There is the edge of vehicular impropriety, and then there is the abyss.
Perhaps you remember my rants about people driving four-wheelers or other off-road vehicles on blacktop county roads. Or people walking in the road and refusing to yield the right-of-way to automobiles. Yesterday, I even encountered a golf cart woman, two bicycle kids, two dogs, and a lawnmower man in one long Mardi-Gras-like procession over hill and dale on my narrow, unlined blue highway.
But what I ran across today in town took the cake like an Olympic-caliber cakewalker at a grade school carnival.
A man in a motorized chair.
It was like a Hoveround. Or a Rascal. Only the man was not motoring down either of the two available sidewalks, perhaps dreaming of a rumble with George Costanza. Neither was he driving his chair down the smooth, paved shoulder, ample enough for car parking. No. He was driving down the right lane like a licensed vehicle. He even had a small license plate under his butt. JESUS. That's not an exclamation from me. That was his license. JESUS.
Technically, I did not "run across" this road blocker. Which is a good thing, because the long arm of the law pulled out from a side street and tailgated me for half a mile. That was after the Hovering Rascal pulled off onto the shoulder. Which he did upon seeing the long arm of the law. Note that the Arm did not stop to chat with Hovering Rascal about his future route about town. The Arm followed ME. A law-abiding citizen who struggles daily not to inadvertently commit vehicular manslaughter. I wanted to climb out on my running board and holler to him, "Sorry, buddy. It wasn't MY idea to make the speed limit along here 20 mph." I could have even done a few flips over the top of my SUV. Or hopped off, run a circle around it, and jumped back in through the sun roof at that low speed.
The Arm gave up my chase and turned down a different side street toward the 7-Eleven. Maybe they had some snacks that interested him. Or maybe he received radio confirmation that my driving record is spotless and sparkling. Now.
What I wanted with him was a dialogue. Specifically, the answer to my burning question: "Since the chair man drives on the street, can I drive on the sidewalk?"