Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Heads or Tails #111 -- "Stop"
In today's Heads or Tails we can either do anything about "Stop" or something specific (tails) about "Go." Barb, since I don't know anything about the Oriental strategy game, I guess I'll have to go with "stop"....
I would like to know when the above sign became a suggestion instead of a command.
Now there isn't a German corpuscle in my entire bloodstream; I am not culturally or genetically programmed to obey orders. In fact, I'm from the '60s -- and therefore somewhat resistant to, and resentful of, authority (except, perhaps, for my own).
Nevertheless, I stop at stop signs. And I want you to stop at stop signs too, gosh darn it. It's not unreasonable; it's truly for our collective benefit.
Just last night, when Middle Son picked me up from the train, we were making our way back home through the side streets and we came upon a stop sign. A large white pickup truck, appointed like an SUV, was approaching the intersection from the right as we came to a complete stop. He, too, had a stop sign. According to the Rules of the Road, he was supposed to stop and we, having already stopped, could safely proceed.
Middle Son -- now 22 and more experienced in the ways of other drivers than he used to be -- knew, as I did, that this jerk was not going to stop.
And, in fact, he didn't even slow down -- turning right in front of us.
Did I mention this was a side street? A residential side street? On the first nice day here in about three weeks, at twilight, so there were kids out and about?
I complimented Middle Son on his perspicacity. "Well, I could see he wasn't going to stop, if that's what you mean," he replied. "And he would have creamed us."
"True dat," I said. I can use the vernacular if circumstances require.
I don't know which Middle Son likes less.
But please stop at stop signs, OK?