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The Mast-Head: Saturated Roads

Wed, 06/30/2021 - 19:30

“Hit me!” said the man in the white Suburban crossing Main Street from Buell Lane. It was just before 9 in the morning, and my son and I were trying to be on time for his second day of camp.

Had I been driving my unassuming Honda plug-in sedan, I might not have been quite as provoking as I was as Mr. Suburban rolled out and blocked the westbound lane, but, in my 20-year-old pickup, that day with a two-ton engine hoist in the bed, my vehicle’s body language was unmistakable: I was having none of it.

Ellis had been deejaying music on my phone at the time and did not notice what was going on until the man yelled in response to my upturned palms and “Why?” expression. “Hit me!” he said, though I did not.

Don’t get me wrong, I hardly took the high road, in this instance. Rather, I leaned out the pickup window and alerted the guy to the fact that he was a certain distinctive part of the human excretory system. Something about his smirk made it seem like more should be said. “And a Trumper!” I yelled. By this time, Ellis was paying attention and agreed that there was something to my observation about the man’s out-of-state license plates and high-fructose-red face. Polyunsaturated this dude was not. In a moment, someone in an eastbound car stopped and the affair was over. We got to camp on time, though I stewed about the encounter for some time.

With some unknown number of those who live here put out at the idea that anyone would try to make a left turn onto Main Street at this time of year, we are perhaps overly unsympathetic to the folks who try. 

Everybody seems to be talking about traffic the way they always do, that this year is for sure the worst ever. There are no reliable measures, but from our office’s imperfect vantage point, the Village Green intersection has been at a new level of crazy. Though the village cops closed a lane that had been used by drivers getting from Dunemere to Buell, near-misses happen all day long. I have to pull down my window shade sometimes to shut out the distraction. Then someone leans on the horn, and I have to look again.


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