Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Driving BEHIND Miss Daisy

Okay, I know this is not a normal day for me to post, but I had to throw this one in here. There is nothing to report on the kids. Only on the people who live and drive in West Palm Beach. Now, during the day I have always discovered that who is out is a few stay at home moms and the other 90% are people over the age of 70. Doing their daily business, but since West Palm Beach is the capital of "aging citizens" I see many white haired men and women on my daily runs. Today was just about as typical a day as usual, but I don't get to post on what usually happens to me when I am on the road with these folks. There is a rule - if you are going to live in West Palm Beach, you MUST be a defensive and patient driver. Because no one else is. Today's adventure - Driving Behind Miss Daisy.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. I seem to only see the "aging citizens" when I am at these appointments. So they are always the ones I have to drive against. As I was leaving the parking lot today, I had to stop while a little Q-tip topped lady was pulling out of her spot. She was small and couldn't see very well over the wheel. And, of course, she had the typical dark, black sunglasses on. So I stopped to let her back up. Now, seriously, if you think about it, how long does it take you to back out of a parking spot? 10, 20 SECONDS? Really. I just want you to think about backing out of the spot and going on your way. I timed this lady. 3 MINUTES. Now, 3 minutes isn't much of your day, but just to back out of a spot? That is a long time people. She would go an inch and stop. Look around, fool around with something in her car, and start again. But, I was in no hurry, and this is not that atypical, so I just watched and waited. Finally, she is out and starts to leave the parking lot. Now, from her spot to the edge of the parking lot - parallel to the road she needs to turn on - takes another several minutes. It is only 20 feet, MAX. She inches her way forward, putting on the brakes every so often, and fumbling around her car. She FINALLY gets to the edge of the parking lot and is getting ready to turn right into traffic. She waits patiently for passing cars. Well, for awhile anyway. Suddenly she decides she has waited long enough and no matter what, it is her turn. Out she goes at 5 miles an hour right into the path of an oncoming car. Don't be scared, people, she was fine. Not even phased. The person she cut in front of, though, had to slam on their brakes. Good thing they were paying attention. See, THEY were following the rule. The honked, she ignored, and continued on her way at 15 miles an hour. I pulled out, and had the joy of getting behind her. I was going to turn left onto the next road, and she was doing the same. So I followed her. She was SLOWLY getting over into the turn lane - not quite sure this is what she really wanted to do. We stop at the light. She starts fiddling in the car. The light turns green. I am in the habit of letting people have 5-10 seconds to get themselves started before a honk. So that time past. She didn't move. I honked. she looked up, but didn't move. She went back to fiddling. I waited, and honked again. Same pattern. The light turns RED, and then - guess what? SHE GOES. Wonderful. She off she goes and there I am still stuck.

Okay, my light turns and I, of course, catch up with her because even though the speed limit sign says 45 miles an hour, she reads it as 25 and that is the speed she is going. I am stuck behind her - again. But, I am not in a hurry, so I follow her. Now, seriously people, she was driving so slow, yet she was not really on the road. She was on the burm - over the yellow line with her right side wheels. Now, it wouldn't be such a big deal, we all do that from time to time, but this particular burm wasn't road - it was GRASS. So she was driving partly in the grass. But oblivious. So there we are, driving along, and little Miss Daisy decides that she needs to make a left. Hold on to your hats because she is in the RIGHT hand lane, and needs to cross over the left AND get into the turn lane to do this. No signal, she just makes a COMPLETE left turn from the right hand lane into the next parking lot where she was going. She crossed over Right lane, left lane, left turn lane, ONCOMING TRAFFIC left lane, and right lane. a 4 way highway without blinking an eye (OR using a turn signal). God was watching out for her on this one.

This is where our paths parted. I just shook my head in disbelief. But alas, this is NOT an unual day for us here in sunny south Florida. Instead of West Palm Beach, it should be "Retirement Village of the South".



Carrie said...

That was hysterical. But you're right, not atypical for Florida. :)

I will second your sentiment. I HATE FLORIDA, TOO.

Marilyn, Paul, PJ, Chris & Lauren said...

I just returned from a Christmas spent with my father in Florida, and I thought I would wet my pants I was laughing so hard. I'm pretty sure we got behind the same lady on our way to church ;^)

You have a great sense of humor.