"Hey, oh, so THAT happened! August 14, 2019 9:53 PM   Subscribe

Hey, let's do something fun. Today, driving in to work, I managed not to speed in the 25mph zone of the main street of my little town by a police officer when we drove up to one of the 3 (three) lights in town. It turned red right as we pulled up to it, but a car coming the opposite direction came through after the red. The cop behind me turned on his lights and pulled into the left-turn lane to do a U and go after the car. Have you had any sort of "Instant Karma" little moments you've witnessed happen in your life lately? Or if not negative, then also positive? Life is full of tiny moments we all mark when we see them happen, I'm eager to hear about those things where you went "hey, oh, so THAT happened" for whatever reason.
posted by hippybear to MetaFilter-Related at 9:53 PM (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

*followed by a police officer
posted by hippybear at 9:58 PM on August 14, 2019

My porch light is controlled by a photosensitive timer. It turns on when it starts getting dark, and then it stays on for the number of hours I tell it to after it turns on. For the last two months, every time I have stepped out onto my porch at dusk, the light has turned on immediately when I am beside it. I don't step out every night, and sometimes I step out in full light (when the light is definitely off) or full dark (when the light is definitely on), and probably there are times that I have stepped out in dusk and the light hasn't turned on and I haven't noticed, but I swear to all the gods that the light is turning on when I am near it an unreasonably non-random amount of the time.

I keep flashing back to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency when the street lights kept going out when Dirk walked under them because of Thor, I think? Only it's the opposite and I suspect Athena because that's where I am these days.

(Also kudos to pb or whoever made it so that when one hits ctl-i the em-tabs show up! That is awesome.)
posted by lazuli at 10:04 PM on August 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

We had a swarm of baby skunks follow their mom around our house. I rode an elevator with Beyonce one time. I've got a few of these, ranging from the mundane to the precognitive.
posted by vrakatar at 10:34 PM on August 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

There are two ways for me to go to work: coastal road around the bays or up and over a hill. Going over the hill saves a couple of minutes but I drive it because I like the view at the crest.

This morning I got tailgated from the minute I pulled out my driveway by a PoS I don’t know what. At the roundabout, I turned towards the hill; he roared down the road. I meandered up and over, then turned onto the main road again. About a minute later, PoS came blazing up behind me again. This time so close I couldn’t see his license plate.

Cops coming toward me pulled a u-turn and pulled him over.

posted by lemon_icing at 12:42 AM on August 15, 2019 [31 favorites]

On Monday my lyft driver was spending so focused about ranting about how it's always the cyclist's fault when they get hit and how much space we spend on bike infrastructure nowadays that he nearly missed his turn and then made a very sharp right without checking the protected bike lane. Definitely not instant karma, but a very movie-perfect example of irony.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:49 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

This weekend I went on my first 100 mile bike ride. I was really nervous going in because I'm not in good riding shape at the moment, but through 90 miles I felt great and was really proud of myself.

As we were pulling in to the last rest stop, I remarked to a friend that the ride was a big success, and 2 seconds later my shoe got stuck in my clip and I tipped over at 0 mph and crashed. I got a nice gash on my knee, a big bruise on my butt, and a good slice of humble pie.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:06 AM on August 15, 2019 [23 favorites]

Kudos on your first century, last leg injuries and all!

Catch-all transportation musing/ venting -- not in response to people here, but jotting down my thoughts:
- Cruise control is a magical, and much underutilized, tool in most vehicles. It's good for both highway driving, and driving through small towns where the speed limit drops by 5 or 10 MPH increments.

- Bicycles are legitimate vehicles, and as such, may use most public roadways. I'm very sad that bicyclists are vilified, or strongly disliked, for "disrupting car space" by some people in the U.S. Please be kind, and share the road!

- In regard to people driving too fast for local conditions, or tailgating, a friend recently said she imagines that they're rushing to get to a bathroom, so wishes them good luck with pooping. I try to stay in this mindset, instead of wishing those drivers ill will.

