Stirring the Pot: Pet Peeves – Time for Some Spring Cleaning


Aaaaaw … spring is in the air.

Okay, okay … with this week’s unseasonal weather in the Bay, filled with thunderstorms, hail and snow predicted for some of the hills, the last thing on anyone’s mind is spring. But they do say, “April showers, bring May flowers,” so I guess it’s all good.

The fact of the matter is it is springtime – a time for reflection, renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. Not just for one’s self, but for the physical things in our lives, too.

Out with the old, in with the new. Time to organize your home, office and thinking; time to make all that is “dirty,” clean. And for me, it’s time to check out what’s going on around us and share who and what I think should get swept to the side or better yet, given the old heave-ho for good.

The rain – Yes … I’m back to that again. I know the trees must bloom and the flowers must blossom (and yeah, there is this drought thing I hear about), but all it does is make people who cannot normally drive worth a lick, drive even worse. “Slippery When Wet” is not road sign porn.

J-walkers – I’m not sure how to get rid of this group (ruling out actually hitting them, which I would never, ever condone bodily harm to anyone who doesn’t deserve it), but I am really beginning to think Oakland has its own set of unspoken rules when it comes to when you can cross the street:

Crosswalk ‘Walk’: “Take your time, you have the right-of-way. And if you are talking on a cell phone, you have the right to walk a little slower.”

Crosswalk ‘Don’t Walk’: “That car isn’t going to hit you. Take your time because you don’t have a vehicle and it’s tough walking everywhere you go.”

Crosswalk, period: “These are not meant for you. They are markers to tell drivers where to stop so as to not be hit by crossing traffic. You cross when and where you choose to make it the easiest for you.”

J-walkers pushing shopping carts – If you’ve driven anywhere in Oakland, you have at least once encountered a human-steered shopping cart filled with cans, bottles, recyclables and/or pallets. In some areas, we actually feel the need to give them the right of way! Recently, late one night, I watched two men pushing carts filled with pallets that they couldn’t see over, down the middle of Broadway. #Seriously?!

Lawbreakers – Now I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill criminals … I’m talking about those people – specifically drivers – who believe a silly no talking or texting on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle law actually applies to them. How silly of me to want to get where I’m going without having to overcompensate for your obvious strong command of the road and others around you. Hey, YOLO … right?

fitzhughMichelle Fitzhugh-Craig is an award-winning, professional journalist who resides in Oakland. If you have an individual, organization, issue or other topic that may be of interest to our readers, , contact her at [email protected]. Need more stirring? Visit


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