Monday, September 29, 2008

License to Drive

The traffic laws (or rules, or whatever) in the US can get pretty complex. The exam that I passed before getting a valid driver's license had a lot of crazy questions. One of them was about a snow-scenario, at sight of which I froze. Although, Arizona has never seen the white of natural snow in centuries (maybe during the previous ice-age?) the DMV must have thought through the scenario of me going up to Chicago or Boston during winter and coming across this severe proposition. Anyway, I passed the exam, and obtained my driver's license, which is an old story.

But only the other day, a cat failed me while I was driving. (I should thank the cat-God that she did not decide to come down to Earth when I was actully taking the driving test back in April).

It must have been past 7 O'clock, and the Sun had recalled its messangers. I was driving at a casual pace towards the office recreation center where a prior appointment with a friend for a game of table tennis was on. I was in no particular hurry and was frustrating every driver behind me by driving exactly at the speed as stipulated by the Law in this part of the planet. I came to a complete halt at a stop sign (this is my daily route, so I was not surprised that a big octagon should turn red on seeing my car). There I spotted a cat. Now, cats, as immortalized by their great Hero Garfield, are supposed to show signs of lethargy. But as every living thing should, it showed signs of movement. It was, now I think in hindsight, a pre-planned movement. I don't mean to be sexist here, but I had no way of knowing if it was a she-cat or a he-cat, so let's just call it a she-cat. So, I was describing, she showed sudden urge to move.

I had my headlights switched on (again, owing great respect to Law of the Land), yet, I must admit I was a little careless in not stopping for that extra second at the stop sign. So, I hit the gas pedal before I was forced into repentence. There she stood, right in the central zone of the road, basking in the head-light, staring at me. I must say she had fierce cat-eyes. In that split-second she hissed at me, and after giving a slight jerk to her neck, fled at cat-speed.

That hissing gesture and that tiny jerking motion spelt much to me. And that much, I must spell to the law makers.

I strongly suggest, Law number, whatever, must be ammended and reworded as, "Yield to pedestrians, and by definition, pedestrians include any living thing along with humans." I expect to send a copy to that cat to make peace with her.

And better yet, next, I am going to ask the authorities to create a new sign-board with cat-sign on it (you must have already noticed horse, deer and cattle signs, I am sure). How about that?

1 comment:

Shantanu said...

Nice to know that you have a DL for driving in the US. That's definitely a feather in your cap. On similar lines, I always wanted to get a valid DL for heavy vehicle (may be a truck) here, but things haven't moved much on that front :-) Wierd aims, right?