I know, dear reader, that you don't need to be told these things, but it seems much of the general public is wandering around in a haze of self-important self-indulgence and needs a little reminder...so please bear with me as I vent my spleen in the place least likely to garner attention from the men in white coats - the Blue Nowhere. In the interest space and time, I have refrained from a full-on venting...just two small items for now. Thank you for your patience.
When the above is found on an octagonal sign (that being a sign with eight sides - count them, you'll see), wherein the background of the sign is red (crimson, if you like) and the letters and a handy, attention-getting edge are white (often reflective for easy night time viewing), what does it mean, children? Yes, that's right Bobby - it means that you must gently apply your brakes and bring your vehicle to a safe, complete stop, preferably before actually entering the intersection at the corner of which the sign may be found. Sometimes there's even a nice white line painted on the pavement to indicate where the sign-placers believe you should end your forward motion. Thoughtful, aren't they?
Many times you will note that an intersection has one of these fancy little signs at each corner, indicating that all approaching traffic must stop. Should you be the only one at the intersection, you may of course proceed onward in your chosen direction as soon as you've attended the sign's directive and ascertained (that means "made sure", children) that the intersection is clear.
It is generally considered rude (and unsafe) to perform a "rolling stop", wherein you simply slow a bit and then cruise through the intersection...especially when another vehicle, long before your approach, performed the legally mandated cessation of motion, looked in all directions to be sure it's safe, and began to accelerate once more. Ruder (and less safe) still would be to perform said "rolling stop" while turning into the lane the previously mentioned vehicle is also trying to occupy at that same moment. You may find your lack of courtesy having a rather crunchy result.
Courtesy and safety aside, there is the small matter of the law, which frowns upon such shenanigans. Don't make Officer Friendly frown, children - it puts lines on his face.
Some intersections provide special lanes for people who wish to turn left or right. Handy, aren't they? It is not only polite, but recommended, that you use your turn indicator - left for a left turn, right for a right turn (I only mention this because there seems to have been some confusion on the matter, lately) - to show other motorists which way you wish to go. Playing "Guess the Direction" makes motorists cranky.
If you are in the center lane, other motorists will believe you wish to proceed straight through the intersection. This means that the nice lady in the red Astro van who has been waiting for half an hour in the right turn lane because traffic is rancid will not be looking for you to turn right from the central lane just as she is also turning right from the (gasp) actual turning lane, both of you seeking to occupy the same space at the same time. It is possible that your little black Lexus (with, apparently, malfunctioning turn signals and a directionally challenged driver) will find itself on the losing end of this physical impossibility, unless of course the nice lady in the red Astro van is being extra vigilant because you are not the first motorist to get up to shenaniganry that day, and the nice lady in the red Astro van does not wish to put lines on Officer Friendly's face (although clearly you have no regard for poor Officer Friendly and his youthful appearance, for shame).
It would be wise to note, as well, that when you are behind someone who is actually following the directive of the traffic sign, you need not honk your horn, flash your lights, or attempt to inch your vehicle up the lead vehicle's tailpipe in order to encourage motion simply because they actually dared to come to a complete halt and (gasp) impeded your own scheme to perform your beloved "rolling stop". Perhaps you could, instead, pause and enjoy the scenery while you obey the traffic laws you (as a voting citizen) have helped put into place. See the icicles on the tree? Shiny. See the flowers in the verge? Pretty. See the children chasing their puppy into the intersection? Squishy.
Alright, now, children, let's all go have some juice and cookies and think about what we've learned.
Elevate Your Manners
Attention, boys and girls, attention! There's a small matter of elevator courtesy to discuss before we break out our naptime mats and cuddly blankies.
Can anyone tell me what an elevator is? Yes, Suzy, that's right - it's a magic box that takes us up or down in a bulding, depending on which buttons we push. Aren't they wonderful? Aren't they fun?
Here are some things to know that will make them wonderful and fun for everyone on the ride:
First, direction. Don't push the upward facing button of you really wish to go down. Don't push the downward facing button if you really wish to go up. It confuses the poor elevator, which is really a very simple machine after all and only wants to please its passengers.
If the directional button you desire has been pressed, it will usually have a light indicating so. You don't have to push it again. Pushing it again, once or many time in rapid succession, will not make the elevator reach you any faster.
When the magical transporting box reaches you floor and opens its welcoming doors, wait a moment. Step aside and let the egressing (that means "exiting", children) passengers make room for you inside. If you see a little old lady with an oxygen tank and a walker, perhaps you might seek to place your hand in front of the door or punch the button especially for that purpose to keep the doors from closing on her as she makes her painfully slow way into the vestibule.
Let everyone off before you seek to enter the magic-funtime transporter, please. When it's your turn to climb aboard, press the button indicating your desired floor and only that button. You don't need to push them all - the vestibules all look the same, and you can always take a walking tour later if you're desperate to see each one. Move to the back of the box to allow others a chance to ride.
It is most polite to hold the door if you see someone rushing to make it to the elevator. I know the sad, frustrated, or disappointed look on their face as the door slides shut inches from them is amusing, but their gratitude will keep you warm on cold winter nights.
When the elevator has brought you to your floor and is ready to discharge you, look around. Is anyone else getting off? Is there another little old lady with two broken legs and a walker? A pregnant woman who is clearly exhausted and trying not to fall asleep between floors? If you are young, able-bodied, or empty handed, how about holding the door open for these others and giving them an opportunity to egress first? I know it means pausing your terribly important cell-phone conversation about who is going to church with whom, and how often, and what they wore and why it's wholly inappropriate long enough to actually notice your fellow passengers, but it is the polite thing to do. Also, standing in the center of the doorway while chatting blithely on the phone, holding up both outbound and inbound traffic because this isn't your floor is a double no-no and may garner you a smack on the behind with an errant umbrella.
Finally (for now), children, remember - if you felt the need to steep yourself in pungent cologne, perfume, parfum, eau de toilet, or some other scented mayhem, or if you find bathing regularly personally offensive or pungent body odor delightful...consider the allergies and sensibilities of others and take the stairs.
Whew...I feel a little better, now...
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.