car blog, a blog about cars

The View
Through The Windshield

About Cars ... and Everything Else I See
by Joe Sherlock

Stoplight Lottery

car blogThe Stoplight Lottery. You know all about it. Because you've played the game, just as I have. Traffic is light. You're approaching a stoplight. There is only one stopped vehicle in each lane. Which one do you get behind? You make your decision based on whom you think will accelerate faster to reach/exceed the speed limit when the light turns green.

This involves a lot of stereotyping, of course. It may not be PC but everyone I know does it when behind the wheel. All the time. Personally, I don't use the word 'stereotyping'; I prefer the phrase 'drawing on my enormous database of real-world driving experiences'.

Sometimes, your stereotypical choice doesn't live up to expectations. Last week, I had to choose between a young guy in an F-150 and a mommy in a Honda Odyssey. The minivan-mom took off like a bat out of hell. Must have been late for soccer practice. Or pilates. I ended up stuck behind the poky pickup; the driver was obviously a stoner. (No, he wasn't on a cell phone.) Bad bet on my part.

Every stoplight is a new lottery. Place your wager ...

Easy bets:

Young, wiry black guy in nice older Caddy with chrome dubs versus gray-haired woman with Coke-bottle glasses in ancient Mercury Sable

Motorcycle versus beat-up Geo Metro with space-saver spare on left front

You win either way:

Grungy, middle-aged fat dude in primered '77 Corvette versus multi-pierced, community-college kid in ratty, semi-slammed '92 Acura with fart-can muffler; both are staring at each other while revving engines.

Tough calls:

Lincoln Town Car with handicapped plates versus loaded Mack dump truck

Elderly woman in Buick versus casket-carrying Cadillac hearse

Geek with Bluetooth-in-ear yapping away in a Kia while waving his arms wildly versus blonde twenty-something in a Solara doing her makeup

Old, bearded guy in VW bus versus Ford Escort with 'Student Driver' signs

Unkempt first-generation Prius versus school bus

You lose regardless:

Tractor with side brush cutter doing road shoulder work versus five Asians in older Saturn sedan

Ready, Set, Go ....

(posted 2/1/2008)


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copyright 2008-15 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved


Disclaimer

The facts presented in this blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

Spelling, punctuation and syntax errors are cheerfully repaired when I find them; grudgingly fixed when you do.

If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.

If I have slandered any people or corporations in this blog, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal) and try to prove to me that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.

Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.


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