Thursday, August 23, 2007
Hell (Is Other People) On Wheels
The other day we were driving up North Braeswood near its intersection with Stella Link (one of Houston’s most evocatively named byways) when the traffic in the right lane suddenly slowed to a crawl, then stopped … then picked up again at an even more deliberate crawl, then stopped, then … etc. We figured there was some unannounced road work blocking the lane and traffic was backing up while motorists tried to scooch to the left, and so as usual we grew impatient and large thought balloons framing bold-faced cuss words roiled over our noggin, but we let go of our anger as we got closer to the intersection and saw the holdup: an old white guy in a ballcap, couldn’t have been a day under 80, toodling along North Braeswood on one of those Scooter Store-type scooters that had been customized for comfort with the seat from a straight-backed desk chair. He was traveling close to the curb and going no more than 5-8 mph, at best, other motorists swerving wide around him and some honking as he inched along in the 90-plus degree furnace of the mid-afternoon, seemingly oblivious to the threat of imminent if not premature death at the hands of some cell phone-entranced suburban harridan hogging the roadway in her giant Ford Expedition. We saluted the old boy and gave our horn a light tap as we moseyed around him, not in anger but in sheer awe and admiration of his grit and tenacity. He did not take either hand from the handlebars to wave back, or to remove the cigarette that dangled from his lips.