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Contagious Stupidity - The Year The Squirrels Went Berserk

April 29, 2020
Wetzel Chronicle

No, this isn't an article on politics. This one's about driving. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the world's greatest driver. I attribute this to my short attention plan. You see, no one designs cars with enough mirrows or window space to see everything going on around you. Last week I had several close calls, seems some people believe they can drive in any lane they want to, or pass whether the line is solid or not. Speed limits no longer exist nor do stop signs. Some people just don't care, I do!

One thing I have down though is right of way. That I understand. That I can do. But, it's become apparent to me that that's not the case for some people on the north-bound lane of the road by my work. It's an easy concept, if it's a green light in both directions, traffic going straight or right has the right of way. Left-bound traffic doesn't. Simple? Apparently not so simple for people whose travels take them north-bound towards Wal-Mart or the nursing home.

Monday through Sunday, it never ends. Thank God I've never been in any seriously close calls with these people, but I've had the occasional tense moment. Even pedestrians aren't safe.

The rule's supposed to be that if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, traffic is supposed to wait until they've crossed. Good luck with that one! It makes you wonder how this trend in stupidity got started. They don't do it turning the other direction as often, It's just North-bound drivers who seem to toss laws and safety to the wind.

My theory is that one or two nincompoops erred in their use of left turns on their commutes, other drivers noticed, and people just assumed that this misbehavior was acceptable. It would be interesting to put this to the test and see if the same people who turn left against oncoming South-bound traffic do the same thing when pointed in the opposite direction. I swear, the problem seems to be limited to that one intersection (which of course means it could be a lot worse!).

I actually found myself in this very spot, heading North the other day, and for some reason I felt an overwhelming urge to randomly make an illegal turn, seeing as so many motorists have been influenced to do so at that very place. But no such impulse overtook me. I made it through in one law-abiding piece.

When thinking about contagious stupidity, there seem to be endless areas in which people could be influenced. I've limited the scope of this article to traffic laws, but really the sky's the limit, I suppose. Four wheelers are back at it in Paden City. No regard for the safety of kids on bicycles, private property, stop signs or for that matter speed. A few nights ago one of these squirrels went berserk down on the corner of Robinson and Mill street and wiped out the stop sign, while nearly flipping over and leaving some tire tracks on private property. Better to not dwell on it too much. A little stupidity goes a long way. Some people just don't care, I do! That's my excuse, anyway. I'd rather park a mile away than risk skinning the side off my vehicle, or anyone else's. editor@wetzelchronicle.com

 
 
 

 

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