Monday, November 27, 2006

A favourite story

Anybody remember the short story about the kid who was so fast, so amazingly, unbelievable fast that he couldn’t lose.

He dreamed of the day of the race when all would see his blinding speed. Running home on his own, he measured his winning margin. It grew by the day. Sometimes he would toy with the rest of them, slow down to let them think they had a chance, then laugh and burst away like a superman. Finally, the day of the race. He exploded off the starting line, how could others not wonder in amazement? Already he was alone, the rest would race for second. In his rapture he closed his eyes, and ran even faster. The wind pushed his face, pressed his eyes and screamed through his hair. He smiled to himself. A few more steps and he would open his eyes, and bask in their glory.

Well, we know what happened (ain’t no ribbons for fourth).

It’s a favourite, I think, because lots of things make me think of that story. This was the latest.


TenaciousK said...

Uhm, I don't get it. What's the broken link?

twiffer said...

so, people only drive aggressively because there are rules restricting them? and if there are no directions on how to drive, everyone will drive more carefully?

why can i not shake the feeling this is ultimately a bad, bad idea?

sydbristow said...

hi twiff

I think it's that, especially as drivers, we become slaves to the signage as opposed to common sense. (was going to start off by asking if you''ve ever driven in Montreal .. famous for treating highways as skating rinks.) Having said that, no, I don't want to see donkey carts on our highways (and the article acknowledges that this wouldn't work for larger metropolitan areas), but I think we've gone overboard with the rules and regs.

To TK: sorry about the link, but it's there in the address bar if you want to split off the first bit. Long story short, I think Europeans have surpassed us in many significant areas (while we North Americans remain oblivious).

twiffer said...

i understand the theory behind it. i just think that most other drivers aren't ignoring common sense for signage; they simply lack the sense required.

in less heavily trafficked areas, this might work. but in high traffic urban areas? for an example, in DC there is a spot on wisconsian ave with a no left turn sign. other than the sign, there is no reason one shouldn't be able to make a left...except that attempting to do so (as many do anyway) tends to back traffic up at least a half mile.

i dunno. i'm thinking light traffic it's okay, but higher traffic it's going to be trouble. also needs long term review. consider the road rage if you wind up behind someone too timid to pull into traffic, etc..

anyway, no i've not driven in montreal. worst place i've driven is dublin. i don't recommend that (i hit a bus).

sydbristow said...

Montreal is famous for treating lane dividers as non-existent. example: if you're within 4 lanes (and 3 solid walls of traffic) of your exit ramp as long as it's still in front of you, you're still in the running for it.

Don't know if Dublin's left or right, but if it's left I feel for you. I didn't have the courage to drive in London. (And did have a colleague nicked by a car. "Oh, that's what those arrows are for.") I did it once (N. Cyprus) and needed a really with-it co-pilot (and still made it into oncoming traffic a few times).

twiffer said...

dublin's left. and one of the few places in ireland that actually had named roads. except they were all one-way and the names changed at every intersection. oh, and the signs for highways sometimes only existed in one direction (this search for a turn that i missed and wasn't noted when approaching in the opposite direction is what led to the bus nicking incident).

you get used to driving on the wrong side of the road after a bit. and most of the back roads were pretty much single lane anyway.

august said...

A technical detail -- if you get a chance, you might edit your post to fix the link. Also, if you label it "sydbristow," it will help with the bookkeeping.