- Also, I generally need to leave earlier for things, and adopt my wife's mindset that being on time is being late. With that as a target, I'll probably front-load the stress of getting out the door, instead of putting stress on the travel (driving) itself.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:13 AM on August 15, 2019 [8 favorites]

Several years ago on a very straight portion of the Mass Pike on a dry clear day I passed a big square sedan square in the left lane headed the right direction exactly upside down. Having been in my share of close calls in blizzard conditions I just can not get how they can do that without a hollywood stunt coordinator. Finally saw, not a flip but a bit of road rage, just on a urban street some guy must have been trying to get around another car to win a space before the next light, swerved a bit in the right lane and then swerved right behind another car right up a jersey barrier and slammed down scraping up the barrier good.

So not a full flip but close and I still don't get how someone could do that (even heavily medicated)
posted by sammyo at 7:17 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

she imagines that they're rushing to get to a bathroom,

Naw, they just want to win the "get to the light first" race.
posted by sammyo at 7:17 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

My favorite thing in working retail is when an unpleasant customer huffily demands to speak to a manager and then the manager comes over and not only a) backs me up but b) is less polite about it than I was.
posted by coppermoss at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2019 [17 favorites]

I keep flashing back to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency when the street lights kept going out when Dirk walked under them because of Thor, I think?

Completely unimportant, but I think that was Kate Schechter in the other Dirk Gently book, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
posted by jedicus at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

filthy light thief - every time someone blows past us in traffic, my sweet husband always says "wow, he must REALLY have to pee" - it's such a kindness to let someone off the hook!
posted by ersatzkat at 8:05 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Saw a lady spin around to yell at her crying kid in the grocery store, she spun too quickly and fell on her butt. Kid laughed, mom did not laugh but also did not escalate.
posted by French Fry at 8:45 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

I was on a road trip in California once; I was somewhere on a two-lane highway, in a line of traffic poking along. I was okay with that, as I don't like fast driving when I'm hazy about knowing where I'm going and I wasn't in a rush anyway.

As we were poking along, I suddenly noticed that the women in the car behind me - who were already pretty close on my bumper - were shouting at me and gesturing wildly to move aside so they could pass. I couldn't hear them, but i could read lips well enough to tell that they were shouting "move your fucking car!"

So I did.

And let them be the ones directly behind the pickup truck full of hay and chickens that was causing the slow traffic in the first place.

....did I mention they were in a convertible? >:-)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on August 15, 2019 [34 favorites]

ersatzkat: it's such a kindness to let someone off the hook!

I find that there's plenty to make me mad in the world, but getting mad at strangers in other cars does not benefit me in the slightest. Also, I'm trying to shift my feelings from anger to inquiry -- what makes that person act that way? If I had a chance to talk with them, could I de-escalate that situation? Because my current gut reaction is to answer that kind of self-centered* "oh, YEAH? I can be an even BIGGER JERK! In my PRIUS! Suck it, coal-roller!" -- which isn't safe for anyone, and definitely won't make traffic (of which I, in my car, am a part) any better.

I've never had other drivers on any kind of hook, and because of that, why stress myself out about their actions? I have a limited ability to change their actions, so I'll do what I can to stay out of the way of angry, aggressive drivers. The only thing I'll do is pull over and call 911 when someone's driving dangerously, and I've done this in the past, particularly after my dad did this once after someone whizzed past him, dodging cars and hoping lanes like crazy. 10 minutes later, my dad saw the car pulled over by a cop.

* This is now my mental reference when talking about being self-centered.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

I was pulling into a narrow parking lot when a gentleman in a new Tesla started to pull out in front of me. I stopped fully as he continued, and then backed up into a lamp post. The lady behind me started honking as he got out and inspected his rear bumper, then started yelling at me, and making gestures, I guess thinking I was the honker. I was just waiting patiently for him to stop throwing a fit. It's not exactly karma -- a Tesla seems like a good enough choice if you can swing it -- but I felt a frisson on schadenfreude. Normally I am the one backing into a lamppost, and I'm never doing it in any sort of Statement Car.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:37 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

When I moved back from Boston my mom came to Boston and picked me up in her car. My mom NEVER drives on the highway but sometimes for long roadtrips makes exceptions. So we're on the highway in stop and go traffic. I don't remember what happened exactly, but she made a mistake (legitimately her fault and she felt bad about it) that inconvenienced another driver. Like I would say maybe she cut him off, but that can't have been it because he was in the lane next to ours *after* the mistake. She felt bad and gestured and apology.

