What the Crizzle?!

A flashing light above a stop sign in Leaside. Photo by Robin Dickie.
A flashing light above a stop sign in Leaside. Photo by Robin Dickie.

February 14th. Valentine’s Day. 7:21 p.m. And I feel anything but love … for Crizzle.

I am steps away from the corner of Rumsey and Parkhurst, with Jerry-the-neurotic-wonder-dog, when I am anti-lovestruck. Crizzle rolls up to the stop sign and … just keeps rolling. I’m pretty sure it’s a Hyundai. Maybe a Honda. A Humbaby? Without the benefit of my glasses or daylight, I can’t be sure. But what I am sure of, there isn’t even a flicker of a brake light. I dramatically throw my hands up in the universal Dad language for “Holy Moly (polite word for what I really thought)!” As the car sails by, I squint at the licence plate: C. R. Z. L. Blur. Blur. Blur. I don’t catch the numbers. But definitely C.R.Z.L. Crizzle. Remember Crizzle. Sear Crizzle into your brain. My mission begins. I see Crizzle turn right on McRae. I pick up my pace. Jerry barks with excitement, thinking we’re going for a run.

I reach Rumsey and McRae, where a car approaches from the right. I try to make eye contact with the driver to be sure he sees us, just like that safety pachyderm, Elmer, taught me decades ago. As I step off the curb, they come to the stop sign and … roll right on through. More dramatic Dad arms. More squinting. C.R.T.N. Damned Cruton! Must remember Cruton. No, stop. Crizzle is the objective. I turn right onto MacRae and I start scanning the tennis court parking strip, the driveways. Jisker. Shuper. Horpus. Clumper. Hizmit. Bumkey. But no Crizzle.

I cut through the tennis courts onto Rumsey and head to Heath. A three-way stop. Correction: a three-way ROLL. Incredibly, two cars in opposite directions drive through the intersection as if the big, red, octagonal sign said, “PLEASE IGNORE! THIS MEANS YOU!” A third car makes a right on Rumsey, like Starsky and Hutch looking for Huggybear. Almost to spite me, the car seems to speed up. It cranks around the corner fast enough that a banana, sitting on its roof, spins off and lands in front of me. Jerry gives it a sniff. I pick it up. Hmm, still in good shape. I hope your monkey starves tonight, I think. Way up Rumsey, Starsky pulls into a driveway. Unlike what Hutch would have done, though, I don’t get the licence. Or the make. Just a banana in custody. I crack open my banana and it sinks in: Bananaman lives here. They’re a Leasider. We continue to Sutherland, Jerry and I. He lifts a leg here and there. I eat my banana. And I observe.

At every four-way stop I come to, there are at least two or three Holy Moly Rollers.  And incredibly, quite often, they’re people who are only a few blocks from their homes. Boy, wouldn’t I love to give them a piece of my mind.

Look, I get it. We all have important things to do, places to go, teenagers to borrow our cars. And 30 kilometres per hour does seem like tricycle speed. Sure, there are the Rush Hour Rollers but what if we, Leasiders, don’t do what we complain about? Maybe the best way to curb the Holy Moly Rollers is to make them slow down by slowing down, ourselves. Stop where it says so. Hang on to our bananas. Don’t be such Crizzles.