Occasionally while driving to work you see things that make your mouth drop open in complete shock: the homeless guy in the Armani suit, the station wagon with the twenty inch rims, and the random guy dressed up as a clown making balloon animals for the people at the bus stop. Living in a major metropolitan area, I see these things on a daily basis, but recently at a notoriously busy intersection I’ve taken notice of some insane pedestrians who attempt to cross eight lanes of traffic under less than ideal conditions.
Imagine my horror one day as I stopped at a red light at that intersection to see an elderly woman cruise out into the crosswalk right in front of me on her motorized wheelchair. I asked myself an important question: am I going to see what happens when a BMW makes contact with a plastic Hoveround? I sat very still, hoping that her battery didn’t die out leaving her stranded in front of a semi truck when the light turned green. Thankfully she made it to safety and appeared completely oblivious to the life-threatening situation she had just escaped. On the same token, I’ve seen people in wheelchairs attempt the same feat. However, since they can go faster than four miles per hour, and believe me, they hustle, I don’t worry as much about their safety, though I do ponder if maybe this is exactly how they became wheelchair bound in the first place. Some people never learn.
I’ll admit to being dumbfounded at the guy who crossed the same eight lanes on a skateboard while clearly being unable to ride a skateboard. He sloppily scooted his way out into the crosswalk in rush hour traffic and made it to the median before completely running out of momentum. As he scooped up his board I could see the wheels turning in his head as he decided whether or not he should make a mad dash for the other side or if he was better off waiting in the median for the next traffic cycle. Suddenly he put his board down, hopped on, and went for it. As soon as he began going in a forward motion, the board shot out from under him like a rocket and flew to the other side, rider less, and he landed flat on his back looking suspiciously like he was attempting to create a snow angel in the concrete. He hopped up and sprinted the rest of the way, like a normal person would have done in the first place.
At the same intersection I once watched a young lady casually push a stroller across the street. It’s quite possible that had she and the old woman in the Hoveround been racing side by side on this particular day then Grandma would have tasted victory. In this instance, the lights actually did turn green while she was little more then halfway across. To my surprise, no one ran her or her infant down, but the symphony of honking that took place probably made its way into the record books under “Most Road-Rage to Spontaneously Occur in One Place.”