The Yellow Jacket Saga: Part 1

19 Nov

I’m fighting with the crossing guard outside my apartment.

There are several schools in my neighborhood and there are some lovely folks that have taken it upon themselves to don a neon yellow jacket and help coax cars into stopping and children into narrowly escaping with their lives.   I love that they do it; I’m sure if I had a child, I’d feel much better about knowing that someone would aid them on their journeys.

After all, children are often too stupid to effectively cross the road.

But I’d like to think that they’re only there for the children.  They should completely ignore anyone who approaches them and is of their same stature.  Let’s go with a general rule: if I’m as tall as you, I can handle crossing the road as well as you.

But the other day when I got to the end of my road, the bus was stopped and already  loading on the corporate oafs. I was running ever so slightly behind and though I had neither the assistance of the pedestrian walk signal or the help of the yellow jacketed lady friend, I chose to cross the road.  Just as I ran across to catch the bus before it closed its doors and carried on, she yelled at me to not cross and stay where I was.  I, on the other hand, acknowledged that her jacket does not imbue her with the power to make me late for work.  I acknowledged that I was just as tall as she and capable of making this decision on my own.  

And so I crossed.

I chose to cross because I looked both ways, saw I could get across, and I freaking needed to get to work.  I crossed because I’m an adult and if I make a decision to travel  30 feet from where I’m already standing, I feel confident that I have assessed the situation for safety and am carrying on with all my best interests accounted for.

This made Yellow Jacket incredibly upset.

Having run across with little regard for the words coming out of her face, I made it to the other side and she decided to take out the bulk of her wrath on the poor turtle-like girl that was behind me and trying to follow my lead.

She stayed where she was.  Because she was a poor turtle-like girl and had not the spine for confrontation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the street, the bus had reached capacity and the driver closed the door before I could join the public transit party – leaving me on the sidewalk next to Yellow  Jacket.

In situations like this, I tend to just stare at the ground and craft a dialogue in my head for my own amusement.  If you don’t look at someone, they can’t give you the stink eye.  Yellow Jacket seemed like she could rock a nasty stink eye.  So I stood and stared as  Turtle Girl finally filed in behind me and together we waited, both feeling a bit like we’d been scolded on the playground.

I’m thinking about buying a yellow jacket and competing with Yellow Jacket for that intersection.  I don’t now how crossing guard assignments work, but I can only imagine it will be an enjoyable altercation to be had.  She can make people follow the rules of crossing the street and I can try to talk people into freedom and liberty.  You know, if they’re regular-sized.   Pint-sized people follow the proper procedures.    I should get a cool crossing guard name.

Suggestions are welcome.  


12 Responses to “The Yellow Jacket Saga: Part 1”

  1. pinklea November 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Around here, those crossing guards wear fluorescent orange vests. And I don’t like them. (I mean both the crossing guards and the fluorescent orange vests.) I’m like you: I feel like a four-year-old when they’re “helping” me to cross a street which, as an adult, I am perfectly capable of crossing all by myself. Then, when I am driving, they deliberately stop an oncoming car to “help” one lone pedestrian cross instead of waiting for a natural break in traffic – and I am invariably the oncoming car and there is nobody behind me for about twelve blocks. I. Must. Stop. For. One. Single. Person. SOOOOO frustrating!


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

      Right? What’s with the people who stop cars when THERE IS NO STOP SIGN!? I thought they were there to stop idiotic left-turners who don’t look before they cross the intersection, not to toy with the laws of man.


  2. whatimeant2say November 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    I think you should get a toy badge, and flash at the Yellow Jacket as you run across the street. Badge trumps jacket, as far as I’m concerned. Even if it’s fake.


  3. Katherine Gordy Levine November 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Love your humor and not am going to a Wearisome Old One. The problem with adults who violate the law or seem to in front of children, it sends a confusing message to the kids who as George Carlin says are always wanting to be older.

    If you can dash out into traffic, why can’t they. Now some of the darlings are very obedient, but about 20% love the thrill of thumbing their little noses at grown-ups. Had one of each, plus a husband who only follows the laws that make sense to him.

    I rolled on the rug laughing when his yellow light dashing got caught on camera. Of couse, he is fighting the ticket and I damn well hope he doesn’t win and I have to shut my eyes and hold my breath too many times when with him. Annoyingly he can point out that I have had two accidents in our 40 years of magic and he has had none. On the other hand I have paid only one traffic ticket in 60 years of driving and he has paid enough to pay for us to have separate cars.

    Anyway, just wanted to ask you think about maybe leading the kids like my husband to an accident…their legs are shorter than yours.

    Share, care and stay out of traffic.


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

      Totally valid point, as always. When do I get to cash in on the “you can when you’re an adult” BS phrase? That was fed to me my entire life and I’d really like to get the benefits of it now 😉


  4. ML November 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    While Katherine Gordy Levine makes a very good point about being a Good Example, I am much more like her husband in that I only ever follow the laws that make sense to me. Because if it’s an unjust law, it’s oppression from the elites…

    Sorry. Anarchist rants.

    However, this also means I probably am not ready for children.

    And by golly, is that true!

    However, yes, being a good example for the kiddies is a good point. And in the end, you didn’t catch that bus. Which really sucks, P.S. It means that even if you had been 30 seconds earlier, it’s entirely possible you wouldn’t have gotten on that bus.

    I hate it when I can’t justify my breaking of the rules. 🙂


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

      I really thought you were on my side there for a moment. And then you weren’t, and then you were, and now I’m just confused.

      Wait. You’re ready for children?


  5. Jules November 20, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    That’s a way to stick it to the man! We don’t need yo’ crosswalk. We do want we want.


    • Jackie November 21, 2011 at 11:49 pm #


      I was going to add some kind of tough one-liner but it didn’t come. I waited a long time, too.


  6. Lori's Mom November 21, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I WISH we would have had crossing guards back in the ’70’s. Our bus dropped us off in the middle of a factory’s 3:30 PM exiting traffic. The cars and trucks stopped just long enough to yield to the buses flashing lights. Once the red lights went out, it was full speed ahead. It’s a miracle none of us were squashed.


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