Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Buddy, this is WAR!!

As I've written about many times, I get out and walk a lot with my little grandsons. I have a double stroller with Dylan in the front seat and little Cooper tucked into the one behind him. We go everywhere but, with this being a city, if I'm going a truly long distance, I stick to the busier streets because we're more visible and I feel safer should anything awful ever happen. I carry a can of pepper spray and I wouldn't be afraid to use it if I had to...but, truly, for the most part I do feel safe and have only had a couple of instances where I've felt what cops call that "hinky" feeling about someone. So far, thank the good Lord, we've done just fine.

But, the sad thing is, it isn't the foot traffic that worries me so much. It's the insane drivers in this city. The ones who are so involved with their cell phone conversations they run red lights when I'm in the crosswalk. The ones who make left turns off of busy boulevards without looking to see if there's anyone walking across the intersection of the street they want to turn on to, then putting their gas pedal to the metal to beat the traffic, only to find ME and my precious grandbabies crossing that street! People who make right turns onto streets without stopping at red lights, only to find ME and my precious cargo walking LEGALLY in the crosswalk around that corner. And bicycles....oh, my. BICYCLES!!!!! Sneaking up behind me on dozens of sidewalks without a word and whipping around me and the stroller within inches and never saying a word to let me know they're there. Bicycles riding down the sidewalks towards me and expecting me to give them the right-of-way and, if I don't, cussing or snarling at me. And, believe me, with my Dear Hubby being a devoted bicyclist, I hate to even say anything against bicyclists as a whole because most are like my husband...law-abiding, careful, and decent people. My husband has had his close calls, too, but this isn't about my husband...this is about me and trying to keep my precious cargo SAFE!!!

Let me tell you about the encounter I had today. I'm lucky I'm even here to tell you about it. Honestly. The boys and I had walked to a small market a mile from our house to pick up some bananas and as we got to the intersection near it that we needed to cross to get home, I waited until the light was red, looked every which way and then some to make sure it was clear to walk, and then stepped out into the crosswalk. And at that moment I heard a vehicle with a BIG motor rev up to who knows how many RPMs and I looked to my left to see a Chevy Suburban up on one of those high chassis' GUNNING RIGHT FOR US!! Going at least 40 mph!! I have never reacted so quickly - or with more coordination, considering the awkward load I had - in my life as I did at that moment. I whipped that stroller around and yanked it out of the way with all my might. And then I literally shook in my shoes, realizing how close we came to being killed. The light had been red for him - you big old fat low life nincompoop with the beard!!! - for more than 5-10 seconds so it wasn't like he was trying to beat the light....it was like he was truly planning on hitting us!! When I told Dear Hubby about it later he asked me if I'd gotten the license plate number. You know, that didn't even enter my mind. I was so intent on saving our lives I never thought about it. But other motorists who witnessed it were sitting there in open-mouthed shock, too, so that gives you an idea of how this nut was driving. And the sad thing is, there are real nuts out there who would do something like that intentionally.

What a world we live in.


Judy said...

So glad you are all safe!

I recently heard a story about someone I knew from my childhood. She was leaving the hospital where she works and was purposely struck down. Then, the driver backed up and CAME AT HER AGAIN! She was able to roll under a parked car, but she did see his eyes, and he meant to kill her. For no reason at all. Thankfully, she lives to tell about it, but will never work again.

I just don't understand.


Andrew said...

That's unbelievable! Like something you would see in a movie, but not expect to experience in real life. The children are lucky for your reflexes.

old_black said...

I agree that it's like there's a war out there. I live in a different big city, but I also spend a lot of time going around by foot and I also feel like I'm under threat by other pedestrians and wheeled attackers of various sorts.

Your grandchildren are very lucky to have your reflexes to protect them.

If your police are anything like ours, getting the licence plate number would not have made any difference. Someone would have to be killed or injured before they'd take any action.

Lynda said...

Goodness! I am so glad to hear you're all safe.

Jane Doh ! said...

Oh Kris....how terrifying. I am so greatful none of you were hurt.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately these things happen in smaller cities too. We live in a small city in Colorado, population 60,000, and my husband walks the dog daily. I can't tell you the number of times he's relayed near misses with SUVs and other 4-wheeled beasts.

He's also an avid bicyclist and he's amazed by how hostile drivers are towards him. He's respectful of the rules of the road and would never think of coming up behind someone unannounced.

Everyone is in a hurry this days and apparently the high cost of gas hasn't altered this particular driver's habits any. It's a darn shame.

Danielle Says Hello said...

We have an enormous problem here in Florida with people running red lights and it is a must to apply the three second rule when your light goes green. I'm sorry that this happened, please be careful....and change your routine a little in case this guy is really a nut.