Close proximity to other people is Dangerous and Unsanitary

…or so believes a class of humanoids I keep running into while conducting activities of daily living.

Exhibit A are those who are unable to wait on line in a normal manner (or as the Brits might say, queuing shitheads).

On lines to order fast food or do other retail business, these nimrods will pause 10-15 feet or more behind the person ahead of them, because closer spacing apparently constitutes personal space invasion, heightened risk of catching Ebola or whatever. These gaps encourage line cutting by people who may not be aware of where the line ends, and also force lines to trail back longer distances* (especially fun when they extend out the door and you have to freeze or boil in extreme weather).

Today I encountered the traffic equivalent of such folk. I start pulling up to the red light in a left turn lane and notice that the car in front of me is jutting into the intersection just over a vehicle length ahead of the stop marker. Evidently she had been planning a left turn on the previous green light, but actually proceeding far enough ahead to do so was vewy scawy, so she chickened out. I stop a car length behind the marker to give her a chance to pull back where she belongs. Nope, she sits there, oblivious, partially blocking traffic. When the green arrow appears, we both turn onto the main drag where there’s another red light. As this point she stops at least two full car lengths behind the vehicle in front. You know, because getting any closer would be vewy scawy. This weirdness persists at the next red light, where she leaves an even bigger gap in front of her car.

It was bad enough when they were doing this on line at the Burger Bin, but if it’s going to become commonplace on the highway too, I’m staying home.**

*an obvious exception to trailing no more than a few feet behind whoever’s in front, is when you’re on line at the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, and the guy in front of you may not want anyone else to know that he’s getting the deluxe 50-count Super Viagra Pack.
**I’ve never run into this kind of silliness anywhere before moving to Ohio.

I’ve noticed the red light thing in the last few years. Are they afraid they might be breathing exhaust fumes from the car ahead of them or something?

lose proximity to other people is Dangerous and Unsanitary[/close]

I’ve noticed drivers like that, too.

I’ve never actually done this, but in such a case I always fantasize about pulling up in the lane beside them, and then moving into their lane in a manner as if I were parallel parking. (They leave plenty of room!) I like to think that such a thing would cure them of their stupidity, but somehow I doubt it.

Uh, I tend to give people a lot of space in retail lines because people typically don’t like some stranger breathing down their neck when they are making a financial transaction. Especially transactions that involve a pin number.

There’s leaving a bit of space, and then there’s still standing in the aisle.

And she just ignored your honking? Maybe she was deaf, too.

I have a wife and kid who, despite crippling health insurance premiums, seem to be perpetually sick with either real or imagined diseases. (Mostly imagined. Fucking internet! She reads about it, she’s got it!)

My house is like a fucking TB ward, circa 1905, with all the hacking and phlegm. And God Forbid anyone covers their festering gob!

I have to sleep in the fucking RV out in the back yard.

So, yeah. People are fucking disgusting, and need to be kept at arm’s length. Or Ten Foot Pole. The goddamn wiener dogs are more hygienic, and they roll in horse shit and eat field mice, whole, raw and alive. Then throw them up in the Jeep an hour later.

Are you really in that much of a hurry? Do you realize how irritating it is when someone overtakes you from behind just to occupy the gap that you’re leaving in front and then you both have to stop at the next light, anyway?

They’re texting.

I had to stop at the red light because I’d been stuck behind you

I had to drive to work early once last year, along with all the tradesmen off to buildings sites, and they were so efficient it was scary. You know how normally their will be one lane running fairly slow, with people drifting along, and a few gaps? And the other lane running faster, but with a few people drifting along, creating gaps in the traffic? Traffic speeding up and slowing down as you drive along?

No Gaps. No drifting. Everybody drving exactly 2 car lengths behind the car in front, all going at the speed limit, all going directly to work in the correct lane and expecting me to do the same.

Actually, I marveled in silence, no honking.

I had suspected this driver might be texting, but the only activity I could see was some energetic hair brushing.

Well, there’s your problem right there.

The purpose of the car horn is to inform people they’re idiots. It’s a public service. I mean, it’s not as if they’re going to figure it out themselves, right?

I shouldn’t miss the opportunity to give a one-fingered salute to the Red Light Creeper.

This is the driver who stops at a light at least two car lengths behind the vehicle in front of him…then gradually creeps forward (in stages), so that you feel obliged to keep edging ahead yourself so as not to leave a gap.

I swear, these people could fill an entire new section of the DSM-5.

Do you realize how irritating it is when the slowpoke in front of me just makes it through a yellow light, and I’m stuck behind?

I leave room in front of me at stops just in case I get rear ended I don’t get pushed into the guy in front…again…

About five years ago I conducted an unscientific Facebook survey to find out if the people who leave ten-foot gaps when waiting in line are the same people who leave twenty-foot gaps at stoplights.

Survey says: Yes, they’re the same people, and they think the rest of us are weird for not leaving those gaps.

On my way home from a former job there was a stretch of road where the regular lane functioned as a de facto left turn lane. There was also a “pull around” lane. the problem was that so many people wanted to turn left that they would back up and render the “pull around” lane useless. When I’d finally get the chance to get around them, I’d invariably see four or five car-lengths worth of empty space that these oblivious morons left open thwarting the “straight goers” behind them. CLOSE THE GAP, OBLIVIOUS MORONS.

But that’s only for the person in front. Everyone else can just stand in normal line range. And how close that is is something you learn in kindergarten. Heck, that’s where you should learn that people will cut in front of you if you leave too big a gap.

I agree with BigT. All you ever need to know in life you learn in Kindergarten.