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What is there not to get? Part 2 by Angel Perkins

August 10, 2012

Another “what-is-there-not-to-get” scenario that I encounter regularly is one regarding waiting. As small children, unless we somehow managed to live without any human contact whatsoever, we have been taught to take turns. It is logical, common sense, fair. There may be emergency situation exceptions, like a pregnant woman waiting in line for a stall in a restroom or a person bleeding profusely in an emergency room lobby. Other than those and similar circumstances, there is no good reason to “cut” in line.
You are not more hungry than the next person. You are not more interested in seeing the movie than the people in front of you, and if there are a limited number or seats or tickets or what-have-you that you are in line for and you aren’t somewhere in the front half of the line, you should’ve attempted to get there sooner. Our entire world is all about first-come, first-served.
This situation (so difficult for some to comprehend) also and often exists on the road. Do you see that lit arrow or sign up ahead that indicates that you need to be pulling into one lane or another? So does everyone else. And while they line up like little children marching to the lunchroom, so should you — you should not zoom along alone in the diminishing lane and then cut someone off further slowing down the people that you were initially behind. The only exception to that rule is again, if you are mortally wounded or carrying a pregnant woman or small child with no bladder control.
Few things please me as much as those that make me comment “HA! How does THAT taste?” especially to those that I am so graciously allowed to see get what they deserve. It makes me proud of my fellow fair and just humans when a person is cutting in line and with no prior agreement, united, the others simply don’t allow it.
A few weeks ago I was witness to many people not “getting” something, and I marveled at the odds of that many people, whether oblivious or selfish or in some sort of exceptional circumstance that I couldn’t see from my driver’s seat, doing the same senseless thing. I’ve seen people crowding each other to get out of somewhere while a door within inches from where they stand is barren of exiters. I will wait patiently until I get to where everyone is filing out and then attempt to open the other door, which nine times out of 10 will easily open, and as I leave, I hope that the people behind me take notice, which normally they do. Call me a born leader or a female dog, either way, I figured out a door. I remember as a child looking a the scroll of the Earth hanging on the wall in my elementary school’s library and commenting how the land masses must’ve been a single entity or maybe two entities at most, because like a puzzle, their shapes obviously indicated it — to which, the response from the librarian and my Social Studies teacher was to be quiet and that the suggestion was preposterous — but my teacher did say she enjoyed my “being creative with my thinking cap.”
Anyway, years later, driving down 331 between Bremen and Bourbon I was behind a INDOT line-painting truck. I admit I fleetingly thought about passing him but then realized wet paint was just that, and doing so would make the work the driver was so painstakingly and literally trying to keep straight, ineffective. I realized easily that I could turn right down any street to avoid him and quickly end up in front of him and back on my original course but darn it — how many opportunities does one have to look at things out the window, slowly, rather than watching them whiz by? My fellow drivers with obviously much more pressing things to get to chose to barrel around. And it wasn’t just a couple. Take the route yourself and count the number of people who didn’t stop to think that one dark and stormy night, someone may be using those yellow guides to be following the road and in doing so, drive off it because of them, simply because of their impatience.
They also didn’t stop to think how they would feel if someone deliberately screwed up something they were diligently doing at work. And on that note, what is there not to get about those yellow lines? A solid line means no passing on that side while a dashed line means it is safe to do so, so why do I see so many drivers approaching a hill they can’t possibly see over, passing another vehicle? Did they just text the psychic hotline and get the okay that there aren’t any cars, trucks, or better yet, buggies or bicycles on the other side?
I just don’t get it.

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