Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Just tonight, the Nomad mentions that a month long crackdown has commenced in Seoul . Police are targeting motorists who don't stop behind the lines at intersections. Go, coppers!

Actually, just tonight I was getting all riled up on a public bus headed into the city. Out in the countryside here, nevermind the lines at intersections, red stoplights are considered mere suggestions. Like, "Maybe, if you feel like it, and if you're not too involved in your cellphone conversation, you might want to perhaps think about possibly stopping for this red light. At least slow down? No? Okay, then. Just whiz on through - you asshole." What's the worst is when bus drivers decide they don't have to stop for red lights. In that case, they're making the decision to risk my life. Yet, I've never ever heard another passenger say anything as we sail through what is hopefully a clear intersection. My bus driver tonight wasn't too bad, and only ran one red. At one red light where he actually came to a complete stop, a scooter trying to make a lefthand turn on his green light inched out into the intersection to (wisely) make sure the cars coming through on the other side of our bus were coming to a stop. Two of them sped through before the scooter was able to make his turn. If that scooter guy hadn't been cautious, he would have gotten creamed.

I sat and seethed and cursed the back windows of the cars that had ignored the traffic signal. I'm not a traffic nazi. I can understand coming to an intersection in the countryside, crawling to a slow and performing a courtesy momentary stop before carrying on, but only after you've established there's nothing coming in either direction. But these folks don't even slow down. I've been behind them many times, and brake lights don't come on at all. It's likely that they've driven these roads many many times and know the chances of a vehicle coming through in the opposite direction is very slim. But then there will be the one time they're wrong. And that, as they say, will be that.

So for the rest of the journey I designed machines in my mind that would do the cop's jobs for them.

First, a spike strip that launches as the light turns red. It doesn't have to launch every time. These guys seem to like Russian roulette. Maybe four out of five times they'll get through. But on the fifth, oi! You need four new tires, tough guy!

Then I designed a ramp that would lift up and careen the speeding car Dukes of Hazzard style into a waist deep swamp off the side of the road. Oi! Tow truck time!

My third booby trap was kind of similar, but instead of the swamp, the car would get ushered into a cage full of lions. Roll your windows up, Speedy McSpeedster! (Don't worry, the lions are full - they're not going to eat the carfull of people. I'm not heartless.) But the Speedster will have to wait for a trained animal technician to arrive to get them out of the cage. And to think Buddy was running red lights because he was in a hurry,...those animal technicians are like refrigerator deliverymen!

Then my inventions just got silly. Lasers zapped from outerspace. And webs jettisoned by Spider Men. And policemen hiding behind billboards doing their job. Crazy-talk.

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