Sometimes I feel as though it is my duty as someone with a platform, such as this university newspaper, to bring attention to important matters and uphold human tradition, especially if this human tradition is poking fun at bad driving, awkward human interaction, and people that drive a Toyota Prius - a tradition that is as old as time. Do not be fooled, this article is not dedicated to Prius drivers, it is dedicated to Honda Civic drivers - specifically the Honda Civic driver that almost hit me on Monday, February 12th.
Let me set the scene. It was a long day, I was tired and attempted to go to the library to work on this very section. Alas my luck was no good and the software I needed was not working. It was around 10:00 PM, maybe like 10:24, by the time I made it to the intersection of 13th E St and N Oak St (for reference), you know that annoying hill you have to walk up to get to 12th? The one that is especially annoying when it is icy. Regardless, most of the intersections on this section of E 12th Street before the train tracks - and the four way stop at the train tracks - all have rather poor visibility for drivers due to street parking and in the case of the four way stop, there is really no excuse, it really comes down to a matter of poor engineering and city planning. For those of you not, familiar with the blind spots and obstacles present on E 12th St, hopefully this will help you empathize with the struggle that myself and many others experience daily. Let us bring the focus back to my trekk up N Oak.
Nearing the stop sign at the intersection of 12th, I initiated my typical jaywalking pattern where I cut across to the grass; however, this time I made the mistake of initiating my pattern too late. It is safe to say that is the last time I will ever add a few extra feet of incline in the name of exercise. I figured I would be safe, it was late at night and hardly any cars were out, except for you. You were driving a black or navy blue Honda Civic - it was hard to differentiate in the light - and racing in the general direction of the train tracks on 12th, making a rather hasty left hand turn down Oak. That was when we met … when I almost hit your car with my body. Luckily, you stopped and I had the instinct to jump backward toward the parked cars. We then proceeded to do that awkward exchange typically reserved for when you almost physically run into another person and you are both trying to maneuver around each other and move on with your day. The only difference was that I was trying to do this with an inanimate object operated by a person, but I anticipated that we would continue the awkward dance and follow a similar pattern where you both are kind of just jerking forward simultaneously after waving the other forward until one of you has the self restraint to not trust the other person’s gesture. Either way, it was one of my more cringey interactions.
In summation, we both made mistakes. I may or may not have been jaywalking and you may or may not have been guilty of reckless driving and almost hitting a pedestrian, they are both technically punishable offenses. I hate to play on your guilt of almost hitting a person, but I cannot help but point out that my crime is far more innocent and my practical experience as a jaywalker exceeded your experience as a driver. In all fairness, at one point or another I, like many other students, have secretly hoped, dreamt, or joked about getting conveniently sick or injured on the way to a test as a means to get out of it. Call it karma long overdue.
Looking back on my chance encounter with you, that could have changed the entire trajectory of our lives, I find myself thankful, thankful, that it was a Honda Civic and not a Prius. Prius owners are notoriously uppity about their environmentally friendly choice of car. We get it, you drive a hybrid in an age where environmentalism is crucial; however, the fact that you cannot hear a Prius below 5 mph, creates a dangerous environment to unsuspecting pedestrians - as evidenced by the episode of The Office, where Andy is able to hit an unsuspecting Dwight with his Prius in a duel for Angela’s heart. I just cannot get onboard with a vehicle that takes away my right to hear a vehicle approaching my person, which brings me to why I am thankful it was a Honda Civic. I not only saw you, but I heard you. I will forever favor what is commonly considered Honda’s equivalent of the Prius and their pledge to keep cars audible.
I do hope this article reaches the driver of that Honda Civic, which is where I turn to you, my readers, to urge your Honda Civic owning friends to brave the read so I can deliver my last words to the driver.
Hasty Honda Civic,
First and foremost, thank you for choosing Honda and providing me with enough adrenaline to finish my homework that fateful night. I know you did not apologize, and we are both “technically” at fault or whatever, but I accept your apology out of sheer and caustic arrogance on my part. Take those turns tenderly and with care, treat your Civic like the King/Queen it is.
Disclaimer: We, as students, so frequently joke about getting hit by a car on or near campus for reasons other than getting out of a test (i.e. free tuition); however, I can confirm that getting hit by a car on a UM system campus, you will not be rewarded compensation in the form of reimbursed medical bills and free tuition from the university, so stop trying. My brother got hit by a car on campus at the University of Missouri in the spring of 2012 and I can assure you that he did not receive any compensation from the university. Sure, he may have been jaywalking like me, but the stipulation - from what I understand - is that it has to be a university owned car, not a personal car. Moreover, I guess you could consider the long term consequences physically too. I am not saying I encourage something illegal, such as jaywalking, per say; however, like all the finer things in life, they are best when done responsibly and in moderation.