Tag Archive: car


I had my cell phone in my hand while I was reaching for the charger cord to plug it in. I was thinking about what I had just read on the computer.

“Moron,” I said. My phone came to life.

“Moron, a stupid person.”

That is just wrong. I get it, but it’s just wrong. I didn’t live for just over sixty years to be told what a freaking moron is by my phone.  And I don’t know that some information sucking program isn’t shooting out into the internet ether the fact that, basically, “this idiot just asked what a moron was.”

And while I’m at it, I don’t want my car driving for me, either. I’ve spent over forty years perfecting my parallel parking. I”m doing just fine, thank you. I know when I need to stop – I can handle that quite well by myself.

Here’s what it comes to. The morons (and yes, I know what that means) have more time to spend on their cell phone, because, hey, the car will stop for me. But that doesn’t matter when they are going twenty miles an hour – in a thirty-five mph zone – in the middle lane getting the final instructions for the party in two hours.

Then they speed up at the end of the conversation – without looking. Almost running into the car in front of her because he just slowed down to answer the phone. Which would have caused a pile-up except some of us were paying attention. Unfortunately, not all of us who were paying attention reacted correctly. Which caused a number of hearts to stop. Fortunately, they started again.

I understand – the idea is to make the vehicles safer. I get that. But at the same time it gives people more leeway to think: Hey, I’ve seen the commercials and the salesman told me. I don’t have to watch that close because the car will stop for me. Which is only partly true. From what I’ve seen, if you’re going excessively fast, it may stop for you, but it might snap your neck.

And the sensors had better be working in fine order. The fact that check engine lights come on for no reason does not instill the driver with confidence. If you are going too fast, can the car stop you before hitting the vehicle in front of you? Or behind you, in the case of parallel parking? I wonder.

Having said all that, here is my main point. There is an inordinate amount of people who cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Much less drive and talk on the phone – or anything else – at the same time.

Why would we give them more time to be stupid? What good does my car that can brake for me do when the idiot on the phone jams on the brakes? Or rear end’s me? Talk about sensory overload!!

Peace be with you.

There was a story the other day about a man that sued a Pizza Hut in Tennessee for serving an excessively hard crouton. Let’s take this step by step. You walk into a Pizza Hut and place your order, which, evidently, includes a salad – with croutons. You are eating the salad and at some point you have a crouton in your mouth.

Okay, you begin to bite down the crouton and your teeth feel distinct resistance. If you are above the age of say, five, you give up and throw the crouton away. And the man had dentures so he had some history in the matter. Some people  like to make a point of squeezing the most money possible out of an event that was, in part, their doing.

I shared that story concerning legal stretches to tell you this one. I don’t remember what car or truck I was driving, but regardless, it seems I over-filled the oil. Don’t ask me how – I’ve slept a few times since then. But whatever I had done caused smoke, quite forcefully, to come out of the exhaust pipe. If you are old enough to remember the DDT trucks spraying neighborhoods, it wasn’t quite that bad. Yet that didn’t keep me from feeling conspicuous as all hell.

My fears were not unfounded. A cop pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for – get this – excessive smoke. To make matters worse, I was going through Highland Park when I got the ticket. I worried about it until the court date finally came. I had no idea how much the fine could be for “excessive smoke.”

I arrived on the court date and found my way to the end of the line. This was not, I’m sorry to say, my first encounter with the court system. But it was my first encounter in Highland Park and I had long hair. So I had no idea what to expect.

I finally reached the head of the line. I walked up in front of the judge and stood waiting. He confirmed my name and so forth. Then he got to the charge. He asked if the arresting officer was present and was told no. “Excessive smoke,” he read from his sheet. He looked at me and asked, “what the hell is excessive smoke?”

“I don’t know, sir,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders, “ I think I overfilled my oil so the car was blowing smoke out of the exhaust pipe. I was going over to a friend’s house to try to fix it when I was pulled over and given a ticket for excessive smoke.”

“Pay the ten dollar court fee and we’ll call it even. Next case!”

To this day, I still don’t know what excessive smoke is – at least in regards to a traffic fine. Or what the fine would possibly be.

Peace be with you.

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