Slow Down, fer Kee-reist!

Driving across town from my house to WCC is like running a gauntlet even on a good day. Theoretically, I could take the freeway around but I don’t because the exit I have to get off at is so painful to deal with. And it’s not because it’s one of those World War II bomber plant era exits where the people who are merging on to the freeway have to cross paths with the people who are exiting. It *is* one of those kinds of interchanges but that’s not why I don’t use it. I’m not afraid of playing chicken with 18-wheelers. Er, actually I am but I do manage to do it. Anyway, the problem is that when I get off at this particular exit, I have to wait in a long line of traffic to navigate a labyrinth of five or six lane intersections. It can take ten minutes to move maybe two-tenths of a mile. When “they” built that interchange 50-plus years ago, “they” couldn’t possibly have envisioned the number of vee-hickles that would be on the road today.

So, I don’t *take* the freeway over there. I *do* take the freeway home. Y’all do even begin to want to know the convoluted details about that. Anyway, I drive surface streets over there. Today was worse than usual. I made it over to the S. Main/Stadium intersection. A *major* intersection, which, on a *good* day, might take three minutes to get through. Today the light was broken. Flashing red. I’m not sure how long it took me to get through that light. It was okay, I was way early. Then there were a few just plain *weird* things like when I got trapped by a big truck blocking the way out of a side street and had to follow a golf-cart full of bleached blonde women. What *is* it with the golf carts, you guys? There was one going up and down the road at Houghton Lake over the weekend too.

I was *finally* almost all the way to WCC. I made my last turn before the entrance to the college. It took a while for me to process what I saw next. A young woman was standing on the right side of the road, looking distressed and talking into a cell phone. As I got closer, I realized there was an animal at her feet. A rather large animal. Deer, I wondered? No. Alas, it was a big, beautiful yellow dog. Eyes staring straight ahead. Dead. About 100 yards further, a minivan was stopped on the side of the road.

I don’t know what happened there. Did the minivan hit the dog? Did the dog belong to the young woman? Was she walking it? Or was the dog a stray? Did it run out into traffic? Did she hit it with the minivan? There’s a high (45 mph) speed limit on that road and there was a lot of traffic and I didn’t see if anyone was in the minivan or not. If the girl did indeed hit the dog, she was definitely doing the right thing by stopping and calling the police or the dog’s owner or whoever. But I don’t know what happened.

People. Fer kee-reist. Slow down. Leave early. *Watch* where you are going. Look at the sides of the road. I’m not saying to not ever speed. I can’t say I never do. But please, pay attention to your surroundings, not to mention the road conditions. Don’t be over confident.

I know that if I had hit that dog, I’d have had a hard time even continuing on for the day. I didn’t and I went on to go to class and then coffee with Jean, who’s daughter just passed the bar exam! Yay Megan! But that dog on the side of the road put a shadow over my life today. Please, y’all, slow down.

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