At approximately 8pm Central Time (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific), I wrapped up an 11-hour day of driving (stopping only to eat some Taco Bell, urinate twice, and purchase one Sobe energy drink) by checking into room 225 at the Hampton Inn located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. And after all these years I finally realize what Mark Cohn was talking about in his 1991 hit song that shares its name with this blog post. What I used to think was just a mediocre-at-best tune about someone who liked Elvis a little *too* much, actually turns out to be a mediocre-at-best tune about the ridiculous jaywalking problem that is running rampant in the city. All I have done in this town so far is drive to the nearest SonicBurger, then back to my hotel. A total roundtrip time of maybe 2-3 minutes of road travel. Yet in that 2-3 minutes, I almost ran over —not one —not two —not three, but TWO different pedestrians who were jaywalking across a heavily-trafficked Memphis road in the middle of the night at two different points about a mile apart from each other. And this wasn’t the kind of jaywalking like you do on special occasions like New Year’s Eve where it’s you and a bunch of your friends in brightly-colored, sparkly clothing quickly sprinting across the street when you know for sure that the cars aren’t traveling faster than 6mph, and that you’re in no real danger. Quite the contrary; I’m talking about the kind of jaywalking where gentlemen who were clad head-to-toe in entirely black or dark gray clothing slowly meander diagonally across the middle of a four-lane highway (where the posted speed limit is 55mph) with all the urgency of someone in line to pay their taxes. This wasn’t jaywalking, it was suicide walking. It took all of my cat-like reflexes to avoid the first guy; and it was just sheer luck I missed the second guy…and I probably ran over four or five other jaywalkers along the way that I didn’t even know about. The moral of the story is: I don’t care how poor or homeless or lazy you are, if you’re gonna jaywalk, just invest the 45¢ it costs to buy a neon-orange construction vest with reflective strips…or if you really do have a deathwish, at least have the decency to hop in a bath with a plugged-in microwave like a normal human being, rather than do something that’s gonna result in me spending 15-20 years in a Tennessee maximum security prison for vehicular manslaughter. Try not to be so selfish, ok?
Ok, I’m off to the pool for a bit, then it’s time to crash in preparation for another 650-mile journey tomorrow. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more Dustin-y goodness, and a rant on why the Teletubbies would make better drivers than most Kentucky natives (no offense, Sarah Hiance).
P.S. Adrian Jones is on the coast, and Dustin Heveron is in Tennessee? Something isn’t right here…