Had a bit of a busy day yesterday. Well, busy and kind of long. Had several appointments at the VA and that pretty much shot the afternoon, but I’m not here to talk about my psychological issues today.
Or maybe I am, depends on how you look at it.
I’m going to talk about driving.
Because we all think we are the only one on the road that knows how to and therefore the reason God gave us a middle finger.
I live just off of Hwy 60 just outside of Tampa. Hwy 60 is one of those “main routes” that isn’t a major highway, but it does run 167 miles starting in Clearwater Beach on the West Coast of Florida and ends at the A1A on the East Coast Barrier Islands of Florida, changing street names approximately 17 times as it does so. 6 of those street name changes occur in Tampa. As it runs through Tampa and the surrounding area, it is the hub of pretty much everything. There is not a store, restaurant, fast food establishment, office of some sort that you can’t find on Hwy 60. Probably multiple instances of each.
Except White Castle. All that shit on one road and the fuckers can’t get me a dinky little White Castle. Bastards.
It is one of those roads that varies from 8 lanes to 4 lanes, with the 8 lane sections reducing in size with outside lanes that turn into “turn only” lanes without warning, or there is a warning, it is just way too damn late for you to get out of it.
It’s one of those roads that when it’s crowded (always), you get stuck behind the guy that is going to go 10 mph below the speed limit and ride his brakes for three miles. Until you finally manage to get over to the lane beside him and end up side by side with him at the next traffic light thinking you can get back over into that lane once the light turns green. Which doesn’t happen because then all of a sudden the guy wants to go 90 mph and race you to the next light.
Enter middle finger.
Well yesterday I headed down 60 to go to my appointments, and while en route I made a stop at Walgreen’s to get cigarettes because it is the cheapest place around to get them. I do this on my way OUT for a reason, which you will understand in a few minutes.
For those of you non-smoking advocates that are about to berate me for smoking, just stop. I quit drinking. One shitty habit at a time please.
. . . and let’s pause for a moment to appreciate the irony that an establishment that is based on helping me make my life healthier is the BEST place for me to buy cigarettes.
That sink in yet? Ok then.
[Side note: For those of you in the UK and other left-side driving countries will have to imagine the rest of this post backward.]
I live to the East of Walgreen’s and have to go West on 60 to get to I-75 which will take me to the VA. Conveniently enough, Walgreen’s is on the Westbound side of 60, so easy enough to get in. Getting out, no matter which direction on 60 you have to go is either a) a suicide mission at best or b) a lesson in futility.
So to continue going West, I can just pull out of the Walgreen’s parking lot and turn right. Only slightly less suicidal than having to go East, because that requires crossing three lanes of traffic to get into the left turn lane to make a U-turn at the light in a very short amount of time.
or . . .
I can go out the back of the Walgreen’s parking lot and get on that road that leads to the light, which (one would assume) is the safer, less suicidal way to do it.
It was not to be.
Because I came face to face with this:
As my son would call them, “The giant plastic bowling pins of Justice”.
The light that I would like to access is, of course, to the left. But they are not shitting around about no left turn here, because when you turn right onto this road (and as I did, assume you’re going to U-turn around the giant plastic bowling pins of Justice) you are met with the great over-compensation of a lifetime.
Here’s a better shot of the yellow signs (they say the same thing).
. . . and there is no sign there, but the people in the neighborhood way down the street that you can’t see, will probably have one of these signs in their cul-de-sac any day now.
So here is the overview (and this map assumes I need to go home):
The end result being, that if I want to access 60 coming from the back of Walgreen’s no matter which direction I want to go, it is apparently VERBOTEN!!
My natural curiosity (read: intolerance for the stupid) led me to ask Liz, who has lived here for 10+ years, what the incident was that summoned the giant plastic bowling pins of Justice.
Her response was simply, “Because there was a people running into each other problem.”
My response, “Well doesn’t that happen EVERYWHERE?” was met with just laughter.
Seriously, if “people running into each other” while taking a left is a problem in this particular place, we can pretty much use the same logic to outlaw left turns PERIOD. Everywhere. For fucks sake, if you can’t make a left without hitting someone, you having a drivers license should seriously be reconsidered.
So what did we learn here today?
- Tampa does not have enough confidence in its own drivers to allow them to make a left.
- When Tampa doesn’t want you to make a left, by God they MEAN it!
- If you smoke, buy your cigarettes at Walgreen’s.
- Tampa needs a goddamn White Castle!
- If you’re in Tampa and need anything (except White Castle) just find Hwy 60.
- I need a hobby.
Welcome to my entirely fucked up head. Now you know why my trips to the VA Mental Health department are so frequent and my medication is such a challenge.
So in writing this post, I am following my therapists advice . . . I BREATHED first . . . and I just “let it go”.
All over you, so thanks for that.
Today’s “Post of the Day” (because I’m no longer going to limit it to Facebook) actually comes from my email:
Well someone favorited one of his “insults” he threw at me. That someone was him.