December 29, 2015
Houston is one of the largest cities in the United States, and has one of the best highways (and I would argue Infrastructures) in the world. I-10 crossing Beltway 8 is 26 lanes wide. This includes 2 tollway/high occupancy vehicle lanes, 4 regular flow lanes, 3 exiting/merging lanes, and 4 feeder lanes (6 if you include the right turn only lane and the U-turn lane)... on each side. Yet seven days a week, somehow there is always some congestion there during daylight hours. Though to be fair, it is never 100 percent stationary. Not even a hurricane could stop the flow of traffic in that area. I-45 just north of I-10 is not quite so impervious. On Sunday, all 4 lanes of I-45 heading southbound before reaching downtown Houston were stopped due to a wedding proposal. Wedding proposals can frequently be burdensome to those around them. Usually, friends and family do not mind being enlisted to help, because they have a rapport with the couple, and would just like be a part the posterity. However, very little burden should be forced upon others, much less strangers. Generally, acceptable burden ranges from: ‘ugh... now I have to walk around those people,’ to ‘sure. I’ll take a picture of you.’ Those in the service industry are of the few that can be enlisted outside of their volition. Though at least they are receiving some sort of compensation, even if it be a simple as a heartfelt “Thank You.” A few weeks ago, none of the strangers who were majorly obstructed, received any sort of compensation. In fact, if you watch this video; while the screen is sideways, it even looks like the proposer; Vidal Valladares Navas; even had the hauteur to flick the second and third passers by off. For the Record, the Featured Image is within 5 miles where it happened. Every doctrine of morality, has encouraged others to be considerate of their fellow humans and to be humble. In that vein, it is usually a good idea to try to waste as little of people’s time as is possible. A grandiose gesture that strangers in traffic could not careless about is in no way exempt. Furthermore, when driving, there is only one gauge of how well you are doing, and it is invariably tied to the one rule of morality on the road. ‘Nothing you do should in any way affect your fellow drivers’, unless of course you are allowing them to pass. Driving well is: getting to your destination as quickly as possible without inconveniencing anyone. Not only did these people do the opposite, they bragged about it. Given the appalling circumstances of this proposal, only the Church of Selfishness (I hear Lucifer is pretty keen on self indulgence) would sanctify such an act. The most ridiculous aspect is that somehow, (at least) 8 people went along with this exercise in arrogance (maybe they go to the same church). Not one of those who participated thought: ”hey, how about… literally anywhere else in the world, so we don’t piss off [risk the lives of] 100s of people,” or even: “hey… how about we just stop on the shoulder.” 35 seconds may not sound like a lot, but that is an eternity on the road. As little attention as people pay on the road, 35 seconds is more than enough time to cause a massive pile-up. And that is not considering the myriad of other circumstances in which slamming on the brakes at 50 plus miles per hour could cause bodily harm. Thankfully, it seems that the police’s initial reaction of: nothing, has been overturned. Instead, Valladares is to face an Obstruction of Highway charge. The class B misdemeanor is typically given as a plea bargain to those trying to stave off a DWI charge, it has a maximum fine of $1000 and 6 months in prison. Not nothing, but still reckless endangerment sounds more apropos, if it only Valladares is the “only” guilty party. The Houston Police Department (HPD) changed their stance due to public condemnation spurred on by the Houston Press. They had originally wished the couple a happy marriage, but warned against imitators. The funniest facet of the whole ordeal is the fact that, Valladares (who is only 24 years old) actually finalized his previous marriage’s divorce just this year. Six months later he is proposing to some other woman, and aggravating 100s of people while he does it. What a class act.