The highpoint of carpool duty today was seeing 10–yes, 10 city motorcycle cops looking buff and spiffy in their black boots and uniforms standing on the side of the road during the morning carpool jam. An Urban Commando Unit* car-pooler most likely cracked one of her NUTs and called the city of Paradise’s Finest to rat on non-rule-following car-poolers.
If someone had actually planned this particular area of road, you might be able to call it an intersection. Imagine a capital X with the center being offset. Then try to picture two traffic lights so close together that only two cars can actually sit between them. Now for entertainment value, add a bike lane. That would be the real reason the cops were out today and holding a ticket pad instead of a donut. They were giving out citations for Flagrant Display of Egocentric Behavior.
The morning dance of the carpools is the result of a middle and high school sitting within spitting distance of one another, and a huge number of parents who drive their kids to school. That’s about 3,000 teenagers. Why aren’t students walking to school like their parents — through the snow without shoes, carrying all their books, and a healthy lunch? Because a large number of them live more than five miles away, and those miles are anything but flat. Why not let them take the bus? In Paradise, if you live in the geographical boundaries set for a particular school, there is no transportation provided by our urban school district. Well, that is unless your child lives outside the boundaries, and attends a school classified by No Child Left Behind as “under-performing.” Then transportation is provided so your child can escape the horrors of his own hood and attend L-T-D Middle or High School instead. There’s another group involved in the mix: the uber smart people who live in a McNeighborhood outside of L-T-D Land, and who somehow have found a way to “get in” by joining one of those school boundary laundering houses that create phony utility bills and other documents that will help authenticate that their Prince or Princesa really does belong in the local schools. It is this last class of car-poolers who, after coming quite the distance and are so close to their final destination that they can smell it, make use of the bike lane to whiz past the rule-following, tolerant, resigned to this morning ritual, car-poolers. And today, these suburban posers got nailed.
The coppers stopped the bike lane hemorrhage by halting the interlopers and spreading down the line like they were taking remote orders for In-and-Out burgers and shakes. And would you like that with grilled onions? Bah-dah-Bing! Oops! Gotcha!
The second group that were, like, well, so totally caught today were the entitled folk coming down the hill from one of the more the exclusive neighborhoods in Paradise. They like to block the first intersection by swinging their au-tos around the commoners already in line to cruise through the bike lane because, well, their time is more valuable than mine and the 45 cars behind me.
I’m thinking Paradise took in some serious cash today.
*Urban Commando Unit (UCU) — A vehicle that seats more than four passengers, more than one of whom be seen putting make-up on, or finishing homework, and usually transporting the family dogs, which has either a car or truck chassis, sits above a normal car’s height, and sports a number of stickers on its posterior, advertising everything the occupants are advocates of or interested in. Driver is predominantly female (about 90%), blonde with hi-lites (about 85%), and usually on a cell phone, blocking traffic with merge turn signal on, but is more engaged in talking and not merging. Car-poolees are spewed out into the street, so as not to lose premium space in traffic by pulling over to curb. Is extremely adept at being focused on not being focused.