San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Left Turn Lessons For Yuppies

I have mentioned this before but I live in a neighborhood populated by Yuppies.  I do not know if what I am going to write about today is endemic with Yuppies or if it has infected the general population as well.  I am most aware of these conditions because I drive around my neighborhood everyday and I see what happens when a Yuppie attempts to make a left turn.  It is a scary and dangerous adventure to be on the road with Yuppies attempting to make left turns.  They have no clue what they are doing.
There are several left turns that I have to execute practically everyday just to get in and out of my street.  Despite the fact that the speed limit is only 25 mph, which means the Yuppies will be going about 40 mph, there are an inordinate number of traffic accidents on the residential streets where I live.  Just last week I was treated to the sight of two Yuppies who had collided with each other while one was attempting to make a left turn.  Rare is the day when I am not forced to sit in my car and wait for Yuppies who have no idea how to make a left hand turn.  So in the spirit of not minding my own businesses and with the intention of making it clear that Yuppies are idiots when it comes to left hand turns,  allow me to introduce my "Left Hand Lessons for Yuppies."
  1. When you are going to make a left turn on a two way street, pull all the way to the left side as far as you can get, without going over the yellow line, to allow other cars behind you to pass you on the right.  This is a principle that is based upon nothing more than common courtesy.  It does, however, require a driver to think about someone other than himself.  That is the primary reason Yuppies don't do it.   Just last week I was driving behind a Lexus with a lady driver who wanted to make a left turn.  There was oncoming traffic so she slowed down, moved to the right to guarantee that nobody behind her could get around her, and made all of the rest of us wait for her to turn before we could proceed.  Thanks selfish jerk.
  2. When  you come to a four way intersection with a traffic light, do you know how to execute a left turn when there is no dedicated left turn arrow?  Almost nobody knows the answer to this question.  Yuppies, being the hard charging and aggressive folks they are, will pull into the intersection while the light is green, waiting for the oncoming traffic to clear before making the left turn.  A long line of BMWs, Audis and Lexi will form behind the lead car.  If the oncoming traffic does not clear prior to the light changing to yellow I am always treated to the Yuppie Yellow Light Parade.  I have fun watching how many Yuppie cars can get through the intersection, most of them under a light that is now red, before the driver of the car that just received a green light starts with the honking of the horn and the shaking of the fist machinations.  The rule is a simple one.  One car can go through on a yellow light and only one car should be in the intersection waiting for the oncoming traffic to clear.  The situation is much worse when I have the misfortune of being next in line with a Yuppie car ahead of me in the intersection and a line of Yuppie cars behind me.  Knowing the rule I refuse to pull into the intersection.  That behavior is immediately interpreted by the Yuppie as a passive/aggressive attack upon his dignity and right to go places fast and I am once again greeted with the honking of the horn and the wild gesticulation of the hands maneuvers. 
  3. Left turns at a four way stop are executed according to the order in which each vehicle arrives at the four way stop.  This is a simple and intuitive rule that almost everyone understands.  Despite that truth there is a four way stop near my home that has almost put me in the hospital several times as Yuppies drivers come screaming towards me in their Range Rovers while I am still executing my left hand turn.  This particular four way stop occupies a huge amount of space.  Those drivers who are making a left turn are in the intersection for a long time just to make the turn.  It is inevitable that when I get to the four way stop and wait for my turn to go that the Yuppie driving the car coming towards me launches forward at a high rate of speed before I have even had the opportunity to clear the intersection.  Technically he did wait until it was his turn to go but he accelerates so quickly I am afraid for my life as I try to get out of his way as quickly and efficiently as possible.  So far I have avoided the head on collision those Yuppies apparently want to create.  Please, take your time at a four way stop.  An extra second is not going to make you late for Orange Theory. (In case you are not aware, "Orange Theory" is the latest Yuppie exercise fad.  Heart rate cohorts are classified and then given various colors.  To properly do an Orange Theory workout you must spend a certain percentage of time in the orange range for your hear rate.   I have it on good authority that if you are in decent physical condition it is impossible to get a decent workout in the orange heart rate zone.  Still, it allows Yuppies to feel good about themselves and it helps to convince themselves that they are extreme athletes.)
  4. Don't swerve to the right in order to make a left hand turn.  By the way, this rule applies for right hand turns as well.  Don't swerve to the left to make a right hand turn.  Stay in your lane and make your turn without going the other way first.  I have never understood this practice on the part of drivers.  I guess it indicates that very few people behind the wheel have ever studied physics or the nature of vectors.  A 90 degree turn can be executed in a modern automobile without first attempting to swing to the other direction to smooth the turn.  Inevitably there is someone in the lane you are swerving into who will be forced to slam on the brakes or swerve into another lane, thus creating a swervy chain reaction.  In addition, unless you are driving an 18 wheeler, swerving to the right to make a left hand turn is really less efficient.  Yuppies, who are nothing if not concerned about using their time efficiently (most of them have some sort of marathon or "tough mudder" event to get to), need to figure this principle out before they side-swipe my car and take my side-view mirror with them to their extreme event.
  5. A vehicle turning left onto a thoroughfare on which the cross traffic is not stopping and which has a continuation of the road on the other side of the thoroughfare must wait until all vehicles which intend to cross straight through the thoroughfare have completed their moves before executing a left hand turn.  This is the action that enrages me the most.  I don't think anyone in the universe understands this rule.  Look it up if you don't believe me.   I have to go straight through an intersection of this type every single day, sometimes multiple times per day.  It is a heavily trafficked intersection. Inevitably there will be a line of cars on the other side of the road, some of which are executing left hand turns and some of which are coming straight through.  It is my desire to go straight through.  If I arrive at the intersection with the intention of going straight through the problems begin. Inevitably there is a line of cars on the other wide of the road wanting to get through the intersection.  All Yuppies assume that an intersection of this sort is treated the same way a four way stop is treated, with each person taking his turn.  That would be incorrect.  In situations of this sort the left turning vehicle always yields to anyone going straight, even if there are 100 of them.  You can guess what happens.  A Yuppie on the other side wants to turn left.  Inevitably he is there before I am.  I have the right of way even though I got there after him but as I move to go through the intersection he comes barreling out in his left turn.  Once again I am greeted with the honking of the horn and the wild gesticulations of the hand maneuvers.   I have now learned that the best way to deal with this situation is to make an immediate right turn, proceed down the road a half mile or so until I can make a U-turn and then return to the intersection where I can now make a right turn without offending any ignorant Yuppies.  

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