Entitlement. It’s everywhere. I mean, EVERYwhere.
I saw it in Pitman the other day, when some guy got out of his parked car and walked directly across in front of traffic to get into a pizza shop. He looked neither left nor right, just stepped out of his car and walked.
He’s like many other entitled people traipsing the streets these days, on foot or behind the wheel.
This is partly thanks to the onslaught of enforcement of crosswalk laws, I believe. It started in shopping parking lots, where zombie-like beings started walking hither and yon, with the understanding that speed zones, striped crosswalks and imprudently placed Stop signs would protect them from physical harm.
The illogical part is that, it seems to have worked. Maybe I resent it because for the better part of my life, I had to actually look both ways and be extremely careful to safely cross a street or driveway. But these so-called people simply and heedlessly stroll in front of oncoming cars. Nary a glance in either direction.
Drivers do it, too. There’s the driver who is waiting to pull out from a side street. The car in front of you passes. There’s a big gap in traffic. The guy sits there until you’re almost at his position and then he pulls out in front of you, forcing you to hit the brakes. (Invariably, this driver wants to be in front of you for only 500 feet or so, immediately hitting his own brakes and making a left turn.)
The variation on this theme is the driver who watches traffic passing at 45 mph, waits for an opening, then pulls out in front of you, in your car, doing 45 mph, and does a whopping 30 mph. Stand on those brakes!
I mentioned earlier about all those years I had to make my own way across a street. When we were kids, we were sometimes just as entitled as the idiots today. We’d sometimes step in front of an oncoming car to cross the street.
“You’re gonna get hit,” a pal might say.
“Naw, if he hits me, he’ll get arrested,” I might reply.
Stupid? Of course. But I never once took my eyes off that car and was always ready to jump out of the way if, for instance, that driver didn’t agree with my assessment of what might happen to him.
Today, I never cross without looking at traffic. I always wait for a car to pass. I’m trying to make a statement, although often the driver simply stops his car and I am forced to cross in front of him. I resignedly wave my thanks as I cross.
Some towns have decoy patrols now, where cops in plain clothes step out into “Stop for the Pedestrian” crosswalks and try to catch you not stopping. Sounds like entrapment to me, but what do I know? Also sounds dangerous.
Although, I suppose, if you hit one of them, you’ll get arrested.