Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Operation Free For All

Before my wee rant, let me first welcome to Dublin the 140 boys and girls in blue (and fluorescent yellow) recently released from Templemore Garda Training College. I'm sure for many of them, being thrown in at the deep end must be a daunting experience. Being billeted around various junctions and intersections across Dublin is probably no-one's idea of fun. Add to this the icy temperatures recently and I, for one, wouldn't wish to be in their shoes. It must be totally scary for those lads and lassies who don't drive, have never driven and possibly who never want to drive, having to do point duty in our grid locked city as a million and one demon christmas shoppers converge on the capital.

That all said, I observed with some amusement last night, one young recruit's contribution to Operation Freeflow. Stationed at the Clare Street/Merrion Square junction, this baby-faced enforcer watched the traffic loop around Lincoln Place & Westland Row, and catch it's own tail at the aforementioned junction. This perfect vehicular circle forms whenever the traffic builds on Westland Row. The AA girls' code for this ("Traffic on Pearse is backed up to Macken Street"), is normally a blatant understatement and fails to deliver the futility of this regular event.

Garda Awestruck watched in wonder as 3 vehicles proceeded to park in the yellow box that is designed to stop this interminable loop the loop. Pedestrians had to cross between the stationary vehicles. Two of the three drivers had their mobile phones glued to their ears. In the moment's while I waited to cross this junction, I noticed these traffic code violations proceed without eliciting ever a modest raise of the cute Garda's eyebrow. When a space formed in the traffic queue, the first two drivers exited the box - breaking the red light and nearly knocking over 3 pedestrians - and 3 more cars illegally entered the yellow boxed area. One driver, incensed that Joe Public might cross "avec l'homme vert" rolled down his window and shouted a litany of curses at anyone who'd listen.

Through out all this, drivers in the 2 intersecting roads who were being impeded by this bad driving discipline sounded their horns long and hard - in a manner not heard since the last days of Radio Nova. And the cute wee boy in blue stood with a terrified look on his face wondering why his mother ever talked him into joining the 'Force!

We Irish love chaos and all the better if it is needlessly self perpetuated. We just don't get it and never will no matter how we pretend by naming the uncoordinated deployment of unsure or unskilled children after military sounding campaigns - Operation Freeflow indeed.

[First posted : 29 November 2005]

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Blogger Steven said...

Oh dear, that's hilarious...

but so true.

10:33 a.m., November 30, 2005  
Blogger JL Pagano said...

Your best post so far.

Pretty soon you're going to have to drop the adage "blog virgin", you're picking it up so quickly...

11:44 a.m., November 30, 2005  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

That is really good writing. Helped me wake up from the fog of cork. As I read, I had a urge to go back to dublin, to live in dublin again. The centre, the big smoke (as my dad always called it)...
You have found a slice of life and enlivened it. You have dressed the moment in a splendid garment.
Thank you.

jl pagano is so right.

9:11 a.m., December 02, 2005  

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