Tuesday, July 12 2005
When I was driving around today it was difficult not to view the scenery as part of a videogame. Grand Theft Auto gets into your brain that way, and it's easy to begin seeing pedestrians as hobbling mushrooms that would be fun to splat all over the road. It's a good thing that the user interface of a vehicle is nothing at all like a computer keyboard, because if it was it would be easy to zone out, slip into that game mode and drive like a maltruistic maniac.
The world is a lot more complicated that GTA, but always in ways that seem like that might make for interesting extensions to the game. For example today, as I was coming home from a Kingston housecall, I stopped at a huge pile of subsoil along 209 about a mile north of Hurley. There several piles of various materials here. There's smashed concrete, chunks of asphalt, gravel, and soil. I assume this is some sort of temporary store while some highway department goes about its business. I needed some soil to slightly alter the pitch of the soil along the west side of the house, and I figured I should just get some here. But I was a little nervous that I might get in trouble. There's a state police barracks only a few hundred feet away, and there are plenty of people zipping by on 209 who can see me when I loading dirt into the truck. And then, out of nowhere, two schoolbuses full of children pulled off the road into the area of the piles, only a couple dozen feet away. In their raucous innocence they all looked like perfect GTA victims, sitting ducks were the buses to get slammed from behind by a hurdling carjacked ambulance. Of course, any such act would have to be done with utmost care because of the proximity of police, who would surely come swarming out of the barracks like hornets from a swatted nest.
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