As a parent of children in elementary school I deal with daily pick-up and drop-off car lines, which are enough to make the soberest of judges crave vodka for breakfast. Every morning three students and one adult are positioned in front of the school, along the covered sidewalk, where they meet and open doors of the arriving vehicles carrying students. This drop-off process sounds efficient in theory. One might even expect drivers to catch on to the fact that there are three available helpers lined up who can open three vehicle doors at a time. That would be a reasonable expectation, but reason is something we tend to run short on here in my neck of the woods.
Each morning I watch with gritted teeth and clenched fists as the vehicles ahead of me crawl to the first helper and stop. And, each morning the rest of us wait in line while kids are dropped off, one car at a time, even as the helpers try to wave drivers forward to the two kids who are standing there, ready to assist. Some people go the extra mile by parking in that very spot so they can escort their little ones to class, while the rest us of expose our kids to Italian profanity (vodka time). Now, the two cars behind the first car could just let their kids out, which would help move things along. I know, silly me. Apparently their passenger doors only open from the outside. I must have missed that year model when I bought my truck. It’s a little fancier, what with doors that open from both sides and all.
The need for every child to be dropped off directly in front of the school entrance escapes me. Maybe I am less of a mother because I boot my kids out one or two car lengths before (gasp) someone can open the door for them. They are close to the entrance, I can watch them go in, and that area of the sidewalk is still covered. People seem to be a bit hung up on the covered sidewalk. Rain is one thing, but do kids need to be shaded at eight-fifteen in the morning for all of a couple of seconds? Will it hurt them to walk a few extra steps? Let’s contribute a little less to our nation’s childhood obesity issue, folks.
The insanity does not end there. Things get bizarre in the afternoons, as well. Traffic backs up along the street in front of the school at the same time every afternoon. This upsets drivers who are trying to get to other destinations and apparently causes a momentary loss of rational thinking, resulting in driving maneuvers and behaviors worthy of traffic tickets and bad reality television shows. On several occasions I’ve seen impatient rednecks drive on the wrong side of the road to pass the line of traffic. No one seems to care about blocking intersections and right-of-way means nothing. Right-of-way? You mean right away? Oh, yeah. Now I get it. You want me to go, like right away. Yeah, that’s it, Smarticus. Keep driving.
For several years now I have been amazed at the way people in my area fail to handle the simplest driving tasks. Yielding and merging ignorance runs rampant and can bring traffic to an unnecessary halt when it’s not even rush hour. Multiple drivers arriving simultaneously at a four-way stop confuses folks to the point of panic, like those old math problems about two trains leaving two different stations at the same time. The drivers just look at each other, bewildered. What to do? Do I go? Do you? Do we draw straws?
Bless your pea pickin’ heart. How about I just wave you on ahead and we call it good. I don’t think my auto insurance covers stupid.