The Longer I Live In San Francisco...
...the more I know I am highly likely to be killed by a car.
Yesterday was a sunny, clear, fairly warm day so I decided to go for a walk. I have developed this bad habit of aquiring new music and then barely listening to it before it gets lost in the shuffle with all of my old stuff. So I decided to strap on ye olde iPod and go walk around and listen to some new things that I had bought and/or been given lately. I will digress for a moment and say that my new favorite band is Love Is All from Sweden. They remind me of equal parts Huggy Bear and X-Ray Spex with dashes of Dolly Mixture as well as their own unique, wonderfully awesome loudness thrown in the mix. I highly reccomend their album 9 Times That Same Song.
So, as I was walking along 19th street towards Noe enjoying this band for the first of many times, the sun shining, birds chirping, gays doing lawn work, etc. I decided I'd cross the street to walk down Noe to 18th. I got to the crosswalk and saw a car approaching in the distance. It wasn't moving very fast so I started to step into the crosswalk figuring I'd make it, especially since there was a STOP sign at the crosswalk and the driver would see it and, y'know, stop. Oh, how naive I can still be at this advanced age of mine. I looked at the car again to see that the driver was driving with one hand on the wheel while she bent over to the right looking for something she dropped or had put on the floor. Perhaps it was a CD or some Chinese take out or maybe even the Cracker Jack Box which had her new license in it. I will never know. So I quickly stepped back onto the sidewalk because I had a feeling her dumb ass couldn't see me.
As she pulled up and through the crosswalk, finally stopping with her back wheels barely on the other side of it, she looked up and became aware of me standing on the sidewalk with my arms up in a shrug but with far more disbelief on my face. She saw me and started making the I'm A Bad Driver Apology Face. At least she didn't have the I'm A Bad Driver Yet Shockingly Indignant and Angry With You Even Though This Is All My Fault Face. As I walked behind her car to begin crossing the street I saw her lowering her window to talk to me. Without even waiting to hear from her I took off my headphones and said "You're going to run someone over" and continued walking. I heard her, in an uber-whiny voice, start to make some sort of excuse or explain what she had been doing. I simply said "NO", put my headphones back on and kept walking. I think she was actually going to try and justify what she had been doing as totally okay as opposed to totally wrong and dangerously irresponsible. I heard her saying "Oh, I just had to find..." or something of that nature.
And this sort of thing happens so much here. I can't count how many times I have lept back to the curb as some jackass on his/her phone comes barelling around the corner without so much as a casual glance to check for pedestrians. There have been several hit and run cases involving cyclists lately in this city. I personally can't even imagine riding a bike around here the way people drive like such utter and total idiots. I can only take a small amount of comfort in reading stories like this to see that sometimes really stupid drivers are the ones who pay, not all us innocent, scared, quick-reflexed pedestrians.