If you read this blog often, you know how much I /s LOVE /s driving in Phoenix. Our drivers make California drivers seem eminently sane, drug-free, and thoughtful of their fellow beings.
Today I drove out to ever-fascinating Sun City to socialize with SDXB, visit a large Asian market on that side of town, and then have a very nice dinner at his house. Then it was time to drive back into beautiful uptown Phoenix.
Earlier in the day, we had ascertained that I should, at all costs, avoid driving back toward the Loop 101 freeway on Bell Road, one of the mainest drags leading in and out of Sun City. Bell, an eight-lane thoroughfare, cannot handle the volume of Christmas shoppers pouring in from the west side to the Arrowhead Mall shopping center, and so eastbound it was dead stopped. He urged me to head homeward via Union Hills, the last surface street south of the 101 to intersect with the western north-south stretch.
No problem maneuvering through Sun City’s winding streets to Union Hills and thence onto the 101.
So now…I’m flying east across the 101 behind some air-conditioning company’s service truck, whose driver leads the way with confidence and apparent derring-do. Well… Until he gets a bit confused.
He wants to go south on the I-17. But like any normal human being, he’s buffaloed by the signage and the spaghetti strands, so starts to turn off on 35th Avenue. But then it dawns on him: DAYUM! NOT HERE!!
So of course he veers across the painted lane triangle and plunges back into the traffic.
You expected common sense?
So, no doubt, did he, that small lapse aside. But forthwith he runs into AIRBORNE DEBRIS, flying junk that whacks his windshield and bounces around in the breeze.
Now he and I sail past some woman who’d been traveling in front of him, driving an agèd white sedan. This character slows a bit, as she & her passenger are dumping stuff out of the car onto the freeway. She swerves onto the shoulder and the woman passenger opens the passenger side door — with the vehicle still moving — and briskly shakes out a blanket, discharging even more trash into the air and onto the road.
W, indeed, TF…
The AC dude and I jet past her, unscathed. At least my car is unscathed…don’t know if any of the junk hit his truck and if it did, whether it chipped or dented anything.
You know my theory about Arizona drivers, right?
Hypothesis A: Every moron in the world has an electronic chip implanted in their brain. This chip is linked to my car, which sends out a signal every time I climb into the driver’s seat and turn on the ignition. Alerted by this signal, all of the morons drop what they’re doing, leap into their cars, shoot onto the road, and get in front of me.
Well, I’ve refined that theory, which has as its drawback the logical outcome that no one else on the road, other than me, would ever encounter a moron. As we know, everyone on the roads here encounters morons. Alllllll the time.
So. with that evidence in hand, we have:
Hypothesis B: At any given time, one in ten of your fellow drivers on the Arizona roads is a moron. That means one of every 10 cars coming toward you and one of every 10 cars sharing the lanes on your side of the road is, indeed, a certifiable moron.
Hypothesis B has a number of advantages over Hypothesis A. First and most obviously, it explains the presence of morons in the company of all drivers here, not just me. While you could explain that by noting that the morons have to pass over the streets in order to reach me, thereby encountering quite a few other drivers upon their appointed journey, if all the morons were activated by the chips in their brain and those chips were signaled by only one transmitter in my car, the roads closer to my starting point would have more morons than the roads further away, because the morons would converge on the source of the signal. Also the morons would be on the road only when I am, which does not, empirically speaking, appear to be the case.
Hypotheses B explains the homogeneity of the moron presence in the traffic and shows how the morons are able to affect all reasonable drivers, not just one.
Less paranoid, too, Hypothesis B is…
Map from Wikipedia. By Algorerhythms – self-made, using data from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816748