So the other driver is in the lane on the right of us and slightly behind, and as his lane starts to move forward and ours doesn't, he pulls up alongside us and he's looking over at my mom and yelling and swearing and gesturing as he slowly plods forward. Did I mention stop and go traffic? Well the car in front of him stopped, and since he was too busy swearing at my mom to notice he crashed right into it. Obviously not a high speed accident, but not a little fender bump either, he made a solid dent in the actual body not just bumper at front of his car. And then the teeth gnashing and swearing really started.

And just then the traffic in front of my mom started moving briskly and we drove off, feeling both bad (because my mom really had made a mistake), but also weirdly vindicated that the guy who was too busy screaming and swearing to just accept an honest apology ended up crashing his car.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:38 AM on August 15, 2019 [8 favorites]

Once upon a time, on a Friday:

Opposing counsel to me: we cannot possibly do this [thing that should be totally easy], it is technologically completely infeasible for [dumb reason]

Me: sorry, I know we're not tech experts on this call, I'm not impugning anyone's good faith here, but why can't you accomplish it in [x way]?

Opposing counsel: that's JUST NOT POSSIBLE, OKAY [with no elaboration]

Me: do you think maybe you could get your IT guy together with our IT guy so we can understand the problem

Opposing counsel: we're not gonna do that

Me: well, then, we're going to have to raise this with the court, because you're telling us you can't do [thing] and you can't explain why not

Opposing counsel: I JUST DID

Me: [in head] no you didn't [out loud] OK, we'll go ahead and raise it with the court, and you can either bring in an IT person so we can understand or not, and the court will either agree with you or not, up to you, I guess

Opposing counsel: YES, THAT'S HOW IT WORKS

On the immediately succeeding Monday:

Opposing counsel: we cannnn't do [thing], it's just imposssssible, our IT people say it cannot be done for [dumb reason]

Court (immediately, without us saying anything): Why can't you just do it [x way]?

Opposing counsel: ummmmm....

My entire team (fortunately on a call instead of in person): *falls apart laughing*
posted by praemunire at 10:42 AM on August 15, 2019 [23 favorites]

My neighborhood is hellish for street parking on weekdays after 6 PM. And pretty hellish for parking in general; it’s rare that the space in front of my house ever opens up. I’ve spent literally hours driving around looking in the past, so usually I do anything to avoid driving after work. But I’ve had to take my car out twice recently on weekday nights because of friends going through serious medical or family emergencies, and both times when I got home, tired and sad, the space directly in front of my house was open.
posted by sallybrown at 10:58 AM on August 15, 2019 [20 favorites]

praemunire: Me: do you think maybe you could get your IT guy together with our IT guy so we can understand the problem

Opposing counsel: we're not gonna do that

Technology is hard, OK? And most of it has to be done by hand.

Oh, you mean there's a way to automate data processing/ sharing? Nah, that's not a real thing. [It totally is a real thing.]

I feel you -- I had colleagues say they had manually input data into text files, copying data from a source file, spending much overtime to get it done by a deadline. I don't think my eyes popped out of my head upon hearing that, but I felt like it.

Jump ahead a few months -- instead of hiring a consultant to look into this thing, another tech-savvy person looked at the task and figured out a way to automate it. There were some cases of imperfect matches, but the automation reduced that by-hand work significantly.

Technology represents a pretty obvious realm of "unknown unknowns" quadrant of knowledge for otherwise intelligent people, where the solutions can actually be pretty straight-forward, if the right people are brought into discussions. But that feels like diminishing power or influence to some, which can be a non-starter in some instances, like yours.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I find that there's plenty to make me mad in the world, but getting mad at strangers in other cars does not benefit me in the slightest.

Yeah, my attempts to interpret terrible driving behavior sympathetically are pretty much all for my own mental well-being.

I can only imagine that the two SUV drivers who whipped past me to run a red light I was stopped at this morning must have already shit themselves. (Or, more likely, they were doing the amazingly-common "the presence of a person on a bicycle anywhere around me means that I should definitely ignore that stop signal or stop sign" thing.) Wished I'd had my camera running.
posted by asperity at 11:18 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I always think of a story my dad told me. He was driving on Skyline Dr in Berkeley, and a guy behind him kept tailgating, honking, trying to pass him, being super aggressive. It's not like my dad is a slow driver! He was going as fast as he thought he could. Finally, he reached a place where he could pull over and let the guy pass. As the guy went by, my dad gave him a look and said "what's your problem?" And the guy burst into tears.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2019 [15 favorites]

As the guy went by, my dad gave him a look and said "what's your problem?" And the guy burst into tears.

