Crosswalks of Danger

Every so often Very often when I’m walking to work in downtown Fargo, I’ll be crossing the street at the appropriate time (a.k.a. when the “walk” sign is illuminated or when I have a green light) someone will be trying to turn as I’m walking across the street. I’m not an “expert” when it comes to the rules of the road, nor do I claim to be the greatest driver that has ever existed, but I’m pretty sure that the pedestrian has the right of way to cross the road if the “walk” sign is illuminated and that the cars that want to turn have to yield to said pedestrian. Now, this is something that I’d like to think that many people could grasp logically, even without knowing all the rules of the road. I mean, there’s someone walking in front of your car. I guess I don’t want to be known as the person who likes to run over harmless pedestrians. Unless I have a t-shirt that says, “I like to kill pedestrians when they cross the street,” well then, I suppose I’d be more prone to go ahead and just run someone over. The patience of these drivers with whom I interact with tend not to have much…or else I suppose they see me as an obstacle in their crash course of driving a huge SUV, talking on their cell phone, and fiddling with their car stereo system. Why this obscene driving is not an Olympic event escapes me since it takes a great deal of talent stupidity to perform. Of course, if those contestants/drivers are really going to go for the gold, they really shine when they yell at me to get of the way.

Strangely enough, this happens more frequently during Sunday morning when I’m out for a morning stroll, in front of either the Catholic cathedral or the Lutheran church (which face each other on the same road). These people are either rushing trying to find a precious parking spot…or leaving in rabid and unconcerning way trying to get home so they can watch big, sweaty men tackle each other on the television (edit: I’ve been informed it’s some sort thing called “football” that these primitive people enjoy so much).

But where is the resolve or, at the minimum, where is the compromise? I am not heard nor am I seen by these drivers. Or at least I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re not trying to intentionally run me over. What more can I do than to dodge their Durangos and escape the clutches of the Escalades? Well, I suppose if the Bush administration had any left over tanks (and I’m not even asking for an armored tank, just a plain old tank) I could square up to these drivers and run them over. I wouldn’t consider this a dog-eat-dog society, I’d say it’s more of a status-symbol-turned-killing-machine-cornering-the-now-underdog society.

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