April 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Jumpin’, Humpin’ & Bumpin’ in Brentwood

On trash-pick-up Tuesdays the stakes are higher in Brentwood’s E-ticket Jump, Hump and Bump game of ultimate intimidation. It’s the day the garbage trucks infiltrate the canyons and the flats to collect the remains and disposables of Westside life and whisk them off to the dump.

But no matter how precise the trucks’ robotic like tentacles are, the green, blue and brown containers are generally strewn in all directions increasing the number of obstacles and hindrances in our paths, both coming and going.

This consequence heightens the stakes of the daily challenge course—the issue being who has the right of way on this narrowed artery? Motorists ponder the question as they’re detained by a school bus flashing its no-pass red lights or a construction site’s 18-wheeler delivering materials or perhaps a mobile food truck arriving to feed the worker bees.

Within nanoseconds faces redden, horns honk, fingers point, words fly, and Blue Tooths are engaged. “I’ll be late†— “I’m in a hurry†— And so otherwise civilized people morph into ugly, uncaring, me first anguishing, self-centered, unbecoming beings.

Behind the wheel they defy the instruments intended to pace and control the traffic. Everybody knows that there’s no enforcement. No cops. No consequences. No hidden cameras. Not even make believe or mock motorcycle stakeouts.

So student drivers, college kids, parents, delivery vehicles, tree trimming trucks and apparatus, and wandering tourists still in search of OJ’s house ride the speed humps, endure the bumps, and attempt the jumps over the increased number of widening asphalt pot-holes.

Stop at stop signs—you must be kidding; turn right on a red light where posted signs warn against doing so? Sure thing. And why not use surface irregularities to practice ultimate skateboarding or maneuvers on a sleek chrome Razor. And by all means turn left where signs deny access.

Recently, while en route to an early a.m. Sunday yoga class. I sighted the bulging calves of a bicyclist who was careening down Bundy canyon. He rode straight down the middle of the road at about 25mph. I couldn’t pass him and he was not about to relinquish his position.

Trying to be philosophical, I laughed and realized I should be grateful to him for not adding to the pollution. Beside that the slower pace enabled me to ingest something of the morning’s calm and tranquility. As I turned on to Sunset, I noticed the cyclist was joining a caravan of riders. But I wondered whether their presence on this curvy, hilly terrain was fair to our impatient and zany motorists.

Mary Ann Grond is a favorite dog walker in our community. Putting 7-10 miles per day on her pedometer is typical. She is acutely aware of motorists’ speeding, jockeying for position, swerving on curves, non-compliance with rules and regulations who are a threat to everyone’s safety and well being.

When she motioned to a speeding resident to slow down, the hurried matron shouted back, “We live here and can drive as fast as we want†!

Another resident with a German Shepherd on leash on Chalon responded to a passing jogger’s request that she bag up her hound’s excrement and put it in the bin boastfully replied “No one else does, why should I.†How’s that for a case of unmitigated entitlement or privilege?

Perhaps Mary Ann as she is exercising our pets could keep a list of witnessed infractions and catalog them by license number, description of vehicle and any other identifying information.

What if not for one another, but rather for our four legged companions we abide by some of their “PET PLEAS†? We imagine that they ask that we slow down, stay focused, and be courteous.

Sadie, Diesel, Becker, Ricky, Lucy, Oakley, Lulu, Cashmere are just a few canines who would thank you. Or if not for them, do it for Norton, my loving black and white mutt who was killed by a motorist who never stopped to see what he had done.

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