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A Lesson Taught; A Lesson Learned?

Friday, March 05, 2010
I'd like to welcome a particular woman to Portland.

Now, I'm not sure what this particular woman's name is, and I'm not even sure that - at this point - I could even pick her up out of a lineup. But I do know that she happens to drive a dark maroon Toyota Prius with California plates.

Speaking of cars, I'd like to talk to her (and to the world) in general about blinkers. You know, turn signals? The lever that we who drive on the right-hand side of the road have sticking out of the left side of our steering wheels? These are really useful for communicating intentions.

The fender bender

For instance, and I'm speaking (typing?) of a complete hypothetical here, but let's imagine a scenario where you wanted to make a U-turn in the middle of a busy street in downtown Portland. What would happen if you decided to start this maneuver with a non-signalled right-hand turn? What if you then decided to complete the move with a non-signalled U-turn?

I'd hit you. That's what, hypothetically, would happen. I'm not going to say I'd hit you hard - I'd leave quite a bit of my tires on the road in my attempt to stop and swerve. But in this hypothetical situation, there would be a (minor) collision.

So the lesson here is that, when you come to Portland, you can expect people to be nice (like me), reasonably agreeable (like me), and, like me, not expecting strange driving behavior.


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