Archive for Friday, June 26, 2015

Scott: Humans are funny people

June 26, 2015

For many years I have watched with growing amusement and bemusement the antics and foibles of people, and have reached a point where nothing anybody does surprises me. Nevertheless, I remain flabbergasted by behavior that flies squarely in the face of common sense.

I offer some examples of human behavior that, curiously widespread, continues to baffle me.

Why do some drivers tailgate? Logic dictates that traveling six inches from another car’s rear bumper will not hasten the arrival at a destination. Tailgating is in my top tier of pet peeves. I purposely slow down when the car behind me looms larger than life. I will not be intimidated into speeding up. I gleefully watch them in my rear-view mirror as they make angry hand gestures and hurl invectives at me through their windshield. I’m sorry, what was that again? Then I smile at them as they take the first opportunity to whiz around me and tailgate someone else.

Shawnee boasts miles of bike lanes on its city streets. This is intended to give cyclists a measure of safety on the road. A good idea. I’m sure they are appreciated by the many cycling enthusiasts in the area. But they are also appreciated by joggers. For the life of me I don’t understand why some joggers choose to expose themselves to vehicle traffic when a perfectly good sidewalk runs parallel to the road. And don’t feed me that nonsense about sidewalks having uneven surfaces. I jogged for many years on sidewalks and the only injury I ever sustained was on a street during a road run when I stepped in a pothole. If you want to jog in a bike lane or on the street, grow wheels.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen sprinkler systems at businesses and residences spewing out hundreds of gallons of water in the midst of a 2-inch rainstorm. I understand that the systems are programmed to come on at certain times, but how hard is it to turn the system off when rain is forecast or is coming down in buckets? Come on! Hear that shrill sound carried by the west wind? That’s Californians cursing us.

I have a friend who, many years ago, escaped serious injury or possible death when he was hit by a careless driver while riding his motorcycle. He was wearing a helmet which was cracked down the middle by the impact. Machismo is not a good substitute for good judgment. And the skull is not a good substitute for a helmet. Unfortunately for some, nature did not equip humans with an exoskeleton.

This one really confounds me. It seems to me completely incongruous why some (mostly young) people insist on wearing a T-shirt, shorts and thongs outside in the dead of winter. Then, during the heat of summer these same people wear a hoodie – with the hood covering their head, no less. Their internal thermometers are obviously out of whack.

Mind you, I am not claiming moral superiority nor am I an eco-freak, but I take canvas bags to the store when I do my grocery shopping. Honestly, before I started this practice I had collected enough plastic bags to open a bag store. Is it the training, laziness or simply convenience that explains why a check-out clerk will use three plastic bags for five items? It just doesn’t make any sense at all why they automatically assume that the customer will want a single item in a bag. No, don’t put my candy bar in a bag; I’m going to eat it on the way out. Sheesh!

Okay, here’s another one that leaves me shaking my head. I can only assume that there are a lot of people who share the same family name: Lane. And the first name of all of them must be Fire. That explains why they are parking in those areas marked Fire Lane. Silly me. I thought that area was for fire trucks in the event of a fire.

I’m sure you have many examples of your own. We get so accustomed to witnessing these anomalies that we begin to accept them as normal. If this kind of behavior is normal, I suggest we put a “d” in front of the word evolution. Conclusion: Humans can be funny people. And not always in a “ha, ha” way.

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