Darwin goes to Fair Oaks
How many of you have heard of "The Darwin Files"? These are true stories of human events that result in the termination of said human. Such fine examples range from people parachuting and forgetting their chutes, to people who in the course of doing something foolish directly cause their premature demise.
Such events are limited to those with the ability to reproduce, as these are the people who are polluting the gene pool. Due to technicalities, the Heaven's Gate cult is not an example of Darwin at work due to some surgical modifications made by the male cult members. The cause for such surgery(castration) must have been due to a misunderstanding of what it takes to be a UNIX programmer. Sure, UNIX and eunuchs sound alike, but there are some VAST differences in regards to external male genitalia.
Enough background. I think you get the idea.
Today, I saw Uncle Darwin trying to skim the shallow end of the gene pool a bit, but apparently wasn't giving this 100% of his attention. My daily commute is never an uninteresting one. The main road that I travel on is a situation just waiting to happen. There are small woodland animals who dare to try and cross the road during peak traffic periods. With all the critters littering this road, it's always an amusing drive to work just based on that. Almost every day, there is a new cat, dog, opossum, skunk, chicken who met their demise by meeting a fast moving metal vehicle, thus leaving the world of three-dimensional in favor of a two-dimensional eternity.
Animals aren't the only source of amusement on this road. There are what I feel are a rather large population of bicycle riders on this road. To keep the bikers on their guard, there are a large number of big trucks that travel this road. If that wasn't enough, this road regularly becomes a speedway in the section in front of my neighborhood, and that combined with the big trucks and people gambling with their lives and vehicles, this can be quite scary. Still, there is a DANGEROUS left turn out of the front entrance of the neighborhood that people still insist on taking, despite there being a nice signaled turn less than a half mile away.
On a near daily basis, I can hear police and fire engine sirens going off, rushing to the scene of an accident. Some times, we even get the treat of seeing the "Jaws of Life" dispatched, or even a Life-Flight helicopter. There have been electric poles wiped out, traffic signs demolished, cars that have veered off the side of the road and flipped in the ditches. I will give the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento Sheriffs for doing everything they can to control this out of control situation. Surprise truck inspects are done rather frequently. Speed traps are run occasionally on weekends and weekdays. Studies are done to determine what, if anything can be done to help lessen these problems. Of course, what situation would be complete with out the fact that a lot of people run the lights, especially the big trucks.
Despite all these efforts, some people are determined to endanger themselves and others. Today I saw someone pretty much advertising that she was a little bit tired of life. There was a lady driving a small Honda hatchback with 4 kids in the back seat, 2 in the other front seat. It didn't appear that there were any people in the vehicle using seat belts, and it didn't look like any child in the vehicle were over 8. On the back of the vehicle was a "Darwin Fish". This lady came from behind me, changed lanes, cut me off and was speeding, all without using a turn signal. I found out she didn't have brake lights or maybe breaks, I guess I'll never really find out. At one of the busier intersections, I guess she decided she was going to race the yellow light, while from another angle was a pick-up truck that didn't appear to be clear on the concept of what a red light means. As Ms. Impatient and her carload of children accelerated to try and beat the yellow, I slowed down in order to stop before making a right turn, I could see exactly what was going to happen and there was not a damn thing anyone could do about it short of a whole opening up in the earth and swallowing one of the two cars.
All I can say is that I was fortunate to have some distance between me and these two drivers preparing to meet their destiny. I was stopped behind the cross-walk of the protected right turn lane, fixated on the position of what was about to transpire. As the light turned red, the lady in the Honda entered the intersection driving at least 50 miles per hour, while at the same time the signal from the left turned green as Mr. Pick-Up Truck was already doing 50 miles per hour. The truck slammed into the left rear panel of the Honda, causing the Honda to spin into the truck and vice versa. It didn't appear either driver was really paying attention as there were no skid marks until the actual impact. It's rather amazing seeing an accident happen in such a manner, almost like a movie filmed at high speed and then slowed down, audio and all, to a normal 30 frames per second. It was almost surreal, almost as if this wasn't really happening. Then it happened, the unmistakable sound of metal crushing metal that only happens in an auto accident. Being the audio person that I am, there is always the "DAMN! If I only had a sampler and some microphones", and then there's what I call man's instinctual need to see things they really don't need to see. I wanted to turn away, but I couldn't.
In a few seconds, it was all over as both cars stopped in the middle of the intersection. I don't want to sound like a cold heartless bastard, but after both vehicles stopped, I then continued my right turn and continued my journey to the office. To prove I'm not a callous individual, I did call 911 to report it.
I have no idea how many people were injured. I would assume that all of the children in the rusty Honda suffered severe injuries, as well as the lady driving. Due to the size of the ancient Chevy that collided with the Honda, I seriously doubt that the driver suffered any extreme physical injuries.
I sincerely hope that everyone survived the accident, but at the same time, it is people like this who, by being allowed to reproduce, are part of the problem.
Of course, the amusement doesn't end there. Further down the road closer to the office is what I like to call "The Parade of the 'Tards". If I get to a certain intersection at a certain time, I can watch the antics of some of the lesser-equipped citizens interact with society, and sometimes traffic. The current cluster is an old lady in an electric wheelchair, a blind lady, a guy with an amputated leg, and a couple of the more traditional droolers, who occasionally amuse the people waiting for a light with a very loud and audible "UHHHGGGGGNNN!" or similar Simian grunts and wails. The group is currently down to this cluster of 5, but earlier in the year there were roughly 20 of them. This brings up possible questions: are they playing in traffic or dying off, or a combination of both? Now, I can almost understand the blind person since she can't see. You can always tell the seriously blind people because they use the totally white cane, while those with partial vision tend to use one with red on it. I know some of the group were elderly, so they may have passed on, out or away. Some of them have to have been victims of close encounters of the vehicular kind, as the group isn't completely clear on the concepts of traffic signals. First, they cross by using the crosswalks, but sometimes they just start crossing whenever and where ever. Other times, when the light changes and starts blinking , they simply stop. I know the elderly lady in the electric wheelchair is concerned about this so she has her chair in "hi-speed" mode so she can beat the signal. Of course, there have been some serious pedestrian/automobile incidences in the area. I wonder if any of these "special folks" have signed organ donor cards?
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