March 19, 2009

Not exactly

I went into the bathroom yesterday and noticed a roll of toilet paper on the floor, unraveled as though it had spent some quality time with a frolicking kitten. This wouldn't be significant except for two things:

1. I don't own a cat
2. I was at the office.

I am continually amazed (although not necessarily surprised) by the degree to which adults, working professionals with degrees and credentials and salaries and responsibilities, will behave at work (and in some cases, in the greater public) in a manner that they would not tolerate in their houses, or from their children. They will forthrightly go home and explain to their kids that they, the parents, are not the janitorial staff, while having left a day's worth of dirty lunch dishes in the sink, or food in the refrigerator for a month, or every single light in the office on when they leave, as if that's clearly the reasonable and appropriate thing to do.

There is actually a sign in the restroom reminding people to flush the toilet.

I so dearly wish I was making that up, but it's true.

It's amazing, but sadly not all that surprising.

March 2, 2009

Pet Peeves, Snow Day Edition

An open letters to drivers,

On snowy days like this one, I ask you to remember one thing: When you clean off your car, please, for the love of sweet baby Jeebus, fluffy kittens everywhere, and the starving children in your favorite third-world country, clean off your car.

All of it. Really.

See, I get awfully tired of watching (and worse yet, driving behind) all of these lazy jackasses who can't seem to figure out that their car, and the snow-retaining surfaces contained therein, extend beyond their front and rear windshields.

I understand that this may come as a shock to some, but it's true. If you find that notion confusing, read the sentence over a couple of times and let the concept sink in.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you're thinking far enough ahead to clean your windshields. That kind of foresight is certainly commendable, and I recognize the magnitude of the problems that would come from not getting that far. But I'm baffled at the sight of grown adults, who have presumably been through snowfalls before, piloting what can best be described as large, white armadillos down the onramp to a major roadway. Like we don't all know how that's going to end.

Unless you're in your first winter of licensed driving, there is absolutely no excuse for this. I can't count the number of times I've had to dodge the flying lunch tray of snow coming off of the sedan in front of me, at 65 miles per hour or so, just because Mr. Myopic up there couldn't take the extra five minutes to clear off the roof of his car.

And SUVs. Don't even get me started on SUVs. Listen, it's kind of like when you get a dog - you wanted it, you clean up after it. I don't care how short you are or whether you easily reach the roof; find a way to clear the damn thing. The laws of physics are unkind enough the rolling rectangle that is your SUV in the first place, and even moreso to the flat sheet of snow and ice that you have chosen to leave there for the rest of us to deal with at highway speeds. So get a stepladder or something and take care of it like the responsible adult you would have us believe you are (because the SUV is, after all, just so much safer than other cars on the road; but that's a whole different rant).

Case in point: driving on the beltway this afternoon (which was spooky, considering that at 4:30 in the afternoon I saw all of four cars on the inner loop that weren't salt trucks), here was this joker driving an entry-model Lexus who didn't even bother to so much as brush his rear windshield, which meant that there was a three-inch thick layer of snow gradually sliding down the back of his car, just waiting to jump into traffic behind him. You could practically see it moving, just watching him in traffic (for the record, I was a passenger, so I could watch without creating my own set of problems).

Tool. Douche. Jerkoff. At least make an effort, for crying out loud. Wave a broom somewhere in the vicinity of the window. Sneeze on it. Something. Anything. Pretend like you're paying attention, if only to suggest you might, you know, actually use your rear view mirror at some point.

I know. Beltway drivers. But I digress.

When I first started driving, my older brother gave me a single piece of advice that more or less summed up his take on the rules of the road, as it were. It's not as eloquent as the Golden Rule, it's not a commandment, just a simple, four-word motto that I try to stick to on the road, and just about everywhere else.

Don't be an asshole.

You should give it a try. You can start by cleaning off your car.

All of it.

March 1, 2009

All I'm saying is...

I swung by the grocery store this afternoon, just to pick up some milk.

And the parking lot looked like Tysons Corner on December 23rd. Needless to say, I didn't stick around.

Seriously, people? I know there's snow in the forecast, and it may even be a lot of snow. But let's be real, here: it's Northern Virginia. We're in the South, and it's effing March. Do you really think you're going to get snowed in? In March? In Virginia?

At some point, you figure people would learn. But no, there they were, no doubt loading up on bread and water, getting ready for the long haul.

Both days of it, before it goes up over 40 and melts everything by the weekend.

But hey, at least you'll have plenty of bread.
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