Wednesday, February 8

Not From Around Here


It seems that, lately, I've forgotten some of the endearing features of Texas. Today, I got reminded that this place really IS "Like a whole 'nother country!" And I also got reminded that I will never actually BE a Texan. Not even if I try REAL hard.

It started this morning. On the ride in to work, as usual, I saw nobody on a bike. However, between 6:30 and my arrival at work just a smidge after 7, I was waved to by a guy, in the dark who was walking his dog, another man who was simply standing on his porch, and by three other people including a school crossing guard. It is not simply coincidence that Texas posts highway signs that exhort motorists to "Drive Friendly." It is something that is part of the Texas culture. When I first arrived, I was taken aback by sales people coming out of stores as I walked by, simply to say "hello" and be nice. In a NICE way.

Well, it was good to get reminded of this southern hospitality that really is genuine. But on the way home, I got reminded that these friendly sorts are not and never will be MY people. You see, as I headed home, down the crest of the hill on Bedford Road, up the hill, in my lane, hugging the curb came a "salmon" (wrong-way person on a bike).

I knew this was not a teachable moment. Clearly, a guy on a bike riding slowly uphill, against traffic on a five-lane arterial with no shoulder, no parking, and an adjacent sidewalk was simply not thinking very clearly.

So, returning to my antisocial Pacific Northwest roots, I yelled at the guy. "You're going the wrong way!" I didn't even wave "howdy." Yes, I get grumpy. Friendly has its limits. No, I'm NOT from around here...

7 comments:

Pondero said...

Well...I think, "Howdy, you're going the wrong way", would have been totally appropriate.

Chandra said...

Pointing out that the guy was going the wrong way is a good thing. I am glad you did it.
Paz :)

limom said...

Okay, I gotta ask: do you wear a cowboy hat?

Steve A said...

Limom, I actually DO own two cowboy hats, including the one in the photo. I DO wear them on occasion, and I DO wear boots at work. Cowboy hats do NOT work in a Jaguar, but work just fine in a Land Rover. Cowboy hats do not work well on a bike because they don't have chin straps nowadays.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Do you pass salmon on the right or left? I often make a dramatic show of yielding a huge amount of space to them, and pass on the left, just to show them what a bad situation they have created.

Steve A said...

JRA, I usually pass salmon off my starboard beam (to their right as well). Perhaps sadly, I violate my "make full lane change to pass" policy in such cases. Like motorists, I am not mentally prepared for what to do in such a case. Yelling was as far as logic took me. Without me changing course at all, we had about six feet of clearance at nearest approach. I guess that would place me about eight feet into a twelve foot lane. Pretty near "the line of sweetness."

Durango said...

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that after so much time in Texas you still are not able to keep your Pacific Northwest rudeness in check when provoked by wanton idiocy.

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