Wow, that would haunt me. I hope that whatever it was, he got there on time.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:48 AM on August 15, 2019 [13 favorites]

Technology represents a pretty obvious realm of "unknown unknowns" quadrant of knowledge for otherwise intelligent people, where the solutions can actually be pretty straight-forward, if the right people are brought into discussions.

Once the love of my life came up to me and said, "Jpfed, I'm about to do something tedious with a computer. Is there some way you can help with that?" and it felt so good that she recognized that this was an appropriate request! Reader, I made a couple of formulas in Excel for her.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2019 [19 favorites]

I live next to two sets of train tracks. I cross these tracks to get home from work. Yesterday I crossed the tracks just as the bells started clanging. I had plenty of time. I made my way a few blocks home, got my after work beer, and went into the back yard. There was the train, making way slowly. I had an opportunity to finish my beer before the train passed, and several minutes before the crossing gates finally went up. I considered it to be excellent timing, with respect to getting home and finishing a beer, rather than sitting in the sun in my car, watching a train creep past.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:14 PM on August 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

A number of years ago, a group of friends and I used to go whitewater rafting every summer. Over the years, we worked our way up to class 5 rapids. The first time we did a particularly technical stretch that included long, rocky runs through class 4 rapids then finishes up over a series of class 5 waterfalls that you have to hit just right not to flip and miss your takeout at the bottom was also the first time in my life I ever broke a bone. I broke three toes on that run. Getting out of the raft at the end in still water. I had just swung my leg over the side to step out when the first person on the shore yanked on the bow line. My foot caught between a couple of rocks and *snap*. EXTREME!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:24 PM on August 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

But that feels like diminishing power or influence to some, which can be a non-starter in some instances, like yours.

If there's a legit unexpected tech issue with discovery (data-sharing between opposing parties in litigation), letting the IT people talk it out (chaperoned, of course) is a pretty standard move, because God knows most lawyers can't even try to have that conversation on their own. That particular party's refusal to either engage with my solution or put the IT guy in touch with ours to explain why it wouldn't work is what made it clear that we should bring it to the court's attention, because it implied shenanigans.
posted by praemunire at 2:25 PM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

So one time I'm on a narrow two lane one way street in downtown Santiago, when a guy tries to force his way in from the side, sort of push me over or make me brake to let him in, and I don't, I just keep going in a straight line, until he's like 10cm from my car, and he rolls down his window and starts insulting me, getting very aggressive, like looking to start something, and I'm starting to freak out when massive clouds of steam start coming out of his engine and he goes from tough-guy-talk to oh-shit-what's-going-on-help and I pull ahead slowly, smirking at his instant car-karma.
I love it when the universe helps me vanquish my enemies.
posted by signal at 6:47 PM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

- In regard to people driving too fast for local conditions, or tailgating, a friend recently said she imagines that they're rushing to get to a bathroom, so wishes them good luck with pooping.

When people tailgate, I usually slow down. Imagining that they really need to poop will make it even more satisfying.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:34 PM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

jedicus, you're right, it's totally from Long Dark Teatime of the Soul! I still think it's Dirk rather than Kate, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

With regards to tech, I have been involved in the roll-out of our electronic health record and the "We can't do that for mmmrrrrrrhhhhrrrrrm hand-wave-y reason!" coming from the vendor's rep, who obviously does not understand IT, has become ridiculous.
posted by lazuli at 8:00 PM on August 15, 2019

So not a full flip but close and I still don't get how someone could do that (even heavily medicated)

Often when this sort of bizarre car controlled drive into terrain happens it's because of a medical issue; stroke, heart attack, seizure etc.
posted by Mitheral at 11:31 PM on August 15, 2019

