of the street.

    I can swear with the best of them … and I did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      I can understand your reaction, Joanne. The worst part is that the other driver was probably wondering why you were upset. So many times during the year, I am in or close enough to witness a close call and realize that one person avoided an accident while the other person just went merrily on his way. I like the name you give it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. John Hric says:

    Dan, Just where does a grammatical error rate in the midst of free form lane conversions for me first. I will have to go buy one of those bumper stickers. You know the one where it asks the poignant question – What are all you people doing on My Road ?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a whole lot of dipstick driving encounters for one commute. I bet that driver’s heart skipped a beat when he found himself faced with a cop.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Add not having to drive at busy times to your ‘pro’ list of reasons to enjoy retirement. :-0

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      One of the biggest benefits I am looking forward to. The reason I get to work an hour early, is to miss as much of this fun as I can on the way in. Stories 2 & 3 happened on the way home within a few days of each other.

      Like

  11. bikerchick57 says:

    I love the cop who decided Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee was far more important than handing out a “You’re-A-Dumbass” ticket to Furd. The copy must have been having a good day and simply laughed it off. It never really pays to be impatient and in a hurry while driving. When I get that way, I ask myself, “Where’s the fire? Do you have to be somewhere critical in the next 5 minutes?” My answer is usually no, as I suspect it probably would have been for driver #2 and #3.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Yeah, it’s nice to know where the law enforcement priorities are. Although, if I wanted a cu of coffee, I might just shake my head and laugh. None of these people were even going to gain much time. The light at that intersection changes back very quickly. And, if jackass #3 had just let the truck make the U-turn, we would have all been out of there a lot faster. I was so happy to see that no one let him back in line. I know that’s not a good way to be, but…

      Like

  12. Wow. Just wow. And thanks for the illustrated drawings. You could always get a gig as an accident reconstruction graphic artist!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Almost Iowa says:

    Rule #1: Never get between a cop and a doughnut. You may think you can get away with it but you don’t understand the technology involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wendy Brydge says:

    How could the cop not go after Furd for pulling that kind of thing!? I have to say, it really frustrates me when I see people doing all sorts of dangerous things in town where there’s a real risk of people getting hurt, and the police think nothing of it. Yet you get out on the highway, and the police are only too quick to run you down and give you a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. I mean, surely I’m not the only one who can see that one of these things is a BIT more serious than the other!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I have to agree with you, Wendy. It the cop hadn’t been there, this guy would have tred to swoop in, in front of the people legally turning right. I don’t like it when people breaking the law get away with it because smarter people do the right thing. Although, I must say, I wasn’t surprised.

      Like

  15. joey says:

    Like other people, I have encountered similar folks. Many of them seem to be way more important than the rest of us. Not twenty minutes ago, a car sat with its hazards on, in the right lane of the interstate BRIDGE and I had to brake suddenly and wait for a clearing to get back in. I had just mentioned to Sassy that I feel badly for him — such a dangerous place to break down –too bad he couldn’t get to where the shoulder was — and then in my rearview, I saw him make a U-ey and then I swore my head off.
    There’s no end to the traffic crimes and careless acts committed out there.

    Also, if my kids aren’t at the bus stop, the bus won’t stop. No more standing in a storefront on super cold days. If they aren’t out there freezing to death, the bus driver goes on, so I do a lot more driving than I used to and I feel hashtag blessed about it, I do.
    Meanwhile, my nephew’s bus stops at the end of his drive and waits. I think it depends on the driver these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great stories. I had a guy decide to pass me on a two lane road in a Texas ice storm. He had a four-wheel drive monster truck and damn near blew me off the road. Karma came back as I saw him over correct then spin off the road into a safety chain which his truck jumped and came to rest on a pole. I didn’t even stop. Can’t help stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sorry you needed Tiny today, Dan. Being so close to the office is the one and only good thing about where I live… and vice versa. I hope your Monday becomes marvelous. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well, “Truth is stranger than fiction” and “fiction has to make sense.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. jan says:

    Three incidents in one day – oh my!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The more you drive, the more these stories multiply, unfortunately. In our neighborhood, I’ve had the distinctly happy and surprising experience (more than once), of the school bus driver pulling up in front of a house where no child is waiting and not putting out the “STOP” sign, so that I could still legally pass. That happened just this morning, BTW, and just as I was passing and the child ran out, s/he put the sign out. Common sense, how uncommon you are! I offer this story as a note of hope for you in the dark days you’ve just experience. All is not lost!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      There is one driver in our town that does that. The drivers that make me crazy are the ones that put the yellow lights on about 1/4 mile before they stop. I never know if I should speed up or start to stop. Sometime, if they’re coming toward me, they will pass me.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Laura says:

    My word. I never fail to laugh (and not laugh) at your driver stories. They’re horrifying yet familiar…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ah, karma. I wish forit often when just having escaped a wreck by some clueless, self absorbed driver. I’ve never seen it actually happen to one of those drivers though.

    Wow, that cop didn’t write that guy a ticket? WOW!

