Remember my strategy for dealing with scofflaw drivers along the route The Things’ walk to school?
Too lazy to do that? OK, a hint – it’s brown and steaming and NOT made by Uncle Ben. Unless, of course, Uncle Ben is what I rename my dog.
Several people who do remember have asked whether I’ve had to employ my solution to these red-light runners, and the answer is happily (or sadly if you are a fan of high-concept comedy): “no.”
I’d like to take credit for improving the driving habits of my fellow residents. However, the truth is that the intersection in question has been partially closed for most of the time since September because our city is installing …
… wait for it …
Alanis Morissette needs to write a new verse to “Ironic.” Donchathink?
This road closure came complete with an off-duty cop standing at the intersection as well as the standard florescent orange barrels, saw horses and “THIS ROAD CLOSED, MORON!” signs across the street entrance because, in my hometown, drivers tend to be nonbelievers.
This development, while making getting crosstown a bit of a hassle, had the upside eliminating the most dangerous of the two intersections on the Things literal path to higher education. As a result, I even started to let The Things walk to school unescorted. *sniff* They grow up so fast!
One morning during early September, I decided to drive the kids over to school since I had some stuff to do around town that most definitely did not involve a strip club and a taco truck despite the body similarities between me and that guy on the grainy security footage. Anyhow, as we approached the exit from our neighborhood, we were waved through by the officer the private school across from us hires to mitigate the morning rush of crazed commuters, parents and school buses.
Except it wasn’t Officer Jim, who has been working that corner for at least the six years since we moved into the neighborhood.
As I made the turn, I slowed and rolled down the window to ask whether this new guy was replacing Officer Jim or just filling in.
The officer said Jim was in training that week and would be back on Monday.
Then he spies the Things in the back of the Minivan of Manliness, eyeballs me, and says:
“Are you the guy who wrote that thing about the traffic and cutting of school crossing guards around here?”
“Um, yeah. That was me,” I said, smiling nervously and with a bit of shock because I’m not accustomed to being recognized and the man did have a service weapon at his side.
“We got a good laugh at that one down at the station,” he said. “You’re right. The drivers on this road are out of their ever-lovin’ minds.”
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THE THING 1 FUND
You’ll be seeing a FirstGiving widget on my blog and – Google technology willing -- in the feed for the next few weeks. My Love and I are participating in the Austin, Texas, marathon next month (she’s running, I’m sweeping up water cups discarded by the runners) to raise funds for Cure JM Foundation, the nonprofit that supports research into Juvenile Myositis -- the rare autoimmune disease our beloved Thing 1 has lived with since age 2.
Cure JM is a small, all-volunteer organization so nearly every cent it collects goes straight to do good such as pay for research fellowships or buy laboratory equipment for the handful of doctors and scientists who study this disease.
If you’d like to support us and you have any money left over from the holidays and all your generous donations to Anissa’s family and Haitian relief -- even if its just $5 -- click the widget’s orange button or go to directly to our FirstGiving page.