News and Tribune


September 3, 2013

BEAM: Get out of my dreams; get into my car-rider line

— Whoever thinks schools are places of rules has never witnessed the inner-workings of the car-rider line. New Yorkers trying to escape a 200-foot tidal wave have a better shot of making it out of traffic unscathed, and that’s with Godzilla huffing and puffing behind them.

After careful observation helped, in part, by reliving these experiences through PTSD flashbacks, I now understand why car-rider lines don’t flow unhindered like the murky waters of the Ohio. You see, and this is my expert opinion of course, there are a small percentage of parents who suffer from absolute, undeniable obliviousness. The politically correct term, of course, is to call these people logically challenged. When in the car-rider line, and for the purposes of this column, I shall refer to them as “the idiots.”

Are you an idiot? If you’re asking yourself this question, then probably not. These moms and dads have little regard for others. Serious self-examination went out the window with the still-smoking cigarette butt they tossed afar ten car lengths ago. Besides, it’s much too difficult to formulate thoughts when you’re chatting on the phone to only-the-good-Lord-knows-who at 8 a.m. in the morning. That’s what Siri’s for, right?

In fact, chances are these guys actually called you an idiot for not just pulling over and letting them go to the front of the line. Their time is more valuable than Bill Gates, Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth’s daily deeds combined. Consider their vehicle an unceasing member of a funeral procession, only without the dead body or immeasurable grief.

After suffering through car rider lines for six years, I know a thing or two about idiots. A couple of times I may have unknowingly ingratiated myself into their club, all too quickly to realize my mistake and bow my windshield wipers in repentance. In an effort to raise attention to the fast spreading epidemic of ignorance, a list of basic car rider line dos and don’ts has been posted below. Please review and try to not be an idiot more than once per a semester.

1) Never cut the line. Last week, a balding man who was obviously suffering from a mid-life crisis rolled his red sports car past me and the others waiting in the proper single line. He then let his kid off going double-wide at the door. Doing what any good-natured mother of three without a police badge would have done, I rode his rear all the way to the stoplight. Don’t think you’re better than the rest of us and bypass the line. You’re not, even if you do happen to drive a BMW.

2) Do not enter the wrong way. Picture the car-rider line as a giant oval. Just like with NASCAR, make only left handed turns [or only right handed turns if you belong to a school that doesn’t follow stock car racing guidelines]. Now remember, this is going to be a single-file restart on yellow all the way around. No speeding, no bump drafting.  Remember our racing heritage, Hoosiers, and do the laps right.

3) Hug and kiss your kids before drop off. While we love to see children uncomfortable due to their mom and dad’s helicopter parenting, the car-rider line is not the place to say your long goodbyes. If you must, pull in to the parking lot and bestow that attention to your kids there.

4) Once the children leave your car, it’s time to move on. See the adult nearby watching over the kids leaving their vehicles? That’s a teacher. He or she will make certain your little one makes it to the doors. Gawking does no good. It won’t make your son or daughter walk faster. All it does is tie up the line and solicit honks. Take a photo, press the accelerator and move on with your day.

5) Be courteous. If someone needs a little help turning into, or out of, the car-rider line, let them go in front of you. Stop for pedestrians. Smile and be friendly at the school staff working the line. And don’t shout obscenities at the idiots, even if they make you excruciatingly mad. [Unless, that is, there are no kids present and the one doing bad things is a really, really big idiot].

Once parents and staff work together, we can shame these miscreants into conforming to basic car-rider principles. If not, organized mob violence may be our only hope.

— Amanda Beam is a Floyd County resident and Jeffersonville native. Contact her by email at


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