Random Gambitches #2

If you’ve followed along on these misadventures for any length of time, you know I’m a fan of that jaywalking life. But I’ve recently begun to notice that it’s not for everyone.

It’s more of a skill than I’d realized.

Definitely not a privilege.

Jaywalking is a scofflaw life.

A crime of opportunity – although, I admit to some off guard moments of necessity where I wanted to be home quite urgently. If you get my drift…

The short of it is, if the coast is clear, you go. That italicized verb was referring to the stride of Sir Jay, not the thinly veiled bathroom reference that preceded it.

Key words: clear and go.

Here’s my bitch, people are fucking up this shockingly simple transgression. They’ll dart out into the street without so much as a cursory glance in the direction of traffic. Better yet, they’ll just stand at the edge of the street or on the traffic side of a row of parked cars and wait.

And people stop and let them cross! Classic Portland. Also, classic Wrong of Way.

If I stop for those idiots, it’s gonna be to tell them that they’re doing it wrong. I’ll suggest their attempt to save a few steps is wasting their time.

Not that they’ll listen.

Seriously, though…what’s the thought process there? They aren’t making it across quicker if they have to wait. If they’d walk to the corner, they inherit a right of way, especially if there’s a traffic control. But all they’re showing me with their technique is laziness or stupidity.

Stupid Americans.

But the folks that really get me going? Two different groups, but similar imagery. Think: Beatles album covers. Here, I’ll make it easy for you:

The first group that raises my ire is the group of people who are clearly together, but can’t get together – no, wait, if I’m gonna cite Beatles references, it’s got to be come together! – to cross the street as a group. There’s the de facto leader, simply by virtue of being the only one focusing on the task at hand. There’s invariably someone struggling with a load of shopping or an over or underaged person that needs extra care to cross and then trailing the toddler or infirm entry in this parade is the person with their phace in their fone.

Abbey Road, they are not.

Even worse than this group is the group of strangers recreating the pic at a 90-degree angle, so there’s just this line of failed jaywalkers lining the side of a street. They may get an F for their misguided misdemeanor efforts, but they pass social distancing with flying colors. Inadvertently, I’m sure.

And as I pass them, I mentally mow them all down. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Except any of them that went to a corner, mind you.

Is there a Nobel non-Peace Prize? Fine, I’ll start my own.

Random Gambitches #2

Random Gambitches…#1?

I’ve been busy.

It’s frustrating on multiple levels. The work is sucking my mojo away lately, leaving me with a piss-poor reserve of energy for the rest of my life.

Exercise and writing…<pffft!>

So I’ve been trying to come up with short-form ideas for writing and exercise to recharge my mojo.

Exercise was easy – the Peloton app has loads of 5 and 10 minute classes that I can wedge into my day. Gourd knows I’m not bouncing out of bed these days to do a ride or a couple of strength classes before work. My lunchtime rides have – well, I’m at my desk shoveling food with one hand and processing data with the other at lunch, now, ain’t I?

So I do a shorty strength or stretching class during a call or while watching whatever I simply cannot miss on TV.

Writing, though. That was the tough one. If you know me, you know I’m not one to say in 5 words what I could say in 500. That makes short-form writing ideas…a challenge.

Case in point, I finally came up with an idea I want to try and here I am a couple hundred words in on just backstory.

So here’s the notion, and I think it works for me: random – because it’s me, obvs and who knows where or when with me my ire muse will strike? – entries about just the most Gilbert Gottfried conniption inducing things I observe that people do.

It’s genius. Match made in whatever the secular version of heaven – oh, still heaven? Really? That doesn’t seem right – is. It’s so genius, the only non-genius thing about it is how long it took me to get there.

Just think, up til now I’ve been wasting this genius on life extras who end up sitting next to me at the bar, substituting for friends.

Still not getting there, am I? Bit of a failure to launch scenario, innit.

Ok, ok…here we go!

I mean, it’s just that this is sort of a big deal. I’ve been resting on or avoiding the laurels of past themes – some good ones like Today I Learned/TIL, The Red Shirt Diaries, and Dating Into Oblivion – so this is…phew!

Ok, for realz…here it is:

Have you ever been a decent human being driving down the freeway and seen someone come up behind you? It’s best if you’re in the fast lane in this scenario, but any lane works.

What do you do?

Because for me – when I’m in the fast lane in particular, but even if I’m just in the middle lane – I usually move. I can guarantee you I’m not going below – not in a nefarious or scofflaw kind of way – the flow of traffic. Even if the next lane to my right is doing a slick, but law abiding 55 MPH, I’m cruising along at (at least) 58.

But who am I kidding? It’s usually closer to 70 – which in some areas is nothing but in Portland, with its rain and curvy hills and bicyclists and leaves and strange 50 MPH areas on interstate freeways – and that’s a lot oh Ms per H here. Ok?!?

So when someone comes up on me? I tend to get out of their way. After I switch up my passive passing of the car to my right to something slightly more aggressive.

That perfectly describes Portland natives, BTW. Passing people is a slow but steady proposition. Just let cruise control take care of it. But when someone’s I your rear view and going faster than you, you gotta punch it. You can’t slow down to get behind the car you were at mid-pass on because that slows down the speedier than you demon behind you! Then it’s all very, “I’m so sorry, I’m not usually this aggressive – but the guy behind me!” And, really…they were the problem, right?

Suuuure.

It’s a real exercise in doing what’s right for everyone: getting out of the way of faster traffic, apologizing to who you’re passing, and then abdicating responsibility by acknowledging you were perfectly happy to basically coast by this person at a minimally higher speed until this (let’s be real here) Californian came up behind you.

There’s only so much you can do…when everyone has to be happy.

So you juice it a few more MPH to get by, clear a respectable few car lengths and then change lanes.

Good driver. Very respectful. Letter of the Rules of the Road even.

And what happens next?

The micropenis that was in your rear view mirror jets past you and then careens into your lane. Like…WTF?!? You came up in my rear view like your ball hair was being singed but as soon as you’re past me, you pop into my slow lane?!? Just to be sure I don’t miss the smell of burning hair heating the pheromones from the glands in your…area?!?

Easy there, grumpy old Xtopher…maybe they were trying to get to an exi – nope, that was not the reason for their Mad Max style driving since they have now passed the exit I am taking to exit this sideshow of selfishness the freeway.

Why do people do this? Is it some sort of animal brain display of dominance?

Just pee on my car as you go by. Don’t do something that could induce a stroke as my thinking brain tries to assign reason to your whatever-passes-for-thinking-in-your-reality actions I just had to witless witness.

Seriously, though…why do people do this?!?

Random Gambitches…#1?