Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...

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Friday, February 29, 2008

The 3 Year Old Parrot

The moral of this post is:

Watch what you say when your kids are around.

A few weeks ago, I was driving Alex home from the store. There's an exit called the Rock Prairie Road exit, which is getting ready to be closed to make way for a new traffic pattern and a new exit system.

The reason for the change plays right into what happened to me that day. This exit used to be a state and county funded game of Chicken, Bumper Cars, and NASCAR all rolled into one package.

A map of the exit is here.

The exit was designed in a day when the area of not that built up. In a matter of 2 years, this area exploded with growth, and continues to grow. Moderate income housing is all over the place, so a lot of after-work traffic was generated nearly overnight.

The exit was redesigned and is currently in the final stages of that development. In fact, this exit will be closed and traffic diverted to 3 newer, and more logical, exits. But the exit, when I drove into it, of course had not yet been closed.

I rounded the turn, over the bridge, and eased over to the right side. I say "eased" but at 70 miles per hour, it's more like piloting. But I have to get over to the right, and do it at 70, because if I don't, then I will get squeezed, and then I have to drive like Mario Andretti to make my exit. Since I usually call my wife Mario Andretti when she drives, I try not to be the one calling the kettle black.

I'm in my final approach. I'm in the right lane, and get over the bridge and through the curve. I watch incoming traffic from the right, which is essentially an onramp from the last exit, Deacon Drive. This onramp is my offramp, and so begins The Dance.

The Dance is the act of maneuvering your vehicle from the right lane into the merging lane. This merging lane is the offramp for me, and the onramp for those other drivers. The problem is that some people don't use it as either. They use it as a through lane. They have NO intention of getting onto the highway. They are making their way to Rock Prairie Road from Texas Avenue, and instead of using Frontage Road, they use the highway. This is because using Frontage Road will actually slow you down once you get to Rock Prairie Road, because now you have to merge traffic with the offramp drivers, like me.

Recap -- offramp and onramp at the same time. Frontage Road a big cluster fuck for merging into offramp traffic. The ramp is used as a through lane.

You do NOT want to be here at 5PM.

So here I am, driving in from Bryan, wanting to use the ramp as an offramp. And so, I Dance.

I move onto the offramp. I slow down to 60 to prevent rear ending the guy in front of me. He speeds up.

A Suburban comes rushing up my left side, moves in, hits the brakes, and merges in front of me. He had maybe 100 feet before he would have missed the exit entirely. He could have made it easier on himself by slowing DOWN, and coming in behind me, but he had a "Me First" mentality that, frankly, most drivers in College Station seem to have. This is born from the many young drivers in this area, I believe.

So I'm ticked. Alex, in his car seat, will hear me cuss, so I hold my tongue...sort of...

"Yeah, cut in front of me...you ass!"

The last time I took Alex to the doctor, the boy would not shut up. He asked the same question about 15 times in a row until he was answered. The catch, of course, is that he waits all of .02354765 seconds before he repeats the question.

His doctor laughed and said "He's a 3 Year Old Parrot". Apparently, this is a common affliction.

Back in the car, Alex hears my retort, and replies:

"Yeah....ASS!"

It took all of my will power to hold off from laughing.

I almost wanted to give him a saltine cracker.

I had to tell him not to use that word, and I had to keep him from seeing me smile, but it reminded me that everything I say, from this point forward, can, and will, be repeated.

Which means, when I see a good looking woman walk down the street, I should not use the term "Hottie McFineass"...

1 comment:

LaLoosh said...

I was driving my then 8/9 year old very intelligent daughter to piano lessons. It is only about 10 minutes from our house and they last about half an hour. I usually just stay in the car or wait inside with her and read. My daughter LOVES I repeat LOVES LOVES LOVES to read. I took along a book about a first hand account Vietnam War. As we were driving down the road she looks at the book and starts to flip through it and reading parts. She looks up at me and asks very nochalantley "Daddy is fuck a bad word?" It took all of my driving ability not to drive off the road. After gathering my senses I calmly told her " Yes and it one of the, if not the worst ones you can use and that I do not ever want to hear use it till she was married." She calmly said OK and went back to looking through the book.