Taming the Devil Beast

Life used to be so great, until my carpool partner moved in January. That’s when I had to start facing the devil beast we all know by its other name, morning car line, on a daily basis. I’m not going to lie to you; it’s not pretty. We’ve all heard, just leave the house earlier, and there’s no problem. Sometimes, though, leaving the house before 8:00 a.m. is just an unattainable goal, akin to time travel or having all socks have a mate after the dryer is finished. Some days, like today, even if you arrive before 8:00 a.m., there’s no way to beat the devil beast, I mean, car line.

We’re all rushing to get our Precious Angel Darling to school by the 8:15 cut off every morning, but in that rush, I’ve almost hit at least three separate people, including someone else’s Precious Angel Darling child, almost been hit a number of times, had people try to pass me at the merge corner, and have almost taught my boys some colorful new words in the process. With that in mind, I have come up with some Mashburn morning car line guidelines that I’d like to share with everyone.

On Samples Road…

Oh that Yield sign. Yes, a right lane yield makes no sense. We know that, but they’re scattered throughout the county like LEGOs in a playroom. There are three of them just on Samples Road. If you’re headed south on Samples (coming from Buford Dam), alternate with the car at the Yield sign. Yes, it seems to go against everything we know about traffic, but it’s no fun having the tail end of any car sticking out on Samples with all those non-school drivers flying by you like it’s Talladega.

In the parking lot…

Two lanes, what!? Yes, the merge lanes are there for morning drivers as well as for the afternoon ones. I don’t get why this concept is so difficult; there are two lanes going in one direction. Please use them both. When you hit the corner, the rule is every other car. Yes, where you are going after car line is extremely important, but is the sixteen seconds you just saved by being a complete jerk worth it?

Parking and walking your Precious Angel Darling child into school…

Okay. Here’s where it gets real. Sometimes, you legitimately need to walk your child into school. He has a project, you need to discuss something with the nurse, you have a conference with teacher, Principal, Counselor, etc., or it’s just been a bad day and Precious Angel Darling just needs a little extra from you. Sometimes, you’re squealing in on two wheels at 8:10 and you think you’ll never make it to the front of the line by 8:15. Here’s the deal. No one else driving in the car line cares about why you’re skipping the line and parking. You are the most important person in the world at that moment in time, but guess what, to the person you’re inconveniencing by parking, she is also the most important person in the world at that moment. Let’s help each other out and follow a few simple guidelines:

1. If you’re parking, park along the far side of the parking lot first (near the marquee), and then walk Precious Angel Darling in without crossing in front of any cars in the car line.

2. If those spots are full, pull into a spot in the second or third rows of the parking lot. You know, the two rows closest to the school. Once you park, walk with Precious Angel Darling toward the end of the row, and then cross at the end of the row, so that you’re crossing near where the other cars round the corner. There’s usually a natural break in the traffic at the corners, so you’re not holding up everyone who is still driving in the car line. Plus, if you look at all of us driving through car line, the straightaways are where everyone is checking the Mombook, I mean Facebook, or texting. No, we’re not supposed to do that, but come on, we know what’s going on there.

3. After you’ve walked Precious Angel Darling inside, if the car line is still going strong, just sit in your car for a few minutes and wait for traffic to die down before pulling out into the line. Again, we all know that you need to leave right away so that you can go do really important things, and the fate of the world hangs in that five minute wait, but you’re pulling out in front of someone whose Precious Angel Darling still needs to get to school. Please leave the world to its own devices for a couple of extra minutes.

When you finally get to the last row of car line and can see the cones…

Prepare your Precious Angel Darling for the inevitable. I know it’s hard to believe, but when your car gets to the front of the line, Precious Angel Darling needs to get out and get out of the way so that the rest of our Precious Angel Darlings can do the same. We’ve been at this for a few months now, but our Precious Angel Darlings may not have caught on to the gist of this thing. Here’s how it works – you sit through the devil beast of a car line, and then when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, Precious Angel Darling(s) need to have all items in hand, so that when the door opens, he or she can bail out. If your Precious Angel Darling has difficulty with this one, perhaps you could start singing him a song about it in the previous row of car line. “Grab your lunch, grab your bag, get ready to unbuckle, it’s a snap.” Or, something else just as cheesy. The song won’t really help them get ready, but it will make them want to run out of the car as quickly as possible, so you still achieve the desired outcome.

I’m sure you have some ideas of your own as to how we can tame the morning car line devil beast, but keep it clean. Some folks don’t have as great a sense of humor as you do. See you on the blacktop!

**These comments relate specifically to the Mashburn ES car line, but feel free to apply them to your particular devil beast car line as well.**

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