Best of Jeff Ward: Do As I Say, and No Genevan Gets Hurt!

Eight pet peeves, Geneva style. Some of you folks are trying my limited patience.

  • Editor's Note: Jeff Ward actually took the weekend off. (Gasp!) So, we're running a "best of Jeff" that originally was published May 2, 2011.


I think I’ve finally learned something from Fox News. Don’t worry! It certainly wasn’t anything factual. It’s this: What’s the point of having a voice if you don’t use your journalistic pulpit to advance your own agenda?

So, in the spirit of that “news” service, and since I’m nothing if not “fair and balanced,” and in the interest of making the world a better place for, well, me (who else really matters?), here’s a few things I’d like you all to cease and desist immediately!

Stop putting a little stick figure sticker representing each of your family members on the back window of your minivan. I saw that sad sight again last week at Peck and Keslinger Roads and it drives me nuts. I understand you’re proud of your capacity to procreate, but isn’t advertising your progeny an awful lot like bragging about breathing?

All you’re doing is reminding the rest of us you’ve unleashed a horde of malevolent miscreants upon this hapless planet making it a far less habitable. And if you’ve included little stick figures of your dogs, may I highly recommend seeking the services of a therapist.

Onto the next one! Since none of you knows how to turn left, you’re no longer allowed to make any left turns. Please make three consecutive rights instead.

I understand the proliferation of dual left turn lanes like the one at Randall Road and Williamsburg Avenue have lulled you into lazy driving habits, but c’mon! You must’ve taken drivers ed at some point in your life.

If you’re the lead car in that Randall/Keslinger left turn lane, please pull out into the middle of the intersection and wait for oncoming traffic to clear. The car immediately behind you should follow suit. As the light turns yellow, allow for idiots who insist on running red lights and then those two cars should complete their turns.

The next time one of you just sits on the white line waiting for the next green arrow, we’re gonna find out exactly how much shock your rear bumper can actually absorb.

From friend and Geneva businessman Rob Kelley: “Stop throwing your spent cigarette butts on the street.”

You folks who sit outdoors at the Third and State Street Starbucks are the worst. While I certainly appreciate smokers' willingness to speed along the natural selection process, your foul habit is bad enough as it is. Do you really feel like you need to resort to littering, too?

“It’s a toxic piece of burning garbage that you’ve sucked on, and it’s repulsive,” Rob said. “Your car has an ash tray. You wouldn’t throw a paper cup out the window, so keep your butts to yourself.”

Back to my traffic pet peeves. Why do some of you insist on doing 10 mph down Third Street when the speed limit is 25? I’m not asking you to do warp nine, but geez!

And when you are on Third, or any other Geneva thoroughfare, put the cell phone down, stop gawking and consider there might be someone or something in front of you. Incredibly, while driving directly behind one of you 10-mph-Third-Street gapers, you still managed to rear end city of Geneva code enforcer Jim Forni. But because I was actually paying attention, I managed to avoid hitting you!

Steve Warrenfeltz of Kiss the Sky added this: If, despite the permanent and lighted no-left-turn signs at eastbound State and Third Streets, someone insists on doing just that, please don’t lean on the horn in hopes they’ll discover the error of their way.

Though sorely tempted, I never resort to the horn when even it comes to our previously mentioned errant left turners because honking at stupid people only makes their IQs drop another 50 points. If they had a clue, they would’ve seen the signs and wouldn’t be trying to turn left to begin with.

Instead of honking, just whistle the Guns ‘n Roses Patience intro, and you’ll be on your way soon enough.

Of course, traffic isn’t our only problem! By my last count, Geneva has at least five of those heinous self-storage facilities. Stop it! If you’re moving and you want to make your house seem more spacious, then you have my blessing. But only Americans would pay more to store their stuff than it cost them to begin with.

If you feel the need to fill your garage and a storage unit with your stuff, then you have too much stuff. When comedian George Carlin quipped, “That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it,  trying to find a place for your stuff,” he was KIDDING!

To sew things up neatly here, I never want to see another “Support our Troops” magnetic yellow ribbon on a GMC Yukon as you fly down Route 31 at 60 mph getting all of two gallons to the mile.

If you really wanted to support our troops, you wouldn’t be driving a mega gas guzzler that keeps the oil money flowing to the folks who are shooting at those troops. You’d be driving a Prius, wouldn’t you?

Phew! I feel much better now. After all, isn’t it the GOP way to fervently believe that the rest of the world would be a much better place if only they’d subscribe to whatever you’ve been thinking for the last five minutes? Viva la Glenn Beck!

Jeff Ward May 01, 2012 at 11:36 PM
No! The answer is I wasn't writing about any specific person. You'll know when I do because I'll use their name! Jeff
Rich Walker May 01, 2012 at 11:42 PM
No, I was referring to your comment to Beth. You could have let it go, but instead you mentioned what her husband had said to you. A real "Nah-Nah" moment, for you...it was bad form and terribly immature. I repeat, no one wants to see their casual conversations used as your material.
Jeff Ward May 01, 2012 at 11:43 PM
And apparently I'm not the only one that feels this way about stick figure families: http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s320x320/546568_290931647657483_100002219514175_670436_668664920_n.jpg
Rich Walker May 01, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Beth: See my comments below...sorry you were attacked publicly by this bully with a column and an immense ego. But I'm really sorry you have to have him as a neighbor, especially if he's as charming in person as he is in print.
Noel G. Rooks May 03, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I have a few to add. If you're at a light, please pull up to the line. If you don't, and you sit there, 3 feet back from the line, THE LIGHT WILL NEVER CHANGE. This happens to me all the time at Fabyan and Viking Drive. Gah! I grew up in a town where the "california stop" - the rolling slowdown through the stop sign - was the rule of the masses (and we called it something different, in honor of the town where it was epidemic), I do find it generally refereshing how people adhere tightly to the rules of the road out here in the Fox Valley. But sometimes too much caution is annoying. To wit: if the green right turn arrow is on, KEEP MOVING. Yes, the light is red. But that little arrow means that if you're turning right you have the right of way and should proceed (observing other drivers, of course). But still, don't slam on the brakes while the arrow is on and look confused, for the love of all that's holy. Wow. I do feel better. Thanks Jeff!


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