|For the record - I took this photo sitting in standstill traffic. I do not photo while driving.|
Just a few doors down from my office is a QT gas station, located right on that same busy road.
When we first moved to where we live now, there was a QT right down the road that rapidly turned into one of my favorite places to pop by before I drove up into the mountains for my last job. Grab a coffee, a doughnut, a chicken Caesar wrap, a salad... it's basically a gas station with pretensions of being a restaurant, and I am all for that. Especially since this food is actually pretty good.
QT has a mobile app, and my coworker told me about them doing "the 12 days of QT giving", where they gave away something free every day. I signed up for it and today the free item was a small latte.
Yes. It's a gas station with lattes.
Even when I'm picky about my coffee, I'm really not that picky.
After picking up my latte, I took the side entrance out onto a little feeder street that exists basically entirely to get people from a small apartment complex about a half-mile back onto the aforementioned horrible busy road. With one lane of traffic that heads in the direction of the apartment complex and two lanes going the opposite direction - one that turns right onto Busy Road, and one that turns left onto Busy Road.
I pulled into the left-turning lane, happily sipping my latte, only for a gigantic semi-truck to attempt a ridiculously wide right turn on top of me.
Let's remember, folks; I'm sitting in my own left-turning lane.
This wasn't a "truck makes wide turns" kind of thing. This was him essentially not turning at all and sort of trying to head diagonally across all three lanes of traffic. He would have driven on top of me and still ended up facing the wrong direction towards oncoming traffic trying to turn onto Busy Road.
Now, it turned out for him that my car is actually a solid object he could not simply drive on top of without having to deal with at least some inconvenience on his part and a lot of explanations to his boss as to how he ended up with a massive lawsuit on his hands when he decided he wanted to drive onto the grass at the KFC instead of making an actual right turn.
When I refused to simply stop existing in my lane, he came to a stop and got out of the truck.
He stomped over to me, even more infuriated by what I'm sure was a thoroughly befuddled expression I was wearing.
"YOU ARE IN MY LANE," he shouted.
Oh, good, I thought, we're just going straight to shouting.
Traffic began to back up behind him. I mentioned this is a hugely busy road during Christmas, right?
Now, his back was to all those people, but I can tell you - a few of them were definitely making some communicative gestures he wouldn't have liked.
"This is a left-turn lane," I replied. "I'm waiting to turn left onto Busy Road."
"NO, IT ISN'T! IT IS NOT A LEFT-TURN LANE!" I thought about reminding him that we all learned in kindergarten that talking loudly doesn't actually make you right about something, then thought better of it.
I tried one more time.
"It's a left-turn lane," I said again, gesturing to the three cars who had pulled up behind me into the same lane by this point. "You're blocking me in."
The light bulb flickered.
The light bulb went out.
"BUT I HAD THE LIGHT!"
"That doesn't make this not a left-turn lane. That's not how driving works. My light is green and I have to go to work now," I said, I thought very politely. I rolled up my window and pulled out around his semi-truck and made the turn.
So did the three people who were in line behind me.
Last I saw, he was still standing in the road by his truck shouting and gesturing at those of us who had the temerity to want to drive in our own lane of traffic.
And that, my friends, is what driving on this particular road in December is like in a nutshell.