Stan Randomdriver and the Turning Point

Hello and hi there, Good People of the Internet! Today we interrupt our regularly-scheduled Of Cabbages and Kings blog post for a very special public service announcement:

There is something that every driver on the road has, but few wish to address. It's lurking inside your vehicle at this very moment... And it's been there all along ... It's called... a "Turn Signal." Its purpose? To help others know when you're ABOUT TO turn. Not AS you're turning. Not AFTER you're already turned into the parking lot, parked and have gone inside for a decaf latte. BEFORE you turn. So please read the manual on your car to find out where your turn signal is located, and use it appropriately.

NOTE: contrary to rumor, the turn signal does not operate through use of telekinesis or psychic projection. You must lift your arm and pull the lever. Thank you.

Okay-- Hi again! Sorry about that, folks! I just had to get that out of my system, and I apologize for the paragraphs o' snark, because I know very well that it is NOT YOUR FAULT that we're discussing turn signals today. I know that my most excellent readers aren't guilty of neglecting the mighty signal because of... oh, I don't know... being afraid that using it too much will burn the bulb out sooner.

I know that this is not about you guys.

This is about the guy on Saturday who was going along at a normal pace and then decided to JUST STOP DEAD in the lane, prior to making a turn he never signaled for.

The guy who made me slam on the brakes and who I, thankfully, avoided hitting, only because I try to leave an appropriate cushion.

The guy who caused MY car to get rear-ended.

This is about THAT guy.


Well, okay, I don't KNOW if his name is Stan or not. I made that up. Y'know, to give him some kind of human element. Because, see, Stan couldn't have missed the tires screeching and heavy machinery colliding behind him. And he just continued pulling his non-rear-ended vehicle into the store parking lot. There he parked, and spun himself into a cocoon until we left.

Meanwhile, the lady who hit me and I went around collecting our bejeebers. You know, the ones that had been scared out of us, and which were spilled along the side of the road.

Stan had tinted windows, so I couldn't even see his face to scowl at him.

On the up side, I have a plastic car. Well, "polymer." Which just means plastic with a serious mark-up cost. So in spite of being rear-ended, my car is essentially fine-- a few scratches. And me, my neck was just a little stiff for about a day.

If my car had not been made of advanced aerodynamic Tupperware, however, I would be even less amused about the situation. I'd be getting estimates and repairs, the lady who hit me would be footing the bill... And our buddy ol' Stan Randomdriver? Why, by now, he would have transformed from cocoon to some kind of moth, winging his way merrily like nothing ever happened, leaving destruction steaming in his wake.

So turn signals. The turn signal is your FRIEND, Stan Randomdriver. Don't ignore it-- Show it some love! I beg of you. For the safety of my fellow Pittsburghers. Run right out and give your turn signal a decent workout today.

Have YOU folks had an encounter with one of the Stan Randomdrivers on our city streets? Share your story. Let's popularize that obscure thing called a turn signal, and make this world a better place!

For comedy which never uses its turn-signal, you might want to check out Humor-blogs.


techfun said...

Coping with other drivers afflicted with TSA (Turn Signal Apathy) is a daily struggle during my commute.

I commute to and from my home in the city of Philadelphia and the quaint little town of Medford, NJ. At several places along the way there are two lanes with the option of going straight ahead while one lane also allows the driver to turn right if they so desire. Making that right turn or making it though the light during a single cycle often hinges on knowing the intentions of the people in the lane that offers two choices.

I try to tell myself that people in that who eventually turn right have failed to signal this because they have not decided in advance but thats just a ploy to keep my head from exploding. These intersections need a third lane created labeled "TSA or Undecided Drivers Only" so the rest of us who know where we are going can avoid those people.

Jenn Thorson said...

They would have to take the time to decide, though, that they ARE "TSA," JD. I just don't think that one extra thing for them to mentally process would be possible. Instead they're just out there Using the Force. :)

Greg said...

As you have amply illustrated, this Stan fellow is a serious cabbage-head...if not for your photo, I'd have opted for some other name...maybe one starting with a J. Glad you are okay.

In the Adirondacks, the towns are so small that they say no one uses their turn signals because everyone knows where they're going. Clearly, that can't apply to the big P (actually, does Pburgh have a nickname, like the Big Apple? Maybe we could lobby to make it The Big Cabbage).

Jenn Thorson said...

@Greg- Heh, I kind of just liked the image of a cabbage driving a car. :) But yeah, I had some thoughts for the fellow myself.

Namewise, Pittsburgh is "The Burgh," or sometimes, "The Steel City," or "The City of Bridges." We are entirely void of vegetable or fruit oriented monikers. :)

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me this morning on the way to work! An electric utility truck had his left brake lights out so when he stepped on the brakes, it looked like he was going to turn right, BUT then he turns on his left blinker AS he's making the turn! Go figure!!!

Jenn Thorson said...

@Anonymous- Ugh-- I hope you were able to stop in time. Power out on the utility truck-- how ironic! :)

I know a lot of our buses have tail lights which are out, making it impossible to tell if they're turning or not.

We need advanced mind-reading, I guess. :)

Michele said...

Splendid post. I couldn't agree more. And glad to hear you and your tupperware car are ok.

This behavior is incredibility stupid and dangerous. I don't know how many times, I almost hit a car because of this. The ONLY time I don't use a blinker is if no one is around on some empty road.

I also love when cars stop suddenly because they have just, that moment decided it would be a good idea to let a pedestrian go across. I'm not against them letting the peds cross, just when they do it so suddenly they have to slam on their brakes, which in turn causes me to slam on my brakes and hit them. I have hit someone this way, but luckily we were weren't going very fast.

Jenn Thorson said...

Michele- hey thanks! :)

Oh, yes, I've had the pedestrian thing happen before myself-- very frustrating. The peds aren't in the crosswalk, are leaping out between cars, and the first car comes to an abrupt stop to let them go, leaving the cars behind them stranded in the intersection, etc.

chyna said...

You mean that your states have vehicles actually equipped with turn signals? See here in MT vehicles don't come with turn signals, or at least that is what we've decided becaause so few people actually use them. Granted we're a big state and to get to point B from point A you must get on the interstate and just drive and drive until you either run out of road, gas or have reached your destination. However you still need to use that signal to get on or off that interstate and they do come in handy when making lane changes while barrelling around slow moving cattle trucks (believe me a speeding ticket is much better than a windshield with cow pies all over it).

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna-- see this is what is so wonderful about Internet communications. Now I have perspective.

I can think, the next time the Stan Randomdriver of the world does something dingy, "at least I don't have cow pies on my windshield." That will instantly brighten my day.

Yes, it might be bad, but there aren't cow pies. :)

chyna said...

One of your last minute signal-er people was in front of me today. How shocking that a vehicle so clearly new and high tech only has turn signals half way into the turn. Guess that way they don't signal a turn for a couple miles leading confused drivers behind them.

Jenn Thorson said...

@ Chyna- Amazing, all that new technology and they can't get the signal to begin sooner than half-way through the turn. What WERE those manufacturers thinking? :)