Here we go again folks

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

Psst. Hey. In case you didn’t know….they’re coming back.

You know the ones. They come from somewhere in the cold climes up North, and they tend to forget we have only two lanes, and no alternate routes, and they call themselves snowbirds.

It seems to me that the snowbirds are a little different this year than last, or maybe it’s just that they’re different snowbirds.

The ones we have right now, today, seem to know little about where they want to go, or how to go about getting there.

Or maybe their memories just haven’t returned full bore yet.

Monday, I was traveling to Summerland on business. I was headed southbound. I needed to stop at the convenience store for gas, so I lined up for a left-hand turn. The car that approached the highway from that street must have forgotten that they weren’t on a one-way thoroughfare. They pulled to the left side of the road for a left hand turn onto US 1.

I was blocked from making the turn unless I turned directly into the parking lot in a cross-corner fashion, which means I had to cut right in front of the other car, from Michigan by the way.

I did that, just as the oncoming car decided it was time to pull out and head south. I guess the meaning of right-of-way gets lost once you get off the mainland.

I braked, stuck in the middle of the highway with cars coming. My Michigan friend just cut in front of me and went on, giving me the quizzical hands-up gesture, whether apologizing (I doubt that) or trying to ask me, what the heck?

I went on down to Royal Palms for my business, completed it, and started to back out of the parking space. A New Jersey car came off the highway, entered the bike path, and followed it all the way to the gas station entrance next door, almost taking my rear bumper off in the process.

She gave me that same quizzical, hands-up gesture for, I assume, one of the same two reasons as stated above.

I cleared her, pulled out onto the highway and headed back northbound.

I passed the office, visited another client, and headed back southbound. I pulled into the turn lane in front of the office in the Marshall building to make a left.

Bearing down on me, head on, was a motorcycle with New Hampshire plates. The motorcycle, though much smaller than I, showed no fear and just remained in the scrambled egg lane.

I pulled over as far as I could to the left, and he just passed down my passenger side to make a left-hand turn into the CVS lot.

This time, I gave the quizzical hands-up gesture, only I’m certain I wasn’t apologizing.

Tuesday, I was headed to the office from home. Behind me was a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy. Coming the other way was a pick-up truck with Virginia plates. The truck was towing a boat, a very wide boat, on a trailer that barely fit in the travel lane.

And the driver didn’t seem to care much whether he remained inside the travel lane.

More than once he drifted over the center line into my travel lane.

I didn’t want a head-on crash in front of a police officer on Key Deer Blvd., so I drove off onto the shoulder, probably illegally leaving the paved surface, but safer than a head-on collision. I one again gave the quizzical hands-up gesture to the oncoming driver, and again not apologetically.

I looked into the mirror to see if the police officer was going to hold my serve against me just because he could.

He had done one better than me. I guess he had to swerve partially off the road as well to make sure the fenders of the trailer didn’t slap him. I thought he was going to go after the trailer-towing vehicle.

Nope.

He was delivering a single-digit salute.

And I passed on the opportunity because the police officer was behind me.

Never again.

Not me.

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