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home : insight & opinion : guest columns July 27, 2016

3/28/2014 10:55:00 AM
Close call with irony at the junction
For the Daily News

Irony is one of a writer's favorite tools.  It's so obvious, and it's an easy target.  Then too, it lacks a certain adult sort of approach to things, like sarcasm in junior high kids.  This morning, however, it was too glaring to overlook, and I resort to it reluctantly. 

I came to Gordon Junction early, having discharged my passengers at the college.  I stopped just as a red electric truck with a crane on the back stopped coming from town, facing east. Others came immediately after, but he and I were first. 

He was on my right so he had the right of way.  He signaled that he was turning my way so I waited, and he came.  Since I was there before the other vehicles now waiting heading west and north, it was my turn. 

I was going straight and started into the intersection where I was met in a near-collision by a white contractor's van driven by a dark-haired young man who had decided for himself that the rules of the road did not apply to him. 

Since he had been the truck behind the red crane truck, there was no way it was an oversight or some mistake.  He just went because he could, and because there was nothing to stop him. It was foolish, and he was a fool, so it was a natural meeting of a matched pair.

There was nothing but me in his way, I should say, and I was not as surprised by it as some my be, either because of my age or my vocational choices or the large number of fools that seem to appear around me. 

My choices of what to do next were limited.  I could hit him and teach him a lesson, or I could gesture at him and display my displeasure.  I choose the latter, but used my pointer finger, wagging it at him and shaking my head to indicate that he was wrong and I knew it.  

He passed within a few feet as I waited for him to drive around me.  He shrugged and went on.

This sort of things happens fairly frequently at Gordon, since there is a lot of traffic in the morning and afternoon and there is no supervision.  People don't like to wait and so will sneak across out of order as if the few seconds of time they may be saving themselves in the process are worth the risk of killing someone with their car or truck.  If they read this they will protest at that, since its not a place where people die.

But less than 50 feet from the guy who took that risk and jumped the gun after deciding I would not make him pay too high a price for it is a decorated white cross where a young lady died just a few months ago.  That was ruled a homicide by the coroner because it was an intentional act resulting in a death. 

One justification for those crosses is the hope that they may make other drivers more cautious in the immediate area by making them aware of the consequences of breaking the rules of the road. They apparently don't work.  How ironic.

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