There’s a really long version of this story, with meticulous detail as to exactly why my last job was a nightmare, mainly because of my boss who was a delightful blend of stupid, incompetent, demanding, petty, unreasonable, ungrateful, untrustworthy, and all-powerful within the organisation, leading me to text my husband multiple times a day some version of “I can’t do this”, “get me out of here”, “I’m drowning”, and “I HATE HER YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT SHES DONE NOW”. But the short version is I started a job this week that I love and I think I will be really happy in, while my replacement has handed over her keys and walked out after 3 months leaving ex-boss in a world of shit because I ran the place and took all her crap and now she has no one. Lol! I said to my friend who still works there that the only reason I hope the place doesn’t fold (there’s a lot of stuff going on there) is because she still works there, and she says “No I want it to implode to sicken her, I’d happily go down with the ship!” (we all hated her because she made all our lives unbearable). So in summary, as me and mr bee like to say when someone gets their just desserts: up your hole with a big jam roll do dah!
posted by billiebee at 4:14 AM on August 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

I don't know what kind of karma led to this, but I got an unexpected check in the mail yesterday. It's the security deposit from our last apartment. Which we moved out of in 2012.

Better late than never, I guess.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:03 AM on August 16, 2019 [10 favorites]

A few years ago, while I was on the way to a job interview, someone cut me off in traffic. And by "cut me off" I mean "clipped my front bumper with her rear bumper by veering into the lane in front of me." We stopped and surveyed the damage, exchanged insurance info, and went on our way. I ended up getting the job, and working there for several years, in part because of the Zen calm the fender-bender induced. For you see, three days prior, I had installed my first dashboard camera, which caught the whole episode in wide-angle splendor. A few days later, the other woman's insurance company emailed me to get my side of the story, because the other driver had reported that I rear-ended her in traffic, and the damage on both cars was consistent with that claim.

I replied to that email with nothing but a link to the video of the 30 seconds before and after the accident. Clicking "send" was the single most satisfying thing I have ever done.
posted by Mayor West at 7:24 AM on August 16, 2019 [26 favorites]

I was sitting in a friends car on July 4th while we waited in a long line of traffic to get into a beach parking lot. We had been in line for maybe twenty minutes and we’re a few cars back from the front of the line when a car drove past the line and tried to merge in. No one wanted to let them in so they drove to the front of the line and tried to shove in there. It appeared they were going to succeed when a man who worked there in a saftey vest came out and gestured for them to turn around. The car tried creeping further forward. So the man stood in front of there car until they finally turned around, at which point he went down the line and revived high fives and cheering.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:09 AM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some unknown wee shite rubbed goose poop into the logo at the back of my car today. What they didn't know is that's not how you open the back of a Prius.

Some years ago, we were doing the Christmas in-laws run from Ontario to Missouri. It was a year that Illinois was one big ice storm, and the roads were atrocious. I-55 was particularly delightful, with pretty much every exit from Joliet south was blocked by jack-knifed trucks. You couldn't brake, turn or accelerate; everything was trundling along about 45 km/h and it was shitty. A big duallie comes right up behind me and starts flashing and honking to get past, but there was no past to get by in. So he floors it and tries to pass on the ice-covered shoulder. This ends about as well as you'd expect: I remember his truck spinning and arcing into the median, with the front-right wheel hitting the ground, deflating and the front suspension collapsing as if in slo-mo. He may have done a full flip; I was trying to watch the road. Poor bastard was probably stuck there for hours as even emergency services were going off the road (there was a flipped ambulance near Gardner.)
posted by scruss at 7:02 PM on August 16, 2019

I was once on my way from Eastern Washington State to Tacoma to see Roger Waters perform The Wall live (useless detail), and it started snowing (against the forecast, I should say) as we were starting out into the Cascades, and traffic was crawling along at low speed in a single line along the interstate. This white SUV came flying past us in the left lane like they somehow knew something different from us about how to drive on winter roads. Literally a mile up the road later, that same white SUV was seen lying on its roof off the side of the road with people climbing out through open windows and feeling pockets for cell phones.

I felt bad for them. I hope those four seats weren't vacant at one of the best concerts I've ever seen.
posted by hippybear at 7:41 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Since this is turning into a driving stories thread, I have to share sth that happened on my way back from the UK earlier this week. On a Belgian motorway somewhere, I’m overtaking a truck or some such (not very fast cuz my car is smol and weak and we’re going up a hill) and an arsehole comes up behind and tailgates me, impatiently. I lightly tap on my brakes to get him to back off (I know I know, but it pisses me off), then when I pull back in and he accelerates I reflexively give him the finger. I see him drive past and he’s reflexively giving me the finger. It really made me laugh - we’re two of a kind, after all. I was still chuckling five minutes later (usually these experiences make me grar).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 5:11 AM on August 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

This wasn't recent having happened 25 years ago but it's one of my favourite police adjacent stories.

