Dodgecar comes to Madison
Last Friday, I became a walk-on member of a new sports league. One might see me climbing stairs and wonder why I would be desirable in any athletic pursuit.
However, to win at this sport, you need an ample dose of good luck, something that I am apparently blessed with.
Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to Madison’s newest athletic craze: Dodgecar.
Dodgecar pits unsuspecting pedestrians against self-absorbed motorists. It combines the speed of NASCAR with the agility of runners in the 100-meter dash. Matches are frequently played in the crosswalk of Main St. and Hwy. 83. You do not know you have been drafted until the match begins.
My match began about 3 p.m., as I was walking back to the Citizen office from Perk Avenue. I waited patiently for the signal to cross as traffic turned left onto Hwy. 83.
Little did I realize that the glowing white figure who bade me to walk, was also a black-and-white checkered flag commencing the Dodgecar match.
A young female lunatic in a black Explorer came roaring up Main St., hell bent on making the green light.
She leaned into the left turn, without pausing for oncoming traffic (who undoubtedly had the right of way by this time) or for any pedestrians such as myself. Boogity Boogity Boogity.
As the Explorer raced toward me, I ran and twisted my body, the vehicle missing me by mere inches. A close shave if there ever was one. This is a game of tag that I do not care to play ever again. The driver shrieked like a banshee as she passed, apparently not realizing that she had initiated the match of Dodgecar.
After some unsportsman-like shouting and gestures on my part, I shakily returned to the Citizen office, where I learned that I was not the first athlete from our staff drafted to play Dodgecar upon that very field. Editor, Kathryn Schiliro, and Biz Buzz herself, Dianne Yost, have also competed in Dodgecar derbies crossing Hwy. 83.
Luckily, we have all won, if you can call it that. Certainly none of us felt like having Gatorade dumped on our heads afterward.
Motorists, I urge you, please, please look carefully when you drive. Be especially vigilant at intersections and in areas heavily populated by pedestrians, like parking lots and downtown. Not six months ago an elderly woman was killed in the crosswalk on Main Street. In this column I have tried to make light of a stern admonition, but it’s really not funny. My life, and someone else’s life, is more important than you being late, or you taking that phone call or text message. (If you disagree, you should only drive a car like the one in my mug shot.) In Dodgecar, redshirting can mean blood.
Printed in the July 5, 2012 edition