Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Fake It Till You Make It (Down the One-Way Street)

I learned something the other day, while in the People's Republic of Iowa City:

If you find yourself driving down a one-way street going the wrong way, you should look surprised – nay, irritated – to see another car coming at you in “your lane.”

If you look irritated enough, the driver of the other car – the car going the right way on the one-way street – may question whether or not they are actually driving the right way on the one-way street.

At least, they will if that driver is me.

There I was, driving in the left lane of the 2-lane, one-way street (Clinton St.) where it swoops around the back of the Johnson County Administration Building, cursing my luck for being in the left lane, which becomes a turn-only lane at the stop light at South Gilbert and wondering which of the nice people in the long line of cars zipping along in the right lane would be so kind as to let me merge in front of them when I looked up and . . .

Saw a car ahead of me. In my lane. Coming at me.

At that moment I discovered that when a crash seems imminent time slows, and your senses are enhanced so that you can take in a plethora of information.

What I thought: “Oh my! That car is going the wrong way on this one-way street. Surely they will pull into that driveway up ahead so as to avoid a head-on collision.”

What I actually said: “Ohshitohshitohshitohshit.”

What I could plainly read on the face of the driver of the oncoming car: “I refuse to let my driving be restrained by the arbitrary assignment of directions to streets. Maybe this street has self-identified as a two-way! How dare you impose your bourgeoisie ideas about 'way-ness' on this street. Get out of my lane, you capitalist, sexist, 'way-ist' pig! (And don't call me Shirley.)”

What I thought: “Crap. That driver looks pretty confident. Maybe I am going the wrong way. Maybe I should try to get over.”

What I actually said: “Ohshitohshitohshitohshit.”

What I could plainly read on the face of the driver of the car beside me in the right lane after I pulled as close to the center line as I could and they honked at me: “What the X@! do you think you're doing? Oh, hey, look at that! You are about to have a head-on collision with someone who is going the wrong way on this one-way street. Sucks to be you.”

What I thought when I turned my attention back to the oncoming car: “Oh crap! They aren't pulling into that driveway!”

What I said: “Ohshitohshitohshitohshit.”

What I could plainly read on the face of the driver of the next car to zoom past me in the right lane: “Hey, look at that! You're about to have a head-on collision with someone going the wrong way on this one-way street. Sucks to be you. But I'm not going to let you merge in front of me because I have an old clunker of a car and you would be doing me a favor if you would crash into me.”

Me: “Ohshitohshitohshitohshit.”

Driver of the third car in the right lane: “Hey! Look at that. Someone is going the wrong way on this one-way street and they are about to run head-on into this car which has come to a complete stop and is trying desperately to merge into my lane. Sucks to be them. But it would suck even more if they ran into my nice, new, shiny car, or if debris from their head-on collision were to dent my nice, new, shiny car, so I suppose I will let them merge in front of me. But I will scowl at them menacingly, so they will realize how put out I am by them driving down a one-way street the right way and their narrow-minded insistence that everyone pay attention to and follow road signs.”

Me, as I pull into the right lane seconds before the car going down the one-way street the wrong way hit me head-on: “Thankyouthankyouthankyou.”

Driver of the car going down the one-way street the wrong way, who still has not pulled over or slowed down, as they pass me: “Idiot. I scorn you and your weak, lane-changing, bourgeoisie avoidance of a head-on collision. Question road-sign authority! Viva la Revolution!”

My take away from the whole situation? Fake it till you make it. Or until you make someone else get out of your way.

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. That's what I thought... eventually!

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  2. I just mailed in my driver's license..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that driver looked familiar!

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