The Crankee Yankee Cracks Down on Speeders on Our Street

It’s not unusual for people who ride through our street to slow down and gawk at our ongoing house renovation. Since we moved in on 2007, the Crankee Yankee has been busy repairing and renovating. But even our Byzantine home isn’t enough to keep people from speeding; sadly, the 25 MPH sign on our street is largely ignored.

We have no sidewalks on our street, which makes it difficult to walk; half on the road and half on peoples’ lawns when cars go by. Over the years, we have had some near misses that were pretty scary. It’s especially dicey during the winter as there is no place to walk then except in the street.

In our neighborhood, we have seniors; two of which are in their 90s, use walkers and are understandably tottery on their feet. There are also lots of kids who walk, ride bikes and skateboards, parents walking with strollers and carriages, people walking their dogs, and of course the cats that roam the neighborhood, and often cross the street.

We regularly have cars, trucks, and motorcycles that speed through our little street. It’s not a question of if someone or someone’s beloved child or pet or grandma gets seriously hurt or killed; it’s a question of when. Frankly, my heart is constantly in my throat when I hear someone roaring through our street.

We have asked our police department repeatedly to help slow the traffic down, but nothing they have done succeeds. It’s not that they don’t try; they do. It’s just that people ignore the speed signs and warnings. So, the Crankee Yankee has taken matters into his own hands.

We own a KIA Rondo, a large Chevy truck and an old T-100 Toyota truck (registered but not inspected–we are selling it for parts). Our driveway will fit two vehicles, but often there will only be room for one of them as the Crankee Yankee uses at least half the space to cut boards, stack cement blocks, and so on. This means that two vehicles are usually always parked on the side of the street.

So, in spring, summer and fall, the Crankee Yankee parks one or two (sometimes all three) on the sides of the street in front of our house. Generally he parks two vehicles on one side of the street in front of our property, and parks the third vehicle on the other side of the street but not directly opposite of the two other vehicles.

This means that traffic is forced to slow down in order to 1) get by all three of our vehicles, and 2) to allow a “you go, then I go” situation when two cars come toward each other on the street. Traffic is then slowed to a crawl.

As the Crankee Yankee is starting to work on all eight raised bed gardens in front of our house this time of year, you can believe that he gets lots of comments on the parking vs. driving situation on our street. Let’s just say that often the air near our house turns quite blue.

We have had our local police stop by our house more than once to check on the situation; they have had a few angry complaints. When the Crankee Yankee explains about the speeders, they roll their eyes and then laugh. They too are frustrated about those who willfully speed through residential neighborhoods.

Each and every policeman/woman has congratulated the Crankee Yankee on his traffic solution. When pressed by those who want to drive 50 MPH on our 25 MPH street, the police have politely told all comers that what the Crankee Yankee is doing is by no means against the law. In fact, one policeman, after talking with the Crankee Yankee, hid up a heavily treed side street, and nabbed no less than six speeders!

So far, it’s working. So far, no senior, child or pet has been hurt or killed on our street. While we heartily wish that people would have the sense and compassion to drive safely in residential neighborhoods, this is one way we can at least slow them down.

As I always say, the Crankee Yankee is some piece of work.


The World According to the Crankee Yankee

The Crankee Yankee has a set of rules for living that may not work for us all, but they certainly work for him. If anyone reading this is an NCIS fan, you’ll remember that Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs believes strongly in his set of rules for life. So does the Crankee Yankee.

The following are ten of his Gibbsian rules:

Rule #1: Always show your love to family and friends, and help them out whenever possible.

Rule #2: When driving, lead, follow or get out of the way. This means that, if the person behind you is edging up on your bumper, they’re a jerk. Same for the person in front of you who is driving too slowly. That person, too, is a jerk.

Rule #3: Share the knowledge. This includes teaching perfect strangers in the grocery store that a dented can in the mark-down section has nothing wrong with it, that it’s always best to pick out a good chuck roast and have the butcher grind it for you–better hamburger that way, and that the “used” (that is, not picture-perfect, a few dings and bruises) vegetables are just as good; they’re cheaper and they’re going into a soup anyway, so who cares?

Rule #4: Remember that the sweetest words you can say to your wife (besides “I love you,” of course) is “don’t worry–I’ll take care of it.”

Rule #5: As long as you’re working on a house project, it’s best to leave the necessary tools out until the project is done–no matter how long it takes.

Rule #6: Always feed the stray animals in the neighborhood. (BTW, this is how we got the two indoor/outdoor cats, Plumpy-Nut and Tinker)

Rule #7: Keep your eyes open for any strange vehicles or people in the neighborhood. Make sure that they know that you are watching; it keeps them on their toes in case they’re up to something.

Rule #8: Always use coupons–even if you have to go out of your way to use them.

Rule #9: There is always a valid reason for taking the office or kitchen scissors and not putting them back when you’re done….because you will probably need them later. The collateral damage is that your wife will be pissed off that they are not where they are supposed to be.

Rule #10: Everything will get done….eventually. In the meantime, don’t worry–there is a plan.

So, there you have it. I’ll share more of the Crankee Yankee’s wisdom again because just when you think you know all the rules, there are MORE of them.