Friday, July 31, 2015

Driving Lessons

I hate it when people can't do whatever they went. Especially when they're behind the wheel. Whether I'm responsible or not, I feel like the grinch who stole Christmas. 

Take, for example, the young woman who was attempting a right turn in a residential neighborhood I frequent. Palming the steering wheel as she attempted her turn, the vehicle swung wide as she was unable to sufficiently corral the heavy tires and 19” wheels of her SUV with a single hand.

This because her remaining hand was tasked with keeping the all-important cell phone pressed against her ear.

I don't know if she was giving consent to have her mother taken off of life support or making an appointment at her favorite nail salon, but the call was clearly a critical one and demanded completion—whatever the cost.

It was fortunate that as a technology-bereft ancient, I was only driving and thus was able to brake, giving her the entire width of the roadway to complete a turn which should have required half that space.

None of this is especially unusual, given the six-hundred or so miles I put on every week in the course of my job. It is practically routine.

What was unusual was the reaction of Iona Apple.

Curious to see the face of my latest bout with motor vehicular negligence, I glanced at Ms. Apple as we passed and discovered that she was glaring at me

Dismissing the possibility that she was a scam artist upset that her plan for engaging a metropolitan bus in a head-on collision had failed, I realized I had exhibited the unforgivable gall of being there.

Yes, I had compromised her awesomeness. Her inalienable right to drive however poorly she needed to when it infringed upon her use of technology. She wasn't guilty of distracted driving; I was guilty of seeing it.

OK. Got it.

But despite the injured feelings, I admire this woman. Her addled priorities and twisted sense of causality are flawless. They are perfectly representative of twenty-first century America. 

Her phone call completed, civilization may now continue for another day. Or at least until the next incoming call.

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