Curb Sneakers*--we've all encountered them. They're the sneaky bastards that pull up alongside of you on the right, presumably to make a right turn. Then, when the light turns green, they floor it to cut in ahead of you. I'm usually wary of any car on my right, even when the lane is clearly marked "right turn only." (I'm looking at you, intersection of Beverly Blvd and Wilton Place) Depending on my mood, I'll either floor it and make sure they can't cut in front of me, or I'll hang back and let them go.
This morning, while sitting at the light at Sunset and Gower, a woman pulled up next to me on the right. There was a horn beeping, but since I was at a red light and not doing anything beep worthy, I ignored it. Finally, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and the woman to my right was waving at me. I opened my window. "I'm really late for work. Can I cut in front of you?" she asked. So many responses crowded my brain looking for expression. "Lady, we're all late for work." "Is one car length going to make a difference?" "You're late, so you're taking Sunset Blvd??" "Do I look like a poky driver?" "What?? You're asking permission???" Instead, I just waved her on. The light turned green and she took off like a shot.
I noticed her zooming ahead, weaving in and out of the middle and right lanes. I couldn't help thinking of those commercials--better to lose a minute of your life than your life in a minute. Maybe the work she was late for was something, like, heart surgeon and there was a patient waiting for her. I hope she made it all right. I'm still a little taken aback by her asking permission. I guess manners aren't dead after all.
*Credit where credit is due: I first heard this term from Dan Novy. I'm not sure if he coined it, but it makes me laugh and I use it liberally. Thanks, Dan.