You Never Won Frogger

Listen, I’m just as impatient as the next guy.  I wish this post was already typed out, edited and scheduled for publishing.  Microwaves?  I shouldn’t need to wait 90 seconds for pizza rolls.  It’s un-American.  That’s the great thing about having 15 different Words with Friends games going.  There’s almost always someone ready to play.

You know what I’m infinitely patient about, though?  Waiting my turn in a busy intersection when I’m on foot.  That big ol’ red hand?  That means don’t walk.  Come to think of it, I remember when the pedestrian sign said either “walk” or “don’t walk”.  Now we’ve got a silhouette of a eunuch walking and a big red hand.  Ah, political correctness…unless of course you’ve a big red hand in which case we as a society owe you a huge debt of some sort or other.  On the other hand, if you’re a eunuch, you’ve got bigger issues.  But I digress…

I’ve noticed more and more people dashing across busy intersections.  Granted, they’re in the cross walk which is all well and good; however, they cross against the light.  It’s stupid enough in this age of cell phone addiction, drunk/high driving, and general driving with one’s head in a dark and smelly place that people think they can beat a car half a block away because “it’s clear”.  What happens when the functioning alcoholic comes around the corner you never noticed and bounces you off the hood of his ’86 Buick Skylark (no, I don’t know if Buick made a Skylark that year…call it literary license)?  You lose that fight each and every time.

Remember the first few levels of Frogger?  Remember how easy it was?  Later levels increased the difficulty.  Think of traffic the same way.  Sure, there are no cars coming.  It’s totally clear to cross against the light.  Know what that does?  That builds a false sense of confidence.  That, coupled with your insatiable impatience, will spell out your doom.

Case in point:

The other day I saw two high school-aged girls run across an intersection (again, in the cross walk) with the red hand clearly displayed.  Perpendicular traffic was on-coming and had to stop to avoid killing hitting them.  Unfortunately for the girls, I saw it and decided my war against pedestrians trying to make my life harder was in full swing.

I fired the first salvo and wrote both of them tickets.  No, it wasn’t for jaywalking.  Totally different issue and a citation I have yet to issue.  Jaywalking is often misinterpreted.  Basically, it’s when a pedestrian crosses mid-block between two adjacent intersections that are controlled (i.e. a traffic light).

Of course, I heard them whining to their friends that were walking by that I was giving them tickets for jaywalking.  I dutifully educated them that I was not, but rather that they were getting a citation for violating the “don’t walk” signal.  It didn’t take.  I heard from the school resource officer later that they were still whining about the “jaywalking” ticket.

I also have a new nickname amongst the high school set:

Mean Man on the Motorcycle.

I love it.  I smell another call out to my graphic design friends to submit a logo for that!

I’ve started to issue more and more tickets to pedestrians in the past few weeks for the same violation.  It serves a dual purpose.  First and foremost, believe it or not, I’m trying to keep you knuckleheads from getting injured or killed.  Having seen fatal pedestrian collisions, I’d just as soon not see anymore.  Secondly, do you know how much time it takes to investigate, document, reconstruct, and forensically map a fatal?  A hell of a lot more time than I want to bother with.

So, please, from me to you.  Just wait the extra 30 seconds for the light to switch over, would you?  You’re “I didn’t want to make the cars wait” excuse, while seemingly polite, is bullshit.  We both know this.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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22 thoughts on “You Never Won Frogger

  1. The 1986 Buick Skylark was not available in metallic green paint. The only 2 cars available in that color, with that tire and with positraction were the Corvette, which could never be mistaken for the Skylark, and the Pontiac Tempest.

    It was a Pontiac Tempest.

  2. It’s hard enough to cross safely when the light is with you. I don’t do it any other time. This means a lot of watching others run, especially downtown. Because, you know, if it’s a good idea to do that anywhere it’s a good idea to do it with heavy traffic, at least 40% of which has NO clue where it’s going (you’d get to write a few wrong way tickets here). I have lots of “just because you see something dumb doesn’t mean you do something dumb” with the girls.

  3. I will push the button, but I have always used my own judgement in conjunction with the actual signal. Call me old fashioned, but I put more faith in my own two eyes than I do into a machine. If the light has turned red, but the crosswalk signal doesn’t change, I go anyway. But I promise you that if I ever get a ticket for it, I will accept it with grace. Unless the cop’s a douche. There are a lot of those here. But then my behavior will be in response to him/her as a person, not to the ticket.

  4. For those of us that are impatient, crosswalks work like elevators – the more times you push the button, and the faster you push the button, the quicker the light will change.

