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Stop Sign Standoff

So I’m sitting at this 4 way stop sign like a total jerk. I was the last one to arrive at the stop by my account, and I know I’m supposed to be the last person out of there. I remember learning stop sign rules before my first drivers test. I guess I take for granted that everyone remembers what they tested on all those years ago. Today I experienced an example of when these simple rules are completely forgotten. Here it goes.

Immediately to my left is an old man in a Buick just sitting there dumb founded. He arrived there just before me. I remember because as I approached I thought about how tacky his fuzzy dice were, and how I hadn’t seen anyone with the gall to hang them for a few years now. I wonder if he has the matching dice gear shifter knob too, or if he just backed off shy of the pair.

Then you got the lady on the cell phone across from me. She is clearly distracted by the raging game of scrabble she’s thumbing out. She made it there second. Our first place finisher must have lost something on the floor because he was fishing around aimlessly just over on the passenger’s side. His head completely disappeared at one point and I looked on in a you gotta be kidding me fashion.

When I saw the wild pack of characters I knew I was in store for a fiasco of epic proportions.

The man who arrived first, we’ll call him guy smiley, eased on the gas, but at the same time as the 3rd arriver, who we’ll call Buick Bob. Now Bob was a bit of a lead foot, and he jammed on that throttle full speed ahead. Smiley on the other hand was the type of fella who excelled at the ancient art of the stink eye; which he was applying rather intently on ole Buick. The two were in a heated duel of lead foot meets stink eye and the whole quadrant could feel the savage tension cutting through our skin like a dull serrated knife.

Just then Wendy Word Search, the second motorist to find the intersection, began leaning on her horn. WHHAMMMM WHHAMM! Apparently she was electing herself head official of this circle jerk. She employed a tactic I had never seen before, a deep glare and honk at each car, as if she was beaming them information in some wild combination of honk and stare telepathy. She was serving up smack at this honk-a-thon and she was cracking the whip.

Bob got sick of Wendy and started yelling at her to “shut up” and that “she didn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground”. He eventually dropped that tactic and he gunned it. A rocket of solid steal and rubber plowed through the stagnant cross roads and Bob rode off into the sunset victoriously. Wendy then began to pull forward so I exchanged a series of intense eye and head nod movements letting Smiley know I was intending on letting Wendy go next. Seemed like the gentlemanly thing to do and also seemed like it made sense to decrease the amount of unadulterated insanity sitting amongst us at this moment. I figured smiley was pretty level headed. After all, he drove a Subaru.

As Wendy begins to depart, Smiley and I hear a ear-piercing sound screeching towards us violently. VRROOOOM! It’s a surprise sneak attack by car number 5, who was cleverly masked by Wendy Word Search and her mind horn communication tactics. That marauder snuck right in there like a filthy little stink bug hiding under your rear window. Coward! He employed the latest tactic in 4 way intersection trickery, he did the stop by association. That’s right, he stopped along with Wendy and assumed her stop action as the same as his car stopping behind her. This is of course not a fair rule of play due to the stop action occurring one full car length behind the actual stop sign. Though two for the price of one is a fantastic concept, it doesn’t apply here and would not hold up in court.

Startled by the emergence of the fifth car in the equation, we just let him roll right through the intersection without obstruction. I’d like to call him Torpedo Tim to keep things lighthearted. He was gone before we knew what hit us. So then I looked back at Smiley and he did what he does best…he smiled. And while he was smiling I gently lit my tires up beneath me and his grin blurred fast as his car surfaced in my rearview mirror. Not this time Smiley, not this time I thought. No way was I gonna leave that intersection fifth. That’s just not my style. I wonder if Smiley ever did find what he was looking for on his floor?

This has been an observation by Tony

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