Got a bee in my backside this week, folks, as I had not only one near miss, but two, and in the same location. Well, if you guessed in the crosswalk at Red’s Eats, you would be dead on. Now I know, the law says pedestrians have the right-of-way, and that is true, but nowhere does it say that one should at any time not exercise extreme caution crossing any road.
These particular times I was loaded and just inching down Main Street, Wiscasset, trying to keep an eye on the population on the sidewalk waiting to order at Red’s, and once a couple just up and turned and stepped in front of me without so much as a glance in my direction.
Now if you wanna see some drama unfold, try stoppin’ near 80,000 pounds, on 18 wheels, in 2 feet, safely. It makes this old improved heart of mine work pretty good, I’ll tell ya.
And it wasn’t but two days later I’m comin’ down the same hill in Wiscasset, just barely creepin’ along with traffic, eyeballin’ that line again, and I see a couple standing, waiting to cross, so I stopped to let them cross. As they cleared the street, I clutched her in and started to move, then somebody else darted out of the line to make a beeline across the street!
Now I don’t know, maybe people don’t realize how much inertia it takes to move a big truck loaded, but it’s a fair amount, and when it starts to move, it takes just as much effort to stop it. And it just makes me wonder how much that lobstah roll is worth some days! I don’t know, maybe heaven is better!
My point here is that even though pedestrians, by law, have the passage, use some … I hate to say “common sense,” because that would be too simple. Mom taught me from an early age to make eye contact with the driver, if possible, before crossing; to always, always look both ways; and then, as you step into the roadway, to look again, because somebody may have missed something. Myself, I usually wave to the driver, not only as a thanks for stopping, but just in case he missed me, in which case he now might see a hand go up.
Another one that bugs me is bicycles. I know we have to share the road with them, and that’s not going to change. But folks, please, don’t challenge a truck or a car to the right-of-way. You’re going to lose every time. I mean, every summer we hear of a bicyclist being killed or seriously injured after being hit by a vehicle. But I don’t think I have ever heard of a driver being injured by being run into by a bike!
And in case you’re wonderin’, there is an old maritime sayin’ that my buddy Lee, who captained for over 30 years, uses: “gross vessel tonnage.” The bigger you are, the harder it is to stop or maneuver. So just because the law says so, don’t think for a minute that law is going to save your backside when you do something stupid! Remember, “ya can’t fix stupid!”
Remember last spring, when I was dickerin’ with an old-timer up in The County over a little skiff and trailer he had for sale? And I lost out? Well, I learned my lesson. My friend Branden had a nice aluminum skiff and trailer for sale, and even though he wanted to sell it with the motor, which I didn’t need, as I had one, he finally relented and made me an offer I jumped on! So I’m thinkin’ the white perch and the mackerel might be in trouble soon. But one thing’s for sure, Ms. Sue and yours truly will be enjoying some lake time this summer. Of course, that will be after we get our summer home, the Miss Yankee Pride, ready for her summer berth at Schooner Landing!
We’ll see ya down the road, and keep an eye out for those folks that are missin’ that “common sense” gene, you might save a life! Next time …
Yankee Pride Transport