Flurry O' Fury

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Some people have asked about my “Furious Jam” moniker. It was originally created as a nom de guerre for my EarthWire.net activities, some of which were of questionable legality. It seems to fit though because I do get mad quite often. Not “Office Rampage Leaves 5 Dead” mad, but more like extremely irritated with life’s little foibles.

For example, the route I take to work every day passes by a couple of office buildings and their parking garages. These buildings hire off duty police officers to stop traffic on my route so that buildings’ occupants can pull out of the garages at their leisure. The effect is that of depositing two extra traffic lights on the street, about 50 feet apart, and operating them at random. That effect clogs the street during rush hour and generally eats into my time on a daily basis.

Now, I ask you, what gives these officers a right to stop traffic for these buildings? Because they’re getting an extra paycheck for it? How is it right that, if I were to block traffic in this manner, I would be ticketed and arrested, but if I could afford to hire a cop to do it for me, everyone would just patiently wait?

The answer, of course, is that it’s not right – no amount of money should give a private business daily control over a public street. But, in this case, the money being paid out is going directly into cops’ pockets, so any attack on this routine would be seen as a shot at those stalwart heroes of our community. Yet just because cops profit from an activity, that doesn’t make it per se fair or even legal. It’s just another little injustice that we all have to tolerate, but since tolerance isn’t my strength, I just sit in my car and get a little bit more furious.

I deal with my fury in different ways. With the traffic cops, I give them stares and sneers which I doubt they even see – and even if they did, it would probably just warm their hearts anyway. I’ve considered yelling at them, but I don’t see how it would improve the situation. Simply running over one of them would no doubt clear the road, and also serve as a lesson to the rest, but I’m sure this would damage my car in some way – some of these cops are quite portly you know. A box of poisoned donuts might be the answer, at least in the short-term. But I’m afraid there’s no permanent solution.

I suppose it could be worse – if I was black, cops would stop me all the time.

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