Why do we turn into twits at four-way stops?

Here’s a subject that never gets old in conversation: Morons on the roadway.

I spent about 11 years in patrol before going to detectives, so I figured I averaged at least 125 miles each shift. So that, multiplied by — let’s say — 247 working days in the year, uh, minus about another 14 days of training — so let’s say 233 working days. Uh, okay, let’s subtract another five for sick — otherwise known as screw-off — days, so 228 working days times about 125 miles each. So that would be, uh, about 28,500 miles — or roughly the distance to the moon, uh, minus the 210,357 left over. Okay, never mind the moon (as if we actually went there anyway.)

What is with people at the stop light? We have successfully proved that you can take four rocket scientists and put them at a four-way stop and they become drooling twits. This has been proven over and over every time I reached a four-way at the same time the other three drivers did. I admit I have been the mayor of Twit-Land before.

I’m now concerned that we, the middle-class slobs, are overworked and that the only place to find a short nap is at the overly extended, unreasonably long, irritating and life-draining red lights of America! It’s bad enough that it takes me a day and a half to get to the QT to get my cherry-and-Coke fountain drink fix (ummm, I like them), thanks to the eleven-hundred traffic lights, but once the light miraculously turns green (for three seconds) the man or woman (yes, we’re all in this together) in front of me has suddenly gone into a coma. And as I watch the other, more fortunate drivers push forward and actually achieve the passing of the intersection under green, I’m behind the moron, who now is in some sort of deep trance.

I don’t reach for the horn — not out of courtesy, but because I have something better: an air-horn. They’re loud.

Fire trucks have them and they’re loud. I can hear fire trucks rolling out in Birmingham. They’re loud.

Okay, air horns aren’t really fair. They send a shrilling blast down your spine. And if you’re in that short nap that everyone seems to fall into — just ahead of me — it is a not-too-nice wakeup call.

Well, too bad, slackers! Wake up! This is why we have so much road rage! Wake up!

We’re pushed to the limit on arrival times and travel times. And, quite frankly, we don’t calculate well because we’re so optimistic that we’re in denial of the fact that surely we will hit traffic. Your 20-minute calculation is actually 40 minutes.

And stop trying to pretend you won’t get screwed in traffic! Accept it. We’ve had to accept really bad things before — like “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (yuk) — but as bad as that is, you need to utilize the time you actually have to move your car forward by not sleeping at the red lights.

Don’t fidget. Don’t go looking into that 35- pound purse,and stay off that dang Blackberry! It’s e-mail! Go to the office or home and read it there!

You’ve got to be ready! At any time you may come up on a four-way stop sign and, sure as Murphy’s Law exists, you’ll come up against three other rocket scientists having a bad day!

20 comments Add your comment

Get It Right

October 2nd, 2009
4:23 pm

I go through four 4-way stop signs every day on the way to and from work. I have decided that there should be a monitor placed at each one with a baseball bat. If someone doesn’t properly take their turn to go through the intersection, the monitor should pull the moron out of their vehicle and beat them until they understand. The idiots in Henry County just seem to zone out. The idiots in Dekalb County think you are supposed to wait until someone else motions you through. Stupidity seems to know no racial, gender or age limits. The person who gets there first goes first. Ties go to the car on the right.


October 2nd, 2009
4:29 pm

LOL! That is so funny! I always thought I was the only one that happened to. It seems like some sort of rule that whichever lane I choose, that’s the one with the comatose driver at the red light. And, let’s not even discuss four-way stop signs. People become such idiots behind the wheel of a car.

Shaneneeee Faneneeeeeee

October 2nd, 2009
6:48 pm

I will tell you why sir, it is so easy to get a liscense in this state it is a joke. Another reason is everyone is more concerned with talking on the phone then driving. Ban texting While driving? Yes, but also bring to law that you have to use a hands free device while on the phone while driving. I have seen people make dangerous turns with one hand as well as go thru lights and other infractions while driving. A lot of people here don’t know that when a light is completely out it is a 4 way stop which usually causes drivers to lose their minds. The drivers in Georgia are overall very poor and there need to be more tests to get a license and keep a license.

Old Geek

October 2nd, 2009
7:59 pm

Watch out for the rocket scientists though. A 3.5 inch HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rocket up your exhaust can REALLY ruin your day…..


October 2nd, 2009
11:05 pm

Far worse than the comatose at 4-way stops are those who lack merging skills.


October 3rd, 2009
2:03 am

When I got my license, back in the days when Dina Shore was pitching Chevys, my Dad warned, “Dent my car; I’ll hand you the pieces to your head”! Did he mean that literaly?..I doubt it, though, at the time, I wasn’t too sure. The point is that I, and my generation, grew up with levels of fear which, in more-recent gens, is completely foreign. That fear, of course, was simply the raw embryonic form of discipline, something which, again, seems to have become as arcaic as the radio vacumn tube. Be it behavior in the schools, on the streets, or in those enclaves on four wheels…this sort of idiotic, and yes, anti-social me-first behavior WILL BECOME PERMENANT…FOREVER unless: 1) parents are allowed to be parents as they see fit, not the gov, the parents. 2) teachers are allowed to assume command of their class and to control the class members in a manner which will leave no doubt or confusion as to expected behavior. Is it going to happen? Quite frankly, I doubt it…we’ve become too pc, and too afraid of eachother. All we can do is drive as defensively as our patience permits.