    I love your diagrams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      The cop needed coffee more than a ticket toward his quota , I guess. I was hoping to see the lights and siren come on. The guy with the truck was just so stupid. There was no way he was going to get around, and he had to know that he would jam up the truck. It’s rare that I see these guys get smacked by karma. I always hope that it happens, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Nuts, Dan, we could have done a collaborated post! After reading your post, however, I have to wonder about the cops in your area – crazy drivers all around them and no one gets pulled over? Yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. reocochran says:

    I saw disasters in each situation!
    I think children waiting on a bus, should be ready by the door if it has a clear storm door or looking out the window by the door.
    The going in the opposite lane or making U turns are really all wrong! I am not 100% sure I could summarize these. I liked the nickname you got from John H., named “Furd.” I think this is a funny name for a jerk or goofball. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Well, at least your drive wasn’t boring.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. prior.. says:

    omg – you really grabbed me when the cops pulled into dunkin donuts….
    and so many tidbits – nice diagrams too, D.

    and I hate when I get stuck behind a bus – oh man….
    also – there was a school bus out at ten last night – not stopping or anything but weird time

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I shouldn’t laugh because I can sense how frustrating this was, but yeesh. Some drivers. We had icy roads out here in Oregon and some of the cameras on the highways caught the stupidest drivers in the northwest. I felt sorry for all the banged up vehicles, but really? A little common sense and patience, please. :-D.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Think about it. These crazy drivers gave you ideas for a post! Now how much more can you possibly want? When you need a cop not. When you don’t want a cop, oops there. The story about the woman shoveling is unbelievable! I agree in my day if we were not at the bus stop freezing our butts off, (no house, no shelter, literally standing at a curb) that bus did not wait. Your stories make me so darn happy I’m not out on the road much. I saw one driver today pull out right in front of me from a plaza, zip in the left lane, (I was in the right one) pass the car in front of me, zipped in the right lane and proceeded to turn right at the intersection, all in matter of 5 seconds or so. I just stared and said, “pinch me!” Crazies are right! LOVED your diagrams, Dan. Good job!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy! I keep saying that I’m done with these posts, but people keep doing more and more stupid things! I couldn’t believe the truck attempting the U-Turn, but the guy that tried to go around him could have gotten hurt or hurt others. He couldn’t possibly see what was coming from the other direction.

      There was no way I could draw all the details today. Since the two main idiots truck within 1/4 mile of each other, I decided to use the map. I didn’t want to reveal much about the woman-child-school bus, but my dad is spinning in his grave over that one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Thank goodness no one did get hurt and I mean it. People I would swear do not THINK but just do when behind that wheel. Scary! If I told my mother the story about the shovel she honestly would not believe me, but perhaps she would seeing how this young generation almost anything goes. Unreal!!! A little consideration for the drivers would have been nice as in that bus driver waving you around. THOUGHT required with that one too. ;)

        Liked by 1 person

  29. marianallen says:

    My great-grandmother, who loved going along on road trips but had a weak bladder and carried her own accommodations, gave us an explanation for impatient drivers we’ll never forget: “He must’ve forgot his peach can.” I’ll just leave that thought right where it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. We live dangerous lives when we drive, right? I love your story about the cop and Dunkin Donuts best :)
    Be safe out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Evelyn. 7-14″ of snow forecast for tomorrow. That will make for interesting driving. I’m staying home.

      I was on the phone with my wife when the cop turned in for his donut – at least we got a good laugh.

      Like

  31. Dan Hen says:

    The Tappet Brothers on radio ( “the car guys” ) once were discussing the need for a STUPID sign to give people . Everyone should have a supply of signs to hand out so we can recognize the stupid people in advance .

    Liked by 1 person

  32. This is funny and frustrating both. In India, at least I can vote for Mumbai mothers have to stand outside before the school bus 🚌 arrives. The bus ain’t gonna wait for you. I did the same and every morning I see the same thing till today. If the kid is having breakfast or getting ready someone from the family must play the lookout guy role. So it’s a five seconds drill. The bus arrives, honks to alarm the lazy ones, kids jump in and off goes the bus. My school bus would come in at 9 a.m. and my mom would make sure I am standing outside my home at 8:45 a.m. She was kind and sweet but she won’t tolerate indiscipline so I had no choice but to hurry up and be on time.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: My Invisible Car | No Facilities

  34. truthspew says:

    DO challenge you to drive the highways and roads of Providence, RI and Boston, MA and environs. You see all sorts of stupid behavior. Recall one I’m exiting Market Basket in South Attleboro, MA, I’m next up to enter the roadway. Guy squeezes up on the right and cuts me off so he can go first. Little does the guy know I have friends from my time in law enforcement that would give me the offending parties address so I can get some rock salt and write “asshole” across their lawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I have driven in Boston often enough to know that I don’t want to. I had a guy make a right turn, in front of me (I was going straight) from the left lane. I told my friends where it happened and they were all “oh yeah, everyone turns right at the intersection in the morning.”

      Liked by 1 person

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