Thursday, March 15, 2007

You know you're in for an interesting morning when you've already awarded the "Pinhead of the Day" title to someone, and you haven't been out of the house more than five minutes. And by "interesting", I mean like in that Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times".

When I was in the U-turn lane on Sourh Broad Street, which allows drivers to pull into northbound traffic and access the entrance to the Park-and-Ride, I got a red light. As I waited, I noticed that the car in the neighboring lane had pulled way too far forward. He stopped with at least the front half of his car hanging out into oncoming traffic. Bad idea, to put it mildly; the cars heading north on Broad Street tend to drive like they're trying out for the Indy 500. After a few near-misses, he gets the hint and backs up a little. Not enough to suit *me*, had that been *my* car, but hey. He's the one who'd have some 'splaining to do to the insurance agent, so it's his decision as to what constitutes an acceptable risk. Apparently, for this guy, having the front 1/3 of his car stationed in oncoming traffic is OK.

Eventually, we get the green light, and Mr. Risk-Taker cuts in front of me as we pull into the Park-and-Ride lot. I wasn't surprised, after seeing his impatience at the red light, but I didn't care much. After all, giving the attendant $1 and getting a parking receipt takes what? Five seconds? Who cares about waiting an extra five seconds?

Or in this case, ten seconds. Twenty. Thirty. A minute.

Finally, I looked more closely to see what in HECK was going on up there. Through the rear window, I could see the silhouette of Mr. Risk-Taker rummaging like crazy for something. "Oh, don't tell me he hasn't GOT a dollar!" I thought. "Thanks for cutting me off and then making me sit here and get old waiting for you. I could have parked a dozen cars by now."

After another minute of rummaging, he finally pulled forward. Not a moment too soon, either, as cars were lining up behind mine and now we were ALL waiting for him to finish. But instead of heading into the parking lot, I noticed that Mr Risk-Taker had pulled over, near the attendant's booth but away from incoming traffic, and resumed his search.

I parked. I walked to the subway entrance. I looked back and saw Mr. Risk-Taker was still stopped near the attendant's booth. For all I know, he's STILL there. And so, for risking his neck in his haste to park, inconveniencing other commuters, and for having to wait longer than anyone because he wasn't prepared once he got done hastening to the Park-and-Ride, I hereby dub thee, Mr. Risk-Taker, "Pinhead of the Day".

Unless I run into an even bigger Einstein between now and the time I get home. It's unlikely, but the day is young and anything's possible.

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