Because He’s More Important

Here is a special guest post, a true story from Starts & Fits’ lovely significant other, futurebird.

It was the high days of the holiday shopping rush, and with only few days to go, people packed the sidewalks, cars packed the streets. Even I, a died-in-the-wool anti-consumerist radical, had succumbed to the madness. I was fighting my way east through the crowd on 18th Street to buy wrapping paper for my all natural, hand-knitted gifts.

When I got to Sixth Avenue, I noticed that no one was walking. We were stuck on the corner waiting to cross the street, but the cars were not even moving. Nothing was moving. It was total gridlock of cars and even people. Pedestrians could not even weave in and out of the cars to cross because the cars were too close to one another.

Horns began to blare and pedestrians began to yell. A guy up the block was yelling “Move! Hey! Move!” I looked for the source of the confusion.

Halfway up the block I saw it: The biggest, most shiny, most chrome covered, most yellow, most wide and ugly Hummer I’ve ever seen. It had all kinds of gadgets and extra lights. It was blasting music, or perhaps just some kind of low pulsing sound so deep and loud it made the wind shield wipers rattle on nearby cars.

Bizarrely, it was stopped mid-block with nothing in front of it. It was so wide none of the other cars could get by easily. It was the source of the gridlock, and in that gridlock, two cars back, was a cop car. The cop turned on his lights after a long minute of people honking and yelling for the Hummer to move. The cop spoke into his loud speaker: “Pull over. … You! … Pull over to your right. … The yellow SUV, pull over to your right. … You, in the Hummer, pull over to your right!”

Slowly and only after being asked a few more times, the Hummer crept over … to the left. This cased even more gridlock.

“Your other right!”

Finally the driver understood and pulled over.

And life went on.

I estimate at least 100 people were held up because … because … well, I don’t honestly know. There was no reason to stop there. The engine had not stalled. It made no sense.

But then, I’m not thinking like a Hummer driver. You see, Hummer drivers are more important than other people. Perhaps something in a store window caught this fellow’s eye. Maybe he wanted to adjust his speakers, or rummage through his glove compartment to find some more of that lovely music to share. Whatever he wanted to do, it’s fine to block all of the Avenue of the Americas for two mintues. It’s fine to blast music so loud it disturbs people … and it’s fine not to be bright enough to know the difference between left and right. And the bigger your car is … the more fine it is.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Because He’s More Important

  1. Anonymous says:

    This Hummer guy sounds like he could have used a good drubbing. Perhaps NYC should import that gang of kids from Milwaukee who pulled that poor guy out of his car and nearly beat him to death for honking his horn. The kids could rove around midtown beating the crap out of motorists as needed.

  2. AD says:

    Haha. That was pretty brutal, but it is an effective way at stopping unnecessary honking. Probably even more effective than signs threatening a $350 fine.

  3. peakguy says:

    I love the diagram! Notice also how the parked cars on both sides leave no wiggle room for traffic to get around the Hummer. If just one side of the street were open, traffic could have flowed AND perhaps less cars would be cruising/stalking for free parking spots, which is my guess on the behavior you observed.

  4. AD says:

    Ah, yes. No wonder why he stopped. Maybe he was looking for parking. It must be pretty hard to find two adjacent open spaces in Manhattan.

  5. peakguy says:

    Exactly, imagine parallel parking one of those into a parking spot designed for a mid-sized sedan. I’m not advocating violence, but I’m all for making Hummers / horn honking socially unacceptable. Perhaps we could ban free parking to certain vehicle classes over a given length.

  6. AD says:

    Yeah! Hummers should be socially unacceptable. It’s hard to believe they’re even street legal.

  7. aaron says:

    I have this dream that someday NYC pedestrians will figure out a way to self-organize into ad hoc traffic control agents, suddenly swarming around vehicles like this idiot Hummer, scaring the crap out of him and making him move. There are so many more of us than them. As noted above, I suppose this is already happening in Milwaukee and the results aren’t particularly pretty.

  8. jen says:

    yeah, AD is right, that guy in milwaukee deserved a beating because he was honking at kids who were IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET (not at a crosswalk with the walk sign in their favor or anything)…
    now, i understand honking sucks sometimes, but people are so fucking inconsiderate – ON FOOT OR IN A HUMMER – that it’s necessary sometimes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I would have boo’ed loudly and encouraged other pedestrians to do the same

  10. Pedestrian Rage says:

    Honking is never necessary! It is illegal unless you’re having an emergency! Listen, when I’m driving, and even when I’m not, I get frustrated by people who stroll across the street against the light and stuff like that. But honking doesn’t get heard just by the offenders — it gets heard by everybody! I can’t even relax at home for all the car alarms and honking going on, all because people can’t wait for someone to get out of a cab or pull out of a parking place.