Recently one of my closer associates called me a ‘lampshade-head’. I’m not quite sure where she got the name from. Of course, this was the same associate that I regularly exchange other random insults with. Some classics include “your mama’s baked goods!” and “your iron lung!” so I suppose the lampshade head comment is to be expected. Let me assure you, my head does notresemble a lampshade in any way.
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss my disgust with some real lampshade-heads – people who do not obey traffic rules. This includes a few pedestrians, a few cars, and a whole slew of cyclists. In the pedestrian category I mainly place those who run out in front of oncoming traffic. True, in Massachusetts pedestrians always have the right of way and vehicular traffic is required to stop for them. So these looney pedestrians are technically obeying the letter of the law. That does not stop them from being stupid and annoying. Unfortunately, I fit into this category myself on occasion. Second, in the car category, are those who do not check for pedestrians while stopped at an intersection and those who stop on top of the crosswalk. I know for some of you in smaller cities the crosswalk issue is a moot point – people are never walking across the street. But for me, and for Boston, there are a lot of walkers. Those white stripey lines are put there for a reason – to keep cars out of my way. Even better is when the monster trucks in my crosswalk don’t bother to look my way before turning. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve wanted to bang on people’s hoods as I go by, or the number of times I’ve almost been hit. True, if you are turning right, you are only worried about car traffic from one direction. But it’s still a good idea to check the other direction before turning for your own safety, as well as mine. Who knows? There could be an out-of-control semi barreling down on you in the wrong lane.
Lastly, the cyclists. They are by far the most annoying and numerous and therefore more annoying group. First, they don’t obey the rules of the road. They often don’t signal, they don’t stop at lights or stop signs, they get into the wrong traffic lanes or go the wrong way on one-ways. Sometimes they even ride on the sidewalk. Let me just explain something – cyclists, you are not pedestrians. You may get around by the power of your feet, but you are riding around on a vehicle, on wheels. You do not have the right of way. If you are crossing the path of a pedestrian, you yield. If not, soon we’re going to make more than noise about it. Next cyclist who crosses me is going to be pushed right off his cycle. I’m just gonna reach right out and – phfoomp!
Phew. Now that the rant is out of my system, I’m gonna go check out the bathroom mirror. I need to make sure my head has preserved a lampshade-free state.