Sunday, March 11, 2007

which way to the pub, old bean?

Every month or so, it seems, there's a headline about a motorist's death due to driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Seriously, this is a regular story. And I find it incredible. One must assume the bulk of these fatalities have some drug-related factor to them (and for the most part, I mean alcohol).

It would be easy to understand, let's say, turning the wrong way on a one-way street downtown. It's a confusing grid if you're not used to it. But you don't tend to pick up enough speed for fatalities partly because the ability to spot oncoming cars from a distance is quite good. Which leads to the stranger fact that most of these accidents occur on the freeway. On the freeway.

Driving on the right side of the road is about as ingrained as gas-pedal-to-the-right, brake-pedal-to-the-left in this country. Shit, in the whole western hemisphere. So, even drunk, wouldn't you have one of those, "what about this just feels wrong?" moments? These are not soused Brits speeding willy-nilly southbound down I-45 north at 2 a.m., blissfully unaware of which side of the pond they're on.

It's not that I don't believe in the power of drunken misdirection. I just have never been so drunk that I thought going downstairs would lead me to the roof.

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