Friday, June 20, 2008

Trafficking

I knew it! I knew people read this thing! I totally got you to comment! Suckers!

But seriously, the problems of underwear afflict men all across this great nation, and its time someone other than GQ took it up as a serious topic. So you're welcome.

I was sick this week, sick of the lies, and the beatings, and the sleep deprivation. Mostly just the last one, which laid me up all day yesterday. So instead of reading German e-mails about hot and sweaty interoffice romance, I got to read interesting stuff, like this article in The Atlantic.

Now those of you who are familiar with the history of the Fancy Pants remember my...ambivalence regarding traffic laws. Whether it was playing Follow the Leader around West Rogers Park, ignoring speed limits on I-94, or simply running into stationary curbs on the side of Kedzie or parked cars in a parking lot in Newton, or trying to run down pedestrians in Coolidge Corner, I'm not too down with the law. So John Staddon's article is right up my alley. Despite the fact that he's British, and the Queen's homeland is used as the model, I think this article makes a lot of sense. Signs are a pain in the ass, and speed limits are too often arbitrary, and they change seemingly at random. So why can't this happen here, in the USA, one of the top nine countries in North America (I refuse to count any of the Caribbean islands. If they want to be part of a continent, they can form their own)?

When it comes down to it, this is all about truthiness. In the end, it doesn't matter what the statistics show, or what is actually safer. All that matters is that fewer signs feels less safe, and therefore anyone who dares to suggest getting rid of some or all of them must hate children, puppies, and Jesus. It doesn't help that rotaries would be part of the solution. Hell, even I'm suspicious that they're part of some sinister Communist plot to spell out "Yay Karl Marx!" on our road maps.

And they will never be "roundabouts" in these United States. Even more than rotaries, roundabouts make me want to take a bunch of tea and throw it in the nearest body of water. That includes my bathtub.

But I am all in favor of doing away with stop signs and speed limits. I've heard some of you - specifically those in Chairman Mao's Boston - yearn for more stop signs to protect your kids from the evil, gas-guzzling, earth-destroying cars. You know what? That's what leashes are for. And helmets. Children should be taught to fear cars, so they'll be less inclined to want to drive at 16, or even 36. Which will make for fewer drivers on the road, which will be good for the environment. So either way, taking down the stop signs is a good thing.

Lastly, a short word about pedestrians in general. In the city, there are sidewalks. Those are for people who aren't driving. If you must enter the street area, you should respect the 3- and 4-ton vehicles hurtling past you at high speeds. If you think some painted lines are going to overrule a green light, you deserve the broken hip. It's really a matter of physics. People are smaller than cars, and slower. If you see a car coming, don't walk in front of it, unless you have the light, or several layers of padding. Because I know I'm not stopping.

If we're in a roundabout, though, then the right of way is all yours. I think that's how it works. But for that you have to go to England, and pay fealty to Queen Whats-her-name. Sheila.

2 comments:

Tension Tamer Bather said...

Just a bit of advice...if you throw tea into your bathtub (and bathe in it), make sure its not "Lemon Zinger".

Lets just say the combination of Lemon and Zinger is not good for the downthere parts.

Pants Wearer said...

MMMMM - zinger.

(Click) Look, that's me, that's you, and YOU'VE JUST BEEN ZINGED! ZINGAH!