Monday, July 13, 2009

Special Guest Motorist: Aaron!

"As for my own driving experiences in Rhode Island, I'd like to explain an exasperating phenomenon that I first became familiar with when I started at Providence College in '94. It was one of my first indicators that RI drivers were cut from a crooked cloth. My college friends and I called it the Rhode Island Block.

It occurs in situations when a driver is positioned at a stop sign and he/she wants to make a turn onto a main road. There are no stop signs for traffic on the road that the driver wants to turn onto, but the Blocker acts as though there are. The Block may manifest itself as an insidious creeping into oncoming traffic; it may take more extreme forms where the driver positions his or her car across a full lane of traffic in order to better facilitate a left turn. It nearly always disrupts the flow of traffic on the main road.

At first it seemed to me a kamikaze move, or else a remarkable leap of faith. This driver trusts that the traffic he/she is pulling into will slow down or even stop? But then I caught on. The Blocker knows that the other drivers have no choice but to yield. Beep the horn at him, give him the finger, and call him every name in the book, but you better also stop, because to not stop would be to wreck your own car. It's the ultimate move of mototerrorism. I still encounter it to this day."

Thanks for the message, Aaron. I couldn't agree more. The Rhode Island Block (or "R.I. Cock Block," as I and the wife like to call it) is the ultimate dick move. It exemplifies the classic, narcissistic, I-come-first, you-don't-matter, R.I. motoring mentality. Of course, we rule-abiding, R.I. motorists can't go around t-boning the R.I. C-Blockers, as our insurance premiums would skyrocket (oh yeah, we also don't want to intentionally injure anyone), but we can go slightly beyond the requisite horn-honking, name-calling and flipping of the bird. Here's my counter to the R.I. C-Block: 

1. Make sure your car is in tip-top condition, and the weather is fair. 

2. Make sure you're not driving more than 25 miles per hour. 

3. Approach the R.I. C-blocker at speed. At 30 meters, apply the horn. At 20 meters, apply the brakes . . . hard. Arrive at a stop 5 meters from the R.I. C-blocker, note his/her befuddled expression, and just stare at him/her. Stare at him/her as he/she makes his/her stupid left turn in front of you. Shake your head slightly as he/she goes by. If he/she gives you any guff, just smile sarcastically, nod, and progress forward with the satisfaction of knowing that you're the one wearing clean underpants.*

*Cleanliness of underpants may vary.  

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine and her father almost died from a R.I. Cock Block situation. Someone pulled out right in front of their motor cycle thinking they would see her and stop in time. They were traveling at about 35 mph and couldn't stop. My friend broke her jaw and eye socket, along with severe kidney, liver, and spleen damage. She also permanently lost 80% of hearing in her right ear. Her father was in a coma for a month and has needed 3 open heart surgeries, because his heart was basically torn apart when he hit the handle bars with his chest. My friend got $80,000 for a scar on her face and her loss of hearing. Her father was called at fault, he lost his job which lead to losing his home.

    I'm glad someone else is annoyed by this!