  5. Keep writing. If you’re feeling generous, please write an extra one for me, Mad Jack.

    Say you’re driving along, obeying traffic laws and minding your own business. Some idiot teenager tries to beat the light and you can’t stop in time. Maybe it’s ice on the road, maybe reaction time, maybe suicide by civilian – whatever. You hit the little idiot and he or she starts heading for ambient temperature. Your life has now changed, and not for the better.

    Even if you’re not cited, even if you have witnesses that swear the (now) fertilizer crossed against the light, even if the news media gives you a break and fails to castigate you in the six o’clock news, and even if the family doesn’t file suite for wrongful death or something, you are not going to ever be the same.

    That’s four very large ‘ifs’ by the way. Think about the reverse. You could end up in jail on the bad side of a criminal trial with a jury stacked with women not of your own age and race, several of whom have lost a would-be credit to society in a similar accident. Then there’s the civil follow-up.

    I’m just getting started, but I’ll cease here and return the soap box to Motorcop who really and truly is preventing a major crime by his efforts. My thanks to you, sir, and a hoist of the evening highball glass to you.

  6. I jaywalk on occasion but I’m glad to know you’re not leaning on that quite as hard. I actually give people the stink-eye when they start crossing before the signal changes. I should have a neon vest.

  7. ACK! Get out of my head – LOL. I was just blogging about the same topic as the local ‘Jogging Club’ cheezed me off this A.M., with the president earning a citation

    This is about the third time that we’ve done this! Great minds…???

    New format is looking sharp and I’m looking forward to seeing Motorcop and FRN move onward and upward!

    Be Safe Two Wheeler –
    GYD

  8. Hey MC (or should that be MMM) like your good self I also remember the signs that flashed “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” but over here they were replaced by little red and green men.
    Near where I work I have a crossing which suffers from the problem you mentioned but also has the opposite problem. That is drivers who decide that stopping for a red light to let pedestrians cross is a serious inconvenience. The police once had a blitz on this particular crossing but instead of booking motorists who were breaking the rules they only got to book pedestrians. Evidently the motorists decided to take note the police presence and obey the road rules but the pedestrians just charged like lemmings on a suicide run towards the two highly visible uniformed police officers. Writing out a ticket seemed to be the only thing that made them stop and blink. May your writing hand never grow tired. All the best.

    • I have a team at MCPD that gives the best damn hand massages ever. We’re talking essential oils and Enya playing in the background. The hand is strong, sir! Never to worry…

  9. I pretty sure we have a few but I wish we had more MCs like you out here in Virgina. As we have our share of ignorant/stupid people trying to play chicken with cars, I’m no physics major but like you I know a 160-200lbs meatsack is going to lose out badly to 2000lbs vehicle.

    Now that being said, please don’t forget to ream those drivers that don’t take the time to stop and look for pedestrians who are crossing legally. As they’re to blame for the bad behavior of pedestrians almost as much as the pedestrians themselves, as I certain many people think, “why bother using a crosswalk and signal if the cars are going to try and hit you anyways?”. That and I rather dislike drivers who don’t take the time to look, as I’ve had several barely seeing me and stop so close to where I could reach out and smack the hood if I wanted to. Call me crazy but I don’t consider being in a situation where the appropriate response, is to almost wet myself, flash a driver an offensive hand sign, and then hurry across the rest of the intersection as quickly as possible with a vastly increased heart rate, a good time.

  10. You absolutely crack me up!!! I am quite literally laughing myself off the chair I am attempting to sit in! Who are you? Really???? You are the kid who would no more wait for a light to change than fly. It is going to be hysterical to see you with 3 teenage kids – call me when you want to vent. I will put you on mute so you can’t hear my roaring laughter. Sorry kid … this is just plain funny. I love you my boy! Thanks for being such an incredible human being. It makes me very proud to be your mom … and to know that you care so much for the safety of kids who are … well, kids. xoxo my boy!!

  11. This post reminded me of the picture I sent you last fall about the teenaged kid that ran out in front of a car on a green light and got tagged. She made a full recovery, driver was never charged, the family hasn’t sued (yet) and I would assume she learned her lesson…

  12. I don’t drive (by my own choice), so I tend to walk everywhere with my kids. I’ve been teaching them that it’s almost never okay to cross against the signals.

    I never, never assume that it’s completely safe to cross even when the signal says it’s okay. I’ve been almost hit by too many douchebags who’ll make right turns w/out looking or outright run the light.

  13. Good on you, MC!

    Thanks for doing what you do.

    One of these days, I will beat you at WwF!

    😉