January 31, 2010

Thine Hawse is Wicked Retahded

As Matt and I were on our way back from the grocery store this afternoon we almost got hit while traveling through a rotary. Sometimes referred to as traffic circles or roundabouts, rotaries in the northeast are a special test of any motorist’s skills.

The rules of the road, at least here in Boston, indicate to ‘yield to the traffic in the rotary’ but unfortunately most people take that as a loose term and unless you are smack dab in front of them when they are approaching the circle, it is anyone’s guess as to just what ‘in the rotary’ even means.

I personally take it to mean if a person is more than half way around and on an approach to cross the place I am entering from, then I yield. If someone has just entered the circle from the next counterclockwise approach and not going to impact my entrance, I enter. To me this seems logical and has saved me from multiple accidents over the years.

The problem of course is that logic seems to escape most motorists, so when I am already in the circle I have to be on guard because their definition of yield may be just slightly different than mine. A good example of this is someone who not only does not yield but doesn’t even look to their left as they approach but rather, simply blasts on through because, well, clearly they should always have the right of way.

That is what almost happened today but the SUV came to an almost brake screeching halt just in time and we proceeded to exit the rotary, shaking our heads, with their front bumper mere feet from my door.

After it happened, we sparked up a conversation about how rotaries might have been a little more challenging back in the days of the horse drawn buggy. Picture one horse T-boning another as their carriage careens out of control toward the circle. With so much power the accidentee would never know what hit him. Poor horse.

Of course just like in today’s times -- ‘It wasn’t my fault, the brakes didn’t stop me fast enough’ -- we both imagined that the out of control buggy driver would surely blame the accident on part of the vehicle itself, saying to the guy with the broken wooden wheel and grain spilling from the back of the wagon --

“Yaw hawse is wicked retahded!”

Of course I had to correct Matt and remind him this was back in the old days when people still spoke in proper English here in Boston; I assured him the crazy driver would have more likely said --

Thine hawse is wicked retahded!”

As we approached home and pulled into the driveway we started to consider some of the other road rage phrases that might be yelled out from the bench of one wagon to another back in the day. Stuff like --

“Stop chiselin’ that lettah ta ya Motha and drive!”
“Hey fuckah, how about puttin’ both hands awn tha reigns!”

One of my personal favorite things that I frequently utter to myself or whoever else happens to be in the car with me when I am behind someone weaving all over the road is “Go back to the baah!” Of course, in the old days they were more likely yelling “Take thyself back to Ye Old Tavehn!”

Thanks for the screen shot Google Maps.


Almost Precious said...

After totally cracking up, I'm now down to a hearty chuckle. Can't decide which road rage phrase I'll use the next I'm out cursing the stupid clod that almost caused my insurance premiums to sky rocket...kind of fond of ; “Hey fuckah, how about puttin’ both hands awn tha reigns!”

pastrywitch said...

Wicked fuhneh!

Karen said...

Those things would scare me to death... I'd probably take the long way 'round rather than get on one! Glad you missed an accident!

Rosebud Collection said...

I am not a fan of the traffic circles..Where I lived we only had about two, Greenport/Riverhead..that was enough.
Never heard of them called Rotary, till I went to MA..At home they put a sign out "Rotary meets today", so while in MA..I thought you had an awful lot of meetings..My husband never lets me live that remark down..

Bree said...

Ah Jenn, how I love ya!

Jenn said...

I hope you do use it Anna lol! Happy this made you laugh :-)


They're tough to avoid Karen, there are so many of them here that sometimes its better to just hang on and pray haha.

That's hilarious Carolyn!! Some of the signs are huge too, you must've thought it was a really important meeting :-)

& I am happy to be loved!

Jeff said...

There are two roundabouts near my house and I try to stay away from them. The worst part of those things is when people are in the roundabout and they slow down, yielding, sometimes even letting other people in. Keep it moving!

tattytiara said...

At least back then you could hope the horses had more sense than the drivers, eh? I didn't know Boston had traffic circles. We have them up here in Edmonton (alberta) too.

Bridgete said...

My friend HATES that they're called rotaries. he says, if anything, they should be called "revolveries" because nothing is actually rotating, the cars are revolving around the island in the middle.

Whatever you call them, they are, indeed, annoying. We have ONE in Portland. We call it a traffic circle. I know where it is and generally avoid it...you know, when I'm actually in Portland these days. It's even more confusing because this one is actually a four-way stop, so what happens is a big flow of traffic just goes through without bothering to stop, instead of yielding right-of-way to whoever was at their stop sign first.

I love the horse-and-buggy road rage phrases. I'll have to think of ways to transform some of my common utterances. Although with me, it's more like a running commentary on other people's driving. I don't really yell stuff, or even get angry. I just explain to them, in a rather calm voice, exactly why their driving sucks...lol.

Jenn said...

Yes Jeff that is the worst! I'm forever saying out loud 'Hello? You're IN the rotary!' You are smart to avoid them. Thanks for stopping by!

Yeah we have quite a few tattytiara, in fact there are at least 6 within a mile of my house. Some even more confusing than this one if you can believe it! I appreciate you visiting my blog!

OMG Bridgete I do the exact same thing, Matt usually sits there and shakes his head at me while I'm saying things like 'Oh yeah right because blinkers aren't necessary and nothing like cutting someone off to go ten miles an hour slower than them, yeah nice job there.' Revolveries, I like that! Let me know if you come up with any other good ones. Oh and btw, thanks for the other message :-) Now that we are back it is nice to spend time with friends and family, and I definitely am glad we met :-)

Suldog said...

"Where didst thou get thy license? From a tin of carameled corn and peanuts?"

Chris Stone said...

“Go back to the baah!”

lol. that is a good and necessary phrase for roundabouts! the only thing i've ever figured out about roundabouts is: I'm the chicken. at least i still cluck! ;)

Rosebud Collection said...

just checking in on you..How is it going? Mighty cold here and snow will miss us this time..Thank you God..but I guess next week is another story. xoxoRosebud.

spottedwolf said...

I used to sit on the Mecom Fountain in front of the Hyatt Regency in Houston when I was trippin' on real pure acid and practice visualizin' stoppin' time....until I realized I was ACTUALLY having an effect on the traffic flow.....and nearly caused a bad accident from creating too much energy one day which caused a number of drivers to begin 'daydreaming' along with me.

I had to stop this practice after certifying it with several witnesses who were sober over a period of a few days....

Collective consciousness can be hazardous to our health, Jenn....especially where we are sensually required to think in terms of circles....hahahahahahahahahah!!!

Heya Gor!!!..whar'd ya git ya license ?!?! Da rock quarry ?!?!

Mary said...

here on cape cod we have some wicked, wicked cool rotaries so i know exactly the kinds of things you refer to ;-)

Rosebud Collection said...

Jenn, I did hear Boston and MA are going to get hit with this storm..I think we may get a dusting and I say, thank you God.
Keep warm and safe..

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I only know of one roundabout here in Southern California, it's called the circle in the city of Orange. And it's hairy to drive in, to be sure. This was a funny post, I could picture the whole thing and you made me laugh.

Rosebud Collection said...

When I don't hear from you in awhile..I have to check in..
How are you? Weather is warming, even if another storm is coming.
I really can't think about it, I know spring is around the corner.
Take care and know you are missed.