Friday, July 22, 2011

Idle Wise

Happy Aloha Friday. Let me double-check, yes it is Friday. Just making sure. Temperatures in New York City hit 104 degrees today. I don't believe Hawaii has ever hit 100 degrees. Rarely do we register in the 90's. Humidity of course increases the "feels like" it's hotter factor. That being said, it's the season of the year to issue a public service bulletin of one of my top pet peeves about owners walking their dogs on the sidewalk in the middle of a hot summer's day. Since like most animals, dogs walk on all four legs, their body is only a foot from the hot pavement. Plus, they don't wear shoes. I live a stone's throw from the ocean and people are always walking barefoot on the sidewalk and across Kalakaua Ave. on the ocean front. It's a sight to see them scampering in their bare feet to a 6 square inch patch of shade because their feet are sizzling. Well, it's the same thing for dogs too while their nincompoop owners have on slippers or shoes. (Shaggy dog below was at a cooler 6pm.)

A funny thing happen on my way home today. As a matter of routine, I always ride down Kalakaua Ave., the main drag in Waikiki, before I turn off onto a side street to circle back home on the city's magnificent Ala Wai canal why with all them abandoned shopping carts and old tires stacked on top of each other below the surface. Kalakaua Ave. had the usual pau hana traffic (finish work). I hear this siren behind me. I was about to turn into the next lane, I was in the middle lane, when I noticed that the lane was empty. So, I stayed in my lane to keep an empty lane empty for the cops to pass. There was this tourist van following behind me, and the driver turns into the empty lane meaning well. But in the same process, his actions road blocks the cops' cars. I thought that was kinda lame too. By 'too," I mean the cops musta wanted to ticket the imbecile. In some instances it's indeed better to stay put.

Another incident in the staying put category happened a few year ago, as in, did I mention it already? Anyways, traffic was at a standstill bumper to bumper on Ala Moana Blvd. right in front of Ala Moana shopping center. You could leave your car and do a few hours of shopping at the mall and you'll still have the same place in the line after you got back. After a while, the lady driver in front of me decides to turn into Ala Moana shopping center albeit requisitioning a one-way exit lane for a personalized entry. Initially it appeared to be an excellent idea. Women are from Macy's. Or something like that. Before I forget to mention it, the exit is only a single lane wide.

No sooner had she turned into the misappropriated lane, two cars in the approaching direction, one behind the other, come speeding at her, and she had to veer sharply onto the sidewalk border. In fact things were happening so fast, that the two approaching cars had to hop the sidewalk on the opposite side of the lane as they zoomed pass by her their wheels in the air. What a display of driving skills. You'd had thought that they were stunt drivers doing dry runs for a live scene later on on the set. You have to imagine that this is all playing out in front of my eyes while I'm sitting in traffic idling away the day which on most occasions is usually a mundane experience.

It turned out that the drivers in the two different vehicles didn't know each other that well. The one behind happened to be chasing down the front driver. So the front driver immediately gets snarled in traffic. The pursing driver steps out of his vehicle, leaves his engine running, and walks over to the lead driver, and then starts punching the lights out of the lead driver. Obviously, there was an argument moments earlier in the parking lot of the shopping mall before the main event. The guy was macho built but he sure didn't carry himself like a punk or appear angry at the world. To spectators, more like taking care of unfinished business. And his opponent, he was trailing way behind on the scorecard to say the least. All he did was cover up and do his best imitation of a punching bag. As soon as traffic cleared an inch, the bruised driver immediately stepped on the gas and high tailed it outta there rather than stand his ground if in fact he knew where it was after the pummeling. The last I seen of the two was the assailant chasing the assailed down Ala Moana Blvd, both of them weaving in and out of traffic.


OkiHwn said...

The guy punching out the guy in the car is guilty of a felony...

Anonymous said...

In IL the driving law requires that you pull as far right as possible when emergency vehicles are approaching. The only exception is if you can clearly see the emergency vehicle in the right lane.

Isn't it the same in HI?


RONW said...

Nate- yea, he could get himself into huge problems starting right off the bat with not being able to post bail, then later fines, missing work days for court appearances, spending his weekends to perform required community service, having to attend months of anger management meetings, and black marks against job application in the future, etc. Be that as it may, the party who was being chased shouldn't have fled to begin with in a shopping mall's parking lot because of the obvious hazards his flight creates. He was in his car, essentially a safe room, an SUV at that that I didn't mention in the post. And when the guy was punching him out on Ala Moana Blvd, locking the door and rolling up the driver's side window would have put the end to it all. Nobody's strong enough to punch through the safety glass and would look ridiculous trying to. I think, because I didn't get a clear angle, that the driver stubbornly wanted to keep talking the talk, even after "hostilities began," and clearly he had gotten himself in more than he could handle with his level of brinkmanship nay raw bravado, if you may. Obviously I don't have all the facts but I'm left to believe that the aggreived driver instigated the problems and boy did he pick on the wrong person on the wrong day. The guy knew he was in better shape than the driver, but seemed the type that would walk away on other occasions. Foremost, this is not the most sensible way to resolve a conflict, and shouldn't be condoned nor encouraged, but then victims come in all different stripes too, and this victim in particular just didn't do all he could at his disposal to lessen a bad situation. Perhaps somebody reported the licence plates. Dunno for sure. Btw, remember the post was about the lady using an exit to turn into Ala Moana shopping center. Albeit, if she had caused a collision, our story would have had a different ending.

Anon- the right lane happened to be open and that would have required everybody in the middle lane stalled in traffic in the middle lane to move over to the right lane, with the cops already in fast pursuit mode, you could hear doppler effect of their sirens. The cops had to actually swerve into the middle lane than swerve back into the right lane to get around Mr. Well Intentioned. I know this with absolute certainly because the cops were right behind me in the spot vacated by the visitor van. Freak, I had to pull up to the rear bumper of the car in front of me so the cops wouldn't clip me. In that sense, the van driver put me in a hazardous position.

Kay said...

Good grief, Ron! Didn't they say Hawaii had the worst drivers in the nation? Must be.

RONW said...

Kay- I would use, "clueless." The sheer horror of it all is that the roads will only continue to get more crowded.