Friday, December 7, 2012

Please slow the fuck down.

I don't know how many times I have yelled "slow down" to some asshole or another gunning the motor as I make my way through an intersection, someone who speeds past me on the right because they want to get to the traffic light first, someone who buzzes me because it is killing them to wait while I cross into the bicycle lane.

A person driving the speed limit has a lot more time to see a child or a friend or a bicyclist  then the person doing 50 in a 35mph zone.  A mother opened a car door in my face a week or so back.  I had room to not be hit but really, slow down, look before you break open that SUV or you might hurt someone, maybe even someone you know.  I guarantee that the person you hurt will be a daughter or son or wife or mother or father or boyfriend...the person will be special to someone else, and you'll be there having hurt them.

The Contraption Captain was walking home after dropping Pele off at school when he saw a car clip a child on a bicycle.  Bicycle and child were tossed to the ground. 

I'll take Q&A.

Q:  Was child running a red light?
A:  No

Q:  Was child bicycling on the highway?
A:  No.  Child was on a quiet residential road packed with people driving their spawn to school. 

Q:  Was child on drugs and on his way back from a visit to the local brothel?
A:  No.  Child was on his way to the local Elementary school.

Q:  Was child doing wheelies up the center line?
A:  No.  Child was as far to the right as was possible without being whacked by the curb.

What did the driver do? 

Contraption Captain says that she was "pretty hysterical" and asked the bicyclist over and over "are you all right?"

Translation for "are you all right" here is = "Can we pretend this never happened?  Please?"

The bicyclist responded "Give me a minute."

Translation for "give me a minute" here is = I was just hit by a car.  I'm still taking inventory to see what might be missing.

The driver explained to the very unsympathetic Contraption Captain that she saw the car in front of her swerve (to go around the cyclist) but "had no idea why!" which is basically a creative use of SMDSY.

Back at the ranch the Contraption Captain penned a polite but unhappy note to the school principal who I am glad to say responded pronto.  It turned out that Contraption Captain is the only known witness so we may be able to ensure that this doesn't become a "dangerous teenager on two wheels gets what he has coming" type of case.  As of today they have positioned a crossing guard in yellow presumably to throw rocks at the cars that mow down the students.

So here it is again.  If you drive.  Slow down.  You might hit your neighbor, or someone's kid or someone's pet.  Slow down.  Nothing is worth this.  Drive carefully.  And in honor of this sentiment I have penned a short series of verses meant to be read in the same tone as the best-selling Go The Fuck to Sleep, a bedtime story for Grownups.

Slow The Fuck Down:  a cautionary tale for grown-up children

A little girl pedals her trike on the sidewalk
Our newsboy delivers the paper around town 
You’re cozy and warm in your car, my dear.
Please slow the fuck down

The mommy meets her child after school
The family dog plays the clown
You don't need to hurry, my dear cream-puff
Please slow the fuck down.

The husband prepares for a night out with friends
The wife puts on her sparkliest gown
Don't rush the time in your faux leather interior
Please slow the fuck down

The girl up the street loves a boy on the next block
The neighbor's teen son has a permanent frown
There's no cause for road rage or anger
Please slow the fuck down. 


  1. Following the theme, I was riding in a school zone at (I'm not going to admit going faster) the legal speed limit when I was passed by an SUV whose driver felt I was too slow and so she should cross over a double yellow line and ignore crossing guards to pass. In her defense, she did not feel it necessary to honk at the cyclist slowing her down and she didn't pass with inadequate clearance. This time, she didn't hit anyone with her two ton vehicle, either.

    1. Did you see this? I lol'd.

      The number of cars I see passing stopped school-buses seriously flips me out.

  2. To clarify, the motorist made her illegal pass with plenty of clearance.

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  4. In response to Steve A's point and the general mood of the meeting, it's worth pointing out that cars feel the need to pass bikes even when the bikes are going faster than the cars. I recount an instance here: One day, this stuff that goes on with cars will be regarded for the bizarre obscenity it is.

    The great thing is we will then be regarded as some of the few people who spotted it at the time and look like two-wheeled prophetic figures.

    Unfortunately, I can't tell you when this change of heart will come about. Nor can I tell you whether any of us will be alive to see it, although I can assure you that some of these fast drivers are trying to ensure we're not.


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