Thursday, October 4, 2012

What That Large Arrow On The Ground Means

Seriously, this happened.

I was driving out of the faculty parking lot that's in the middle of campus.  Lots of people walk through it for a short cut.  I walk through all the time.  It's not an issue.  I know to drive carefully.  I expect people to be meandering slowly in front of my car, knowing that pedestrians have the right of way and not feeling the urgent need to get to class.  I get it.

So when I got to the edge of the lot to turn out, there was a kid standing there with his head down, staring at his phone.  He was standing about a foot away from the large arrow on the ground that shows the cars which way to go.  I figured he was checking his phone really quick and would move.

I don't like honking at people who are not in vehicles.  I fear I may cause someone to have a heart attack. 

After about forty-five seconds, I realized that this kid was not going anywhere.  I inched the car up a little.  I wasn't very close, but I was close enough for him to be able to notice a moving vehicle coming his way.  Just because he could notice didn't mean he did.   He, in fact, did not.  Still, I didn't want to honk.  I figured maybe someone walking by would give him a heads up.

You know, about five people walked by him and didn't even give him a Hey, you might want to move.  No nudging.  No elbowing.  No, Buddy get out of the way of the CAR.

Now here's another predicament.  The very large black truck that was parked right next to the exit came alive.  The reverse lights lit up in my face.  I wondered if the driver could see me sitting there.  I didn't see anyone get in so I didn't know if he or she had seen me waiting. 

Seeing that I was about to be crushed by a truck, I allowed myself one quick tap of the horn.  It did what I thought it would do.  It scared the shit out of him.  He simultaneously jumped, looked up, and held up his hands.  The hands weren't up in a "don't hit me" position.  They were in an automatic "I'm sorry My bad" position.  That made me think, hey, maybe he's done this before.

What made it even better was that an older guy from the English department whose name I can never remember was passing by at that exact moment.  He figured out exactly what had been going on: the kid had been standing in the middle of the road where people drive to check his text messages.  He looked right at me and started laughing.  I was already smiling because I was thinking to myself, This kid is so lucky the law is on his side.  I know plenty of drivers who would have simply drove over him, citing stupidity as their defense. 

Stupidity should always be a legal defense.  Unfortunately, it's not.

So I didn't run him over, but maybe I did teach him a lesson about paying attention to where you are when you stop to look at your phone.  That means I did my job today.  I am a teacher after all.

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