My father an I are driving home, about 15 minutes out of town, one summer day. The highway home was single lane through some twisties for about 4km (80km/h limit) and then widened out to four lanes for a good 20km (90km/h limit). The change over is just over the top of small hill.

In the twisties we'd caught up to some guy going fishing: faded red 80s Toyota 4x4, rack with boat over a sleeper canopy, big shaggy dog (husky or something) in the box. He's mostly doing the speed limit. Almost immediately some guy in a dark grey Merc or BMW sedan with illegal side tints catches up to us. He's not really being super obnoxious but you can feel he wants around.

Our little convoy crests the hill and the sedan is off like a rocket. Because he is two cars back from the leader he's got a pretty good head of steam up by the time he blows past the pickup. At which point the cop in the pickup lights up his beacons hidden in the canopy (and presumably out front somewhere) and pulls the sedan over.

Best. Ghost car. Ever. The dog in the back disguised it so well I'd might have felt indignant if I'd been pulled over.
posted by Mitheral at 9:25 AM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

We were stuck in some nasty traffic last night, late, on our way home from a concert. Road work meant that traffic was just barely creeping along. It was warm and humid, so we had the windows down to catch a breeze. The person in the minivan in the middle lane, next to us, was listening to The Beatles, also with their windows down. They were playing A Day in the Life, and when it got to that end part, the orchestra crescendo, and the song ended, the people in the car in the far left lane, next them, burst into applause and cheering. It struck me as a really lovely, fun moment.

Those two lanes moved forward a little faster than ours, but we caught up to them again a few minutes later... and the people in the two vehicles were having a Beatles singalong.
posted by sarcasticah at 1:19 PM on August 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

I was walking to work on a fairly high-traffic bike path, doing what I think is the polite thing for pedestrians in my town, keeping far to the right and keeping an ear out for bikes coming up behind me. A few minutes passed normally, and then I heard someone yelling behind me: "By law you're allowed to walk on the left, you know." I turned around and saw a woman coming toward me on a bike. "I'm sorry?" I said politely. She slowed and dismounted and started to walk beside me. "The law allows you to walk on the left on a bike path, facing traffic. State statute XYZ. Most people don't know this." She begins to extol the safety virtues of walking on the left. I begin to suspect that this conversation is less about my options and more about her wishes. Nevertheless, I thank her for the information. Unfortunately this does not seem to settle the matter, and she keeps talking for a minute or two about the finer points of Wisconsin bike and pedestrian law and the physics of sharing the road. Eventually she remounts her bike and continues her commute, but astonishingly she can't seem to stop herself: as she speeds away she turns her head around 180 degrees to face me and keeps right on talking, body hurtling forward, her disquisition on safety soon fading into the noise of passing traffic.
posted by eirias at 4:26 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

> Midnight Skulker: Yesterday I crossed the tracks just as the bells started clanging. I had that happen once, late at night, in deep fog. Scared me witless, reminding me of Arch Oboler's Drop Dead album that we had when we were kids. an .mp3 that appears to be safe.
posted by theora55 at 5:23 PM on August 17, 2019

> sarcasticah: the people in the car in the far left lane, next them, burst into applause and cheering. It struck me as a really lovely, fun moment.
stuck in summer traffic in Boston. Party van with driver on my left - they were drinking on their way to a concert or game. They looked over, I looked longingly at cold beverages, gave a thumbs up, and we all did the Macarena together.
posted by theora55 at 5:41 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

My partner is always reminding me to close the screen door when I step outside -- something I've always had a hard time feeling much urgency about, since we live in a mosquito-free area.

The other night, with everyone else in bed, I went out to water some plants and left the screen door open. I turned my back for 30 seconds to fill the watering can, and when I looked back toward the house, I was scared out of my wits by a raccoon running down the steps, out of our living room.

I haven't told her.
posted by aws17576 at 1:02 AM on August 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

I have a particularly tough kid in one of my classes. He's rude and entitled, racist, sexist and ableist, and doubles down when called out. He stirs other kids up and then just manages to skirt out of trouble. He is mean and a bully.