October 3rd, 2009
8:38 am

Whew…….I had been worried for a long while that I would never find anyone else that knew the proper protocol to use at four way stops……now that I know there are seven more out there renews my hope that there will be more. Thanks to you all and keep trying to educate Georgia’s “In a Coma” drivers.


October 3rd, 2009
2:56 pm

I live in Henry Co. and HATE HATE HATE 4-ways here!!!!! Everyone wants to drive 40 mph in a 55, nobody knows what yield means, and merging from a two lane to a one lane… well.. who the hell has ever heard of that?? Eagles Landing Parkway SUCKS from 3-7 every afternoon. Only because the idiots living here don’t know what merge means. They all shoot ahead to the stop light (in the right turn lane) before deciding they need to get over. And I don’t let them.


October 3rd, 2009
10:55 pm

Here is my theory: When drivers are on the highway and moving too fast to make any type of eye contact, they will not hesitate to nearly push you out of their way.
However, If then have time to see their is actually a person driving the car, all the southern hospitality comes to the surface.
“You first.”
“Please, go ahead.”
“Maam, after you….”

Mark in Johns Creek

October 4th, 2009
7:36 am

My pet peeve for driving in Atlanta is that people here constantly change lanes in the middle of intersections. It’s illegal, folks – and unsafe, too! I lived in several different areas of the U.S. and I’ve never seen it like this anywhere!


October 4th, 2009
9:47 am

Idiots EVERYWHERE !!!!!!! Nuf said. They can’t add,subtract, speak,think or reason–but you think they can navigate a 7000 pound vehicle ??? Wake up America !!!!


October 4th, 2009
9:33 pm

At least Southeners are polite, to turn your hair white, try driving in Detroit or Chicago.

Road Scholar

October 5th, 2009
7:48 am

It is interesting that most drivers don’t look at what the other cars are doing (turn signals) and many wait to go straight thru even if the car opposing you is going straight thru.

What is even worse is the 2 way stop sign with a four way flashing light (Windsor Parkway at Osborne Road). People with no stop sign STOP at the yellow flashing light (it means caution Dummies- not stop) and then look bewildered. That is, if they aren’t talking on their cell phones or texting.

Moron is a perfect reference to many who drive in Atlanta. Driving slow in the left lanes of a multi-lane road, no turn signals, backing at high speed on the Interstate shoulder,… Wake up folks; you are driving a weapon!


October 5th, 2009
8:34 am

Careful blowing your horn, let alone an air horn, or displaying your displeasure with other drivers using hand signals (you know what I mean) in Doraville – the PD is likely to arrest you for aggressive driving!

Chris Broe

October 5th, 2009
3:02 pm

IS the good officer writing about red lights or stop signs?

If the topic is 4-way stop signs, then the rules are as follows: First car to arrive at the intersection must yeild to the larger car on the left, if it’s occupants were making out. The last car to arrive in a near-simultaneous convergence must yeild to the larger car on the right if the occupants are texting, eating, applying makeup, or smoking pot.

In fact, no matter what the situation, simply yeild to the car with the most occupants so you dont get your ass kicked.


October 5th, 2009
10:20 pm

so this is where you guys are at! stupid me, it must have been the topic that attracts comments

So yeah…I get irritated too at the 4-ways but it is stuff like this that really brings out the poet, the comedian, and AAAGHHRRR! the novelists.

Oopps! exceeded my limit


October 6th, 2009
9:46 am

I want to install a train whistle in my pickup! That’d be awesome for waking up the morons around me and those in SC, TN and AL.


October 8th, 2009
12:15 pm

If everyone would follow this one rule, we’d all be better off. Follow the 4 way rules, but when in doubt, whoever has the nicest car goes last. When deciding whether or not to slow down to let someone pull out in traffic, always let the person driving a car worse than yours pull out. That little courtesy would then only punish the rich, which seems to be the MO for our country these days.


October 9th, 2009
11:01 am

4-ways with stop signs are bad enough, but worse are when the traffic light is malfunctioning, and flashing yellow on on street and red on the other.

THIS IS NOT A 4-WAY FREAKIN STOP!!!!!!! Stop backing up traffic, people!

Those with the yellow, PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Those with the red, WAIT FOR A SPACE, then go.

Can I say this again? It is NOT a 4-way stop.

But see, here’s the problem. Drivers are so stupid that they now HAVE to stop on the yellow, because the idiot on red thinks it’s a 4-way stop, too, and he is just going to go as you are PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION through the yellow. I get all kinds of dirty looks when I follow the guy in front of me right through the yellow, without stopping. But that’s what I’m supposed to do!

Treat a traffic light flashing red in all directions, or completely not working, as a 4-way stop. But flashing yellow on 2 sides? Proceed with caution. Or the freakin traffic is going to back up for miles, and cause horrible road rage.

I like the monitor with the baseball bat idea. And I am not a violent sort.


October 11th, 2009
12:19 pm

And think of how many people we can employ as monitors! Plus, they get to have a lot of fun!