Four Way Fun and Simple Thrills

I can sort of understand city dwellers not understanding how four way stops work. I mean, they’re still dumbasses, but at least we can understand why. It’s not a part of their everyday driving experience. But when someone in my neck o’ the woods doesn’t know what to do at a four way stop it is inexcusable. I was on my way out to Wal-mart to get “a few things” this morning. There’s a four way stop not far from here. When I got to it there was one car in front of me and a newish red Dodge pickup on the cross road, coming from the right. (This is what we call heavy traffic around here.) I don’t know which one was there first. The car went first after stopping so then it was the pickup’s turn. The guy in the pickup waved for me to go ahead. I guess I should have been happy to get to go when it wasn’t my turn but instead I was pissed off at his failure to follow the rules so I waved impatiently for him to go and he did.

When I got into The Nearby Small Town I found that someone was working on the lights at the busiest intersection in town and they were flashing red for both streets. We all know what this means, don’t we boys and girls? It’s a temporary FOUR WAY STOP! I was in the left lane to be ready for the left turn into Walmart. There were two vehicles stopped in front of me. Immediately in front of me was a pickup and in front of that was a car, of which I could see nothing but a bit of the roof through the windows of the pickup. The car kept sitting at the light while several cars in the right lane of our street and ten or more on the cross street were stopping and going like they were supposed to.

Finally the poor confused person in the car decided that the only way any of us were going to get anywhere was if he went through the light. (I couldn’t see the driver so I’m using the default “he”) The person in the pickup was blonde and female so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that she followed the example of the person in the car, though she didn’t wait quite as long to go.

I believe that there is balance in the universe, even if we don’t always see it. When I got to Walmart, the first non-handicap parking space in one of the two rows nearest the entrance was empty. Normally I would have passed it by because I actually prefer parking farther out but after the whole four way incident it sort of felt like a gift so I pulled into it, feeling much better about life, the universe, and everything. Then it got even better.

I suppose most people would see the fact that I can get excited about anything found at Wal-mart as a sign that my life is pathetically dull, but I prefer to think of my ability to find happiness in ordinary experiences as a valuable life skill which puts me far above those who seek more exotic thrills. Walmart now has California Olive Ranch olive oil, one of the brands on the short list of genuine olive oil. I’m getting near the bottom of my huge plastic bottle of canola-oil-pretending-to-be-olive-oil and I’ve been thinking that I will order some from Amazon since none of the stores around here have any of the real olive oil brands. The little bit of fake olive oil that I have left is enough to last two or three weeks, but I needed a couple of other things on the same aisle so I looked at the olive oil just because I was there and there it was in a beautiful, square, dark green glass bottle. Yes, I love the bottle. It’s beautiful and vintage-y looking. You don’t see many products in glass anymore. Glass seems to say, “Trust me. I’m real.” I bought it and I keep fondling the bottle and I can hardly wait until I run out of the other stuff.

A few months ago we started buying Dannon Greek Yogurt. I think it’s a good choice, even though it is higher in calories than regular fat free yogurt, because it is higher in protein. And it doesn’t hurt that it tastes really good and has a creamy, sort of pudding-like texture. My only complaint has been that it comes in so few flavors, but starting last week several new ones appeared at Walmart. Last week, along with the usual flavors I bought orange cream and latte. I expected to dislike the latte but I bought a couple of cups of it anyway because that’s the way I roll. It was actually… okay. I didn’t really like it a lot but I wouldn’t mind having it once in a while. Today we were down to one lonely cup of blueberry yogurt so I went to buy more and found two more new flavors: banana cream and toasted coconut vanilla which I had for lunch as soon as I got home. It is heavenly! Definitely buying that again.

One final bit of good luck as I left the store: The parking spot directly in front of my car was empty so I got to pull through instead of backing out. I took an alternate route home, though I think the light was probably working properly again by then, and the drive was pleasant and uneventful. Life is good.

2 thoughts on “Four Way Fun and Simple Thrills

  1. fillyjonk

    People waving other people through four-way stops makes me CRAZY. It upsets the order of how things are supposed to go.

    Also, in my town, SO MANY PEOPLE do not understand that flashing red broken stoplight means “treat this as a four way stop.” I don’t know what they think, maybe “If I drive really fast while the red light is off, it’s OK for me to go ahead through the intersection” or what.

    I buy Greek yogurt now because it is lower in sodium. I usually get the plain kind and add a little honey to it, or some oatmeal, or a spoon of jam.

  2. Jaquandor

    I hate hate HATE that ‘waving at stop signs’ crap. Sometimes I can see it coming: I realize that both I and the other guy are going to arrive at the stop sign at the same time, and that he’ll likely try to wave me through. So I’ll brake and make my stop REALLY slowly and exaggeratedly, so that it’s CLEAR that he stopped before I did…and still, more often than not when I do this, the guy starts waving. I don’t know when this stupid “politeness” thing took over for right-of-way rules.

    Even worse are Yield signs. There are several shopping centers around here that I frequent where there are lots of Yield signs, so I’ll end up stopped at a Stop sign while they have a Yield…and they’ll treat the Yield like it’s a Stop sign! They stop and — guess what! — they start waving to me. When this happens I look the other way, pretending I don’t see them, until they go.

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