On Saturday, I had to go to the post office to mail a package. I was headed to a bar to watch the Saints/Cardinals game, which meant that I had to make a left turn out of the post office parking lot.
That’s correct. A left turn across traffic. Four lanes of traffic, to be precise.
This, my friends, is my fourth greatest fear.
Why is this my fourth greatest fear? It’s the sheer number of factors that go into calculating the timing of such a turn. You’re looking out for oncoming cars from the left so you can cross over those lanes without being t-boned, and you have to calculate the speed of cars coming from the right to see if you have enough time to get across the first two lanes and accelerate fast enough so you don’t get rear-ended.
Even worse is when traffic is at a standstill. You have to do that thing where you nudge your car out into the road so that you’re blocking two lanes of cars, all in the slimmest of hopes that there will be a gap in traffic awaiting you on the other side. It’s a terrible thing. More than once I’ve simply deserted my car and run naked along the sidewalk. Why naked? Because that’s how I panic.
So if you ever see some guy in a silver Camry XLE trying to turn left against several lanes of traffic, give him a friendly wave and let him cross. Or, if you’d rather see a pale white man running naked down the road, wait until he edges out into the road and then honk at him as loud as you can. That’ll do the trick.