Pet Peeves

Friendly Drivers

Don't get me wrong. I always appreciate a driver who lets me into a single line of traffic on a right hand turn. Mucho thanks. What drives me crazy are extra friendly drivers who try to get me killed.

Here is the scenario: you're trying to make a left hand turn out of a driveway or a shopping center across two lanes of traffic. It's all very legal, but if the lane you want to turn into is at all busy, it can be a bit, well, tense.

Friendly driver comes along and stops. Usually, the friendly driver stops in the lane closest to you. So now you can't see the second lane. On top of that, none of the cars behind the friendly driver have a clue why the friendly driver stopped, so they start to go around the friendly driver. In the meantime, the lane you want to turn into is jammed with cars (or it temporarily clears but you can't get to it because of all the cars going around the friendly driver).

And the friendly driver looks at you and waves. Like "Go on. I'm looking out for you." The more you stall, the more puzzled the friendly driver gets. And because there's several inches of glass, metal and air between you, you can't yell, "I don't want to die!!" Because there is no way you are going to get safely across that second lane of traffic AND find the lane you want to turn into magically clear. All of a sudden like.

It's one of the few times in my life when friendliness doesn't exert much pressure on me. In the case of friendly drivers, I consider what they are doing so incredibly dangerous, I don't much care how they feel. Neither do I feel obliged to play "No, you go. No, you go" hand signal games with them. So I just ignore them--eyes to the sky--and eventually, they go away.

I'm all in favor of courtesy on the road. What I'm against is people who try to exercise noblesse oblige on the road. It's one thing to do it when you're walking into a restaurant. It's quite another when you are dealing with a ton of steel.

Sitcoms in Syndication

Why don't they show them in order? I have probably seen the same Frasier episodes about four times now, but I've never seen the continuing storyline for when Roz gets mad at Frasier and takes another job. I would prefer to watch shows like Frasier in syndication, rather than renting them, but I get frustrated at the lack of consistency. (I consider syndicated sitcoms to be the equivalent of eating cotton candy; I enjoy them very much as freebies, but I'm not going to invest in the stuff--except British sitcoms, that is.) Does showing episodes out of order really pay off for networks? Or do the TV people show the episodes based on requests?

The Gerund

It's evil. The gerund is the -ing form of the verb. My family and I have discussed reasons why college freshmen feel compelled to use the gerund in every single sentence that they write: "Singing, I was in the middle of thinking about going to my uncle's to be seeing him." My sister Beth suggested that we ask students questions that invite the gerund response: "What are you doing?" "I'm snorkeling." If anyone has any ideas on the subject, please let me know! The gerund must be stopped!!!


1 comment:

Cherndawg said...

I don't know what's more dangerous, an oblivious friendly driver or a guiltless hostile driver. If one more person speeds up to keep me from moving into their lane, I might have to kill someone. As for the gerund, nothing can kill the gerund. The gerund is invulnerable to all attack. One might destroy the gerund if one chooses to ignore it, then the Gerund might simply go away. But in our uncivilized world populated by students educated by the Nintendo school system, the gerund may have found a place where it can endure forever. The verb is dead. Long live the gerund.