Traffic jam, road rage: And to think that I saw it on Middle Street

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No way. Big vehicles can not park at an angle on narrow streets, like Middle Street, because other big vehicles can't get past. And, wow, does San Pedro have a lot of big vehicles these days.
No way. Big vehicles can not park at an angle on narrow streets, like Middle Street, because other big vehicles can’t get past. And, wow, does San Pedro have a lot of big vehicles these days.

“And that is a story that no one can beat
And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.”
                                                                                      —  Dr. Seuss, 1934

I was cycling down Middle Street this morning and such a strange site did I see.

A traffic jam was building up there before me, so unexpectedly.

What could cause such a thing in little San Pedro, I wonder.

An elephant? A camel or two? A brass band playing like thunder?

Like little Marcos, a fatherly warning crashes upon my head:

mulberrystreet

“Stop telling such outlandish tales.

Stop turning minnows into whales.”

So, no less strange as it is, I decide to go with the truth instead.

In front of me sit golf carts, motorcycles and bicycles — all very still

Except for horns blaring, (always a thrill …).

I creep forward on my cycle, past one vehicle at a time,

Until by Greenhouse Grocer, I spy the perpetrator of this crime.

A big blue taxi  is parked stubbornly, ass end deep into the street

While a white delivery van, unable to pass, is giving up in defeat.

He inched forward, turned sideways and wiggled on back

No way could he squeeze through a space with so little slack.

Stalled Pedranos were shouting, in Kriol, Spanish and English with a lilt

“Move dat, man!” “Get past him quick! Or somebody gonna get kilt!”

Some shouted directions to the van driver, assuring him there was space

Some felt he should scrape the taxi, leave white paint all over the place.

Then somebody noticed the cabbie was just sitting in his seat,

Waiting for the client he was expecting to meet.

Pedranos descended on both sides of his car,

shouting in his face, “What kind of fool you are!”

“Back this thing out, get it out of this space!

What made you think to park like that in the first place?”

The driver was indifferent, not budging from there,

Waiting all too patiently to pick up his fare.

She came loaded with groceries and jumped nimbly into his van.

Only then did he leave, to angry slaps on the sides of his dirty blue tin can.

It was over so quickly, like a flash mob performing an act so fleet.

And to think that I saw a traffic jam and angry mob on Middle Street.

 ***      ***     ***

Profuse apologies to Theodor Geisel

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8 thoughts on “Traffic jam, road rage: And to think that I saw it on Middle Street

    Robert Chodowski said:
    June 18, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Brilliant..entertaining, and I was one of them stuck in the “traffic jam”.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      June 19, 2015 at 6:34 am

      Traffic jams, who would have ever thought! Thanks, Rob.

      Like

    Frank J said:
    June 19, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Nice work!!! I met Theodore Geisel sometime in 1980 in La Jolla California… brilliant man. He’s likely looking down and smiling 😉

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      June 19, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Wow. Thank you! I sort of thought Ted would send green eggs and ham to smear all over my face. I arrived in San Diego in 1982 but never had the pleasure of meeting the great man or his wife, Audrey. I would occasionally visit the UCSD library and admire the bronze life-size stature of Geisel in a chair with the Cat in the Hat standing beside him. When he first saw that library with its mighty buttresses and levels flaring outward, he supposedly told Audrey that is just the kind of library he would design if he could. So now it is named after him and all of his drawings and writings reside inside in a special collection.

      Like

        Linda Czestochowski said:
        June 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

        You just made me laugh out loud — at work! Guess I shouldn’t be indulging in my favourite blog while toiling in the trenches, but it’s always a welcome reprieve……takes me back to the island daze!! Keep smiling 🙂

        Like

        robertjhawkins1 responded:
        June 19, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        Happy to be a disruptive force in the workplace, Linda!

        Like

    Helen & Bill said:
    June 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I wonder if this is the same taxi that ran Gabriel Zetina off the road?

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      June 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      The only description I know of the hit-and-run is that it was a blue taxi. The one parked here has a pretty distinctive rear window display of Playboy logos, and stupid sexist sayings. Does anyone have more of a description of the hit-run taxi?

      Like

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