However, I just read a note on our behaviour management system from another one of his teachers, and the note was edited by one of the principals: "Hi teacher. Student is receiving a suspension for his behaviour, and otherPrin and I are meeting to discuss pathways for student." It was a beautiful moment.
posted by freethefeet at 4:28 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I often drive a two-lane road with few passing zones, so when the person behind me is in a big hurry, I'll pull over and let them pass. The best reward? Having my trip delayed juuuuuust enough to watch a bald eagle sail overhead.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:15 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pretty generic experience I guess, because just this morning on the Taconic Parkway in upstate New York, a driver in a very nice Audi SUV attempted to merge across two lanes of traffic from her entrance ramp out of impatience with the slower merging traffic in her still-solid-lined-at-that-point assigned merging lane. Problem was I had just moved to the middle lane to get out of the way of the merging traffic. Had I stayed in the right lane she might have simply merged right into my side at 65-70mph. As it was I had 15 extra feet of notice and a clear left lane and was able to execute a rapid lane change left and have her miss sideswiping me *by inches* in what could have led to a high speed rollover scenario for either of us. After trying to drive alongside her long enough to see if she was not physically disabled in some way — drunk or asleep or texting — I wagged my finger at her firmly (my index finger, mind you, as in “tut tut” not “fuck you”) and she looked at me for the first time and gave me an exaggerated passive aggressive shrug before turning back to her mission to be two minutes early to whatever she was going to do. She began to accelerate over 70 and I dropped back and fell in behind her and let her blast off to new adventures in reckless driving.

Not five miles later she was by the side of the road in the glare of blue lights talking to two state troopers. As I moved left to give them room I thought she was looking and I gave her an extra finger wag.

Impatience is so often the cause of disaster. She was so intent on getting around the line of merging traffic she was in (on an upgrade and a curve no less, and on a 55mph limit rural road) that she never saw me coming up alongside her at all, I’m sure. The shrug was a defense mechanism for her denial.

I mean, things like this happen so often to me in the northeast that it’s hardly remarkable. People drive increasingly selfishly, and distractedly, and in many cases in cars that have much more power than they should be allowed to handle. But at least this once the powers that be intervened and she got her comeuppance. My guess from the Q7 she was driving is that she DGAF. But at least her wings got clipped.
posted by spitbull at 1:01 PM on August 18, 2019

Saw a horrible, gruesome thing happen on the highway the other night that fit the narrative of "I saw someone be a bad/reckless driver and then I saw something bad happen to to them" and I thought about this thread and I would just like to remind y'all to always wear your seatbelts.
posted by coppermoss at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

RE: Lights -- There was a pedestrian path at college that lead from the main campus to a cluster of little college-owned apartments. It was lined with lights. It seemed to us that, not every time, but enough of the time, whatever light a person walked under would flicker out. Surely the lights just flicker and this is confirmation bias, thought my friends and I. And yet... One friend was unable to let it go and did some research. It turned out that when the lights were installed, some clever person thought to save power by adding motion sensors, so the lights would only toggle on when a pedestrian was close enough to need them. Sadly, the motion sensors were terrible, and did not work with nearly the frequency required for safe ambulation. This was solved by simply turning all of the lights on at dusk. However, and I am sure you've guessed this, they did not actually disconnect the motion sensors. We were not imagining things - each light was, in fact, wired to turn off just as soon as a pedestrian reached its nimbus. They were just really ineffectively wired to do so.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:38 AM on August 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Not (precisely) traffic-related, but:

This week's first two Minnesota Twins home games both had to suspend play due to a squirrel on the field.

The first incident involved a great shot of all these macho baseball players freaking out in the dugout because it was running around their feet.

The second appearance involved a great shot of the squirrel running right between Max Kepler's legs from behind while he (Kepler) stood wide-legged in that "I might steal" posture at first base.

More intriguingly, both squirrel appearances happened at a key offensive moment for the Twins, and both were followed by runs scored by the Twins in the same inning.

If they'd won both games, I'd be absolutely certain that the team and fans would forthwith adopt squirrels as some sort of lucky charm, start smuggling squirrels into ballparks, and/or advocate for switching to a squirrel as team mascot.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:55 AM on August 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

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