Monday, January 07, 2008

Not-So Random Acts.....

Of Kindness and Light (#6)



When the E's and me came up with the idea for this forced-march search for tender mercies right under our noses I never thought it would come to this.

Which is to say that this morning I found myself wondering, when I wasn't cursing under my breath, if being a mean guy in a very small and mundane way would actually be viewed by others as a good thing.

I'll tell you all about it in a second, but I must, once again, first digress.


When we lived in the Excited States, Northern California to be exact, one thing you never ever did was try to weasel into line on the freeway.

You know what I'm talking about - that guy who tears down the exit lane to the right of you as you sit in a long line of stopped cars and then cuts back in front of everyone at the last second just before the exit ramp veers off for good.

I mean, heckfire, if you did that kind of thing along that stretch of the Nimitz in Oakland as it moves throught the MacArthur maze, you would almost certainly suffer all manner of verbal abuse, fast food reigning down your windshild, a pole-assisted long distance keying of sidewalls, and/or the flashing of something previously concealed.

Or worse.

Thus, down there at least, it hardly ever happens.

But up here Lotusland it happens all the time.


Well, I think it has something to do with the fact that a very small percent of the population takes liberties with the politeness of the great majority of Canuckistanians.


Anyway, this morning I wasn't driving on the freeway.

Instead, I was trying to get across Vancouver's great East-West divide.

Otherwise known as Cambie Street.

And I was attempting to do it via 33rd Avenue.

Of course, as luck would have it, the never ending RAV line construction had slowed things to a crawl along 33rd all the way back to where it passes between the lower edge of Queen Elizabeth Park and Nat Bailey Stadium (and about a billion forever expanding curling rinks ).

Now, 33rd Ave is a wide single lane each way along that stretch due to the presence of a bike lane. However, at the very end it narrows considerably as it comes 'T' at Cambie.

And these days the SNC-Lavalin makes sure that that narrowing is even narrower.

And everyone who travels that stretch with any regularity at all knows about that narrowing.

But that doesn't stop a steady stream of folks from whizzing up the right side in the bike lane only to slow everybody else (ie. those waiting patiently in line) down even more when they cut back in at the 'T'.

Which was the reason for my cursing.

And it was also the reason for my thoughts of playing the mean guy card.

Which was that maybe I should swing the VW (not-so)Microbus over to the right a little bit, just enough to stop those right-sided gate crashers without giving up my place in the 'patient line'.

But my politeness got the better of me and I didn't do it.

But now, I'm wondering..... If I'd cut a few people off 'that deserved it', would the other folks around me have given me the thumbs up?

Or would they have thought it was me that was the jerk?

Not to mention the two E's (ie. my kids).

Sheesh - It's a hard-knock life.

Of course, travelling the Nimitz/880 (and American freeways in general) on a motorcycle seems to be an entirely different experience altogether.


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