Jan

13

Stop Sign Protocol

By admin

 

When you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another vehicle, you know how to handle it, right? Or are you one of those knuckleheads that are inspiring this post? It’s supposed to be real simple. At least that’s how they make it sound on the DMV written test. Whoever gets there first goes first and if you get there at the same time the person on the right goes first. That should solve everything, right?

Not quite. The DMV left out a lot of interesting situations that happen in real life. No doubt some of them appear during the DMV driving portion of the test, exposing the written test inadequacies. Lets look at a few of them.

Situation 1: Both Drivers Wanting to Do the Same Thing

There was a movie (it might have been L.A. Story with Steve Martin, then again maybe not) where four cars all got to a stop-sign intersection at the same time. They all waited for somebody else to go then finally they all decided to go at the same time, which caused them all to stop again and wait, and then finally all decide to be the one to go again. This process repeated until they all collided in the middle. It was hilarious and it makes you wonder why you have never seen this in real life. We have all certainly experienced the beginning of this with at least one other driver occasionally.

Why didn’t we get into an accident? Because at some point one driver insisted on stopping until the other went. However it’s possible for both drivers to get this resolve and frantically keep waving at the other until they both concede at the same time. I’m sure this scenario has resulted in at least some accidents, but the odds are way against it. Too many possible other variables which involve one person conceding first.

Situation 2: Three or More Cars Arrive at the Same Time

When three or more cars get to the intersection all at once, the rules of the road change slightly. Whichever car goes gives the green light to any car going the exact opposite way from the other side, regardless of when they arrived. This is because you are not impending anyone and everyone expects you to go. If you sit there like a dolt insisting on waiting your turn, you screw things up.

Situation 3: Pedestrians

Pedestrians really throw a kink in the works. It’s normal for at least one driver not to see them at first, and therefore not understand why another car is not acting in turn. This is another time when you can go out of turn – when the car whose real turn it is happens to be is stuck waiting for pedestrians. If the pedestrians do not affect your route, you can and should go. Not doing so makes you an idiot who messes things up.

It can be difficult being a pedestrian in these situations as well. I have this issue when jogging sometimes. I generally try and start getting across when nobody is at the stop signs. The problem I have with some idiots is that if they get the notion that I want across, they will stop and insist on waiting for me (when I just want them to go and get out of the way). This is really awkward when other drivers come up who do not want to wait for me and it puts me in a bad position. So my plan is usually to fake out all drivers and show no signs of my actual intentions – as it just works better for me.

As a matter of fact this is often something you have to do while driving as well, but that is a topic for another day. Suffice it for now to say that you often have to disguise your intended actions in traffic situations. This is because if the idiots get wind of it they will do things to make it difficult for you, whether they intend to or not. Driving is the ultimate game of avoiding and outsmarting idiots.

Papa Riah

Nov

18

Driving Tips for Asians

By admin

Ever wonder if there is a special DMV for Asians? I mean, some of the stuff you see them pull off just isn’t going to get you past the driving test unless the DMV test administrator is also Asian. (Hmmmmmm – maybe that’s how they do it.) Whether they have a license or not, most Asians could use a few driving tips. Being the humanitarian that I am, this post is dedicated to helping that cause. It’s for them, it’s for you, and it’s for me. If we can just get the Asians on board with the rest of us, the roads will become a much less hazardous place. And that’s good for all of us.

First off, I do want to mention that Papa Riah has many wonderful Asian friends. However none of them can drive worth a grain of rice. I often wonder if it’s the angled eyes. (If “angled” is now considered a derogatory term I apologize – please substitute another adjective to describe how Asian’s eyes look different from non-Asian’s.) Seriously – squint your eyes and look around. Do you think that would help or hinder in the driving process?

But there also seems to be something in the decision making process that just shuts down when they are on the road controlling a 4-wheel internal-combustion powered vehicle. I mean, they can ride a bicycle like nobody’s business. They can engineer fantastic solutions to insanely complicated technical problems. Let’s face it, most of them are wicked smart. But throw a simple problem at them like the donut shop is in the strip mall you just passed on the left and all their mental faculties just freeze up – along with their car.

Where I live there are a couple of Asian communities nearby. As you drive into these areas you know to slow down and be really careful. Vehicular obstacles are to be expected. Sudden unexpected moves anywhere from any car are something you need to factor into the possibilities when simply passing by another car in an adjacent lane – even going the opposite way. Things are not normal there.

With that in mind, here are some driving tips for our eastern friends.

• When there is only one of you and 100 of everybody else, it really is easier if you blend into what the 100 other people are doing as opposed to all of them stopping and conforming to what you are doing.

• From Webster:

merge

Verb

[merging, merged]

1. to combine, esp. so as to become part of a larger whole: the two airlines merged in 1983

2. to blend gradually, without any sudden change being apparent: late afternoon merged imperceptibly into early evening [Latin mergere to plunge]

Try to remember that you are not alone on the road – there are other people driving all around you at all times. This is critical to understand.

• If you suddenly realize that the place you need to be is over there, the best course of action is not always to stop in the middle of moving traffic and attempt to make a direct B-line to that place you need to be. There might actually be objects in the way, not the least of which is opposing traffic.

• The rear view mirror shows you other cars that are driving behind you, at the same speed (that’s a safe bet). This is actually very helpful. You should get into the habit of looking into it to see what is happening behind you once in a while.

• The reason your side windows are made of clear glass is so you can see what is going on beside you on either side. Try looking through them some time – it’s really pretty cool.

• Those numbers on the speedometer – the reason they go so much higher than just the first few is that your car actually goes faster. Really.

Papa Riah

Sep

25

A Confederacy of Dunces

By admin

The title of this post is borrowed from the title of an excellent novel that is highly recommended by Papa Riah. It seemed appropriate for my inaugural post in the Idiots Everywhere category. If you are looking for a good read pick it up. The story behind the book is just as interesting as the book itself, which you can read in the forward. Although the novel is not about being surrounded by idiots, it will have you in stitches and enthusiastically giving the book to friends when you are done.

But the title of the book does accurately describe our modern society. Idiots are all around us and it seems as though there is a conspiracy against anybody who still possesses common sense. There is just no getting away from them. Idiots are on the television, the radio, live next door, and are all around you at work. Don’t look for any help from the government with them, as their ranks have been particularly infiltrated – right up to the highest levels.

Perhaps nowhere in this more evident than on the roads. Simply trying to drive to work and back or even to the grocery store without being inconvenienced by a complete dolt is nearly impossible. It is my contention that either the DMV has simply thrown their hands in the air and just started giving anyone with a heartbeat a license, or that an alarming percentage of drivers don’t even bother getting one any more.

Papa Riah lives in an area where there are a lot of freeways nearby. The most dangerous thing on these highways are twenty-something year olds who have gotten the idea that they are bullet-proof. Many of them drive lowered Hondas with tinted windows mistakenly thinking they look cool. I don’t know whether these guys are Nascar fans or have just seen Too Fast Too Furious too many times, but they are flat-out dangerous. They come out of nowhere at ridiculous speeds up to about two inches off your bumper, and change two or three lanes at a time without signalling while weaving through traffic at extremely high speeds.

The problem is, they don’t kill themselves enough. By coming too close to your rear bumper they actually end up doing a pit manuever on you, spinning you out into other lanes of traffic putting your life in serious peril. Also when they do crack up, all to often it’s an innocent driver who ends up in the obituaries. When Papa Riah learned to drive we were taught to drive defensively, but this didn’t become a necessity until this decade for some reason. Now if you don’t watch out for idiots everywhere, quite literally, one of them is likely to get you killed.