Traffic in Miami
is pretty awful. I don’t think there is one person in this city who would disagree. It has gotten to the point that you pretty much do not ever dare to go North or East between 6:30 and 9:30 AM or South and West between 4:30 and 7:30. If you do, you are destined for endless hours of honking, frustration, anger and saying to yourself, at least a half dozen times “I’ve got to get the fuck outta this place.” This is why I have set my life up so that I never have to sit in traffic. I won’t go into the particulars of how, but suffice to say rush hour on the Palmetto is not a concept I am at all familiar with.
So the end of August rolls around again and I am making my daily trip up Old Cutler Road at 1:30 to the gym, and all of sudden traffic comes to a dead stop. “Funny,” I think, “there must be some sort of accident.” Well, I was right insofar as there was an accident causing this slowdown, but it was not the sort involving automobiles and grinding steel. No, it was the type that involves people and grinding bodies who do not use protection. Some of you call them children. A bunch of little walking accidents apparently don’t know how to look both ways before they cross the street, and therefore the speed limit on half of Old Cutler is slowed to 15 miles an hour for two hours each morning and afternoon.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I hold children in about the same esteem as I hold your typical household cockroach, aka pests that the world would be much better off without. And anyone who knows me also knows that I absolutely, 100% refuse to ever sit in traffic, meaning that I will take a friend to the airport 4 hours early at 5 AM to avoid sitting in Rush Hour. So when my least favorite thing on earth causes me to engage in my least favorite activity on Earth, I tend to get a liiitle bit agitated. And when I ever get a chance to go through a school zone and there is nobody ahead of me, I full-on floor it in the hopes of teaching some little punk a valuable lesson.
First off, how the fuck does it take 2 hours for a bunch of little snot-nosed brats to cross the goddman street? I remember when I was in school we got out at 3 and the place was a ghost town by 3:30. Now, I know kids in Miami are a little slower than in the rest of the country, but you can’t legitimately tell me it takes them two hours to figure out how to get form the door of their classroom to the other side of the street. Maybe they explain that in “Vamos a Cuba,” and that’s why nobody can figure it out. Secondly, why is this slowdown even necessary? The rest of us seem to manage to cross streets safely without harmless motorists being forced to waste half their day waiting for them. Why are kids so special that the rest of us have to stop so they can cross the street? Teach kids about crosswalks and those little guys on the stoplight that tell you when you can and cannot cross the street and we can avoid a lot of unnecessary traffic. It would take exactly one kid getting run over because they were too lazy/stupid to look both ways before traffic education would be a required part of their daily curriculum. Pro-education, anti-traffic. Damn, if only I were Hispanic I could run for local office.
But were this mandatory delaying of my day not enough, parents, as they do with everything else, seem to think their child is more important than the needs of the rest of the population. So they sit in the middle of the road waiting for their kid to get out of class. The driveway at Gulliver or Pinecrest Elementary or Lourdes Academy always seems to be backed up, and none of these inconsiderate people who were too stupid to use birth control seem to think it might be courteous to keep driving or get the fuck out of the way so the rest of us could get though. No, their little darling prince/princess needs to have curbside service form Mommy in her Mercedes SUV, and all of South Dade can just wait until he gets out of class. Memo to all parents everywhere: Your kid is about as important to everybody else as the current weather in Mongolia. So stop expecting us to wait while your kid gets out of school. Circle around, or, better yet, have your kid call when they are outside and you can come pick them up. It’s not like the little fat ass has anything better to do. He’s just in a rush to get home so he can sit on MySpace and play EverQuest.
Miami has enough traffic problems without us having to take four more hours out of the day to slow down. Teach your kids how to properly cross the street or pay the goddamned consequences. It’s not like there’s a shortage of children anyway. Because some of us have places to go, and the people waiting for us will not accept “your kid being late coming out of school” as a valid excuse. So show some goddam consideration and let the rest of us go by. Or, better yet, get rid of the school zones altogether and let them learn life’s lessons the hard way. Because none of them seem to be learning them right now.