Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Just Some Good Old Boys, Never Meanin’ No Harm…

Lately an epidemic has gripped my neighborhood. I would like to think that a scourge of this magnitude would be isolated to Hughes Street. My experience tells me different.

It seems as if not a day goes by that I don’t walk out of my apartment or drive down my street that there isn’t some jackass stopped in the middle of the road. If it was the same jackass, no problem, I would just slash his/her tires, but it always seems to be a different jackass. And, that’s felonious tire slashing.

These selfish jerks just leave their vehicles parked in the middle of the road with the promise that they are going to return very shortly thus allowing the rest of us to quietly get on with our less important lives. Don’t believe them. They lie. All of them. Liars.

I’m sure that they don’t mean to be King Assholes or anything. They have very important tasks to get done, right? After all, no matter what menial errand they are running, no matter what walk of life they seem to have drug themselves out from under, they always do one thing in common…

They turn on their Hazard Lights.

Hazard lights are for people who are stranded on the side of the freeway because they didn’t have the wherewithal to check their gas gauge. Hazard lights are for when you’re blocking the road after your crappy little American car throws a rod through your flimsy ass hood. Hazard lights are for when you blow a tire going 75 because some Jerkwad on i10 decided that he didn’t want that empty beer bottle stinking up his backseat anymore.

Hazard lights are not for visiting relatives, buying coffee, or going to the bank.

Hazard lights are not babysitters.

It’s as if these people are trying to pretend that their unwillingness to find a parking space is somehow the result of a tragic act of God.

“Oh my God, oh my God, the last thing I remember, I was looking for a parking spot, and now here I am in the middle of the street, but I just need to run in here for a couple of seconds, I’ll be right back, there’s a baby in the car, I couldn’t find a sitter, there’s never any parking on this street, I don’t have enough money for the meter because I spent all my quarters on laundry for the baby…who’s in the car, so I really need this cappuccino to deal with all the stress that I’m under with the parking situation, the laundry, the lack of qualified child care facilities, and the incessant screaming coming from my baby…who’s in the car!”

Do they really think that they’re fooling anyone? We know there’s no emergency. Delivering a pallet of Krispy Kremes to your fat sister-in-law is NOT an emergency.

And yet, they do it every time. Hoping that we’ll watch them run into the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and think to ourselves, “It must be an emergency…her Hazard Lights are on. YOU GO GIRL! GET THAT ICED LATTE BEFORE THEY RUN OUT OF VANILLA POWDER AND IT’S TOO LATE!! We’ll watch your kid.”

Here’s the kicker. I used to somehow respect it. I actually found myself thinking, “At least they turned on their Hazard Lights.”

It must be conditioned behavior. I let it slide a little. And it’s my firm belief that other people do the same. As if Hazard Lights have some kind of deep spiritual power to make us forgive.

I’m inventing Hazard Lights for people. Wear them around your waist. Just turn them on and go.

Conspicuous Delinquency; the oldest con in the book. Just look like you’re supposed to be there doing what you’re doing.

“Honey, look, I know I slept with your best friend, but in all fairness to me…my Hazard Lights were on. Didn’t you see them? It was an emergency!”

“You’re Honor, yes I robbed the bank, but I turned on the flashing lights. They knew I was there. And I was only in there for a second. I really needed the money.”

It’s all B.S. The next time you see someone in the middle of the road with their flashers on, check to see if they’re bleeding, and if they’re not, throw something at them. Selfish jerks.

POSTSCRIPT: You may have noticed that I didn’t point out the fact that when these jerks are blocking the road they are also potentially getting in the way of emergency vehicles. That’s because my local Fire Dept. consistently double parks and puts official looking orange cones around their fire truck when they go shopping for chicken at El Pollo Loco.

Fun Fact: This morning on GMA, Diane Sawyer said that the “universe changed” after Janet Jackson’s performance at the Superbowl. Well, I did some research and it turns out that the constant spinning and expanding of the universe actually has no bearing on Janet’s right tit. Now you know.


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