Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Trim the Trees or Die!

This unexplained statement describes the town where I now live extremely well. As it happens, the people of Bloomington would rather die than trim the trees. All along the narrow streets of the city overhanging trees block motorists' vision. They cover road signs -- including speed limits and school crossings. They block the streets that may be on either side of you, so that a driver cannot tell where a street is until he or she is already driving past. Sometimes when coming up on a stop and looking past the stop I am not sure if the road I am on actually keeps going or if I have reached its end. Furthermore, the city government has allowed large trees to grow up through the power lines. Some of these trees have entwined themselves through the wires. If one of them fell it would most likely land in the road, bring down live wires and probably a few smaller trees as well. They also have no shoulder to their roads. And that would be fine, except that nobody mows the tall grass and bushes away from the road edge. Visibility is limited at best.

Who could possibly be this stupid?!

It's nothing more than your common, ordinary, everyday hippy. They're everywhere here. And they flatly refuse to trim their bushes. "Let the beautiful trees grow," they say, "killing them is bad." Who says you have to kill the trees to trim them away from the roads and power lines?!

None of this would be so bad, however, if people actually knew how to drive. Now I am from Michigan, I am not from a place filled with paragons of excellent driving. I am from a place where most people drive too fast, weave around one another on the exressway and pull out in front of other cars whenever possible. At the same time, there is a major difference between Michigan and Indiana drivers. Michigan drivers try to avoid accidents, Indiana drivers just don't care. For example, driving yesterday I saw three accidents in the making and three accidents after the fact. I have never seen so many traffic problems before. And it was apparent to me that the people driving just did not care what they did. They don't have a death wish or anything, they just don't give a rip if they or somebody else gets into a terrible accident. They do nothing to avoid accidents. I am not sure if they know how to avoid them.

When I drive I do something which I refer to as "behavior modification tactics." This means I make other people change the way they drive, at least while I am around. I honk my horn (something no one in America does!), I move in front of idiots who try to pass me on the right, I slow down in front of tailgaters until they either pass me or realize they have to stop tailgating to get me to go faster. This works in Michigan, but in Indiana, nobody cares!

I am partially amazed and partially not surprised by all this. But if I have to live here for the rest of my life I am going to have a public temper tantrum and rant at everyone around me about how stupid they are when they get into a car.

And why can't they just trim the trees back away from the roads?!


HuskerFoley7 said...

Esther, I love your post and would totally sympathize with you if I were out there. The great thing about a desert type setting... not too many trees other than pine and those don't seem to block vision as much. They grow a lot straighter! :)

Esther said...

Augh! Today I found out that when school starts this city will be packed full of east coasters! Driving is going to be an even bigger hell than it is now!