Tag Archive: driving


I was driving to Chattanooga last Wednesday for my show on Thursday at Big Frog Brewing. I was approaching West Memphis when I put the window down to get something off of my hand while I kept the other hand on the wheel. I tried to put it up when it stopped and slowly went all the way down. In the midst of the up and down movement of the window, I heard a crunching sound in the door. Which couldn’t be good.

So I’m driving down the road at 70 miles an hour in 34 degree weather with no window. I pulled into a Love’s and parked in front of the door. I ran inside to the restroom and back out as fast as I could. I called my son, Cameron. He called around and found a Firestone on the east side of Memphis that was still open. If they couldn’t fix it, they could get the window up and tape it in place.

Another 50 minutes of driving in decreasing temperatures and I was at the Firestone. I just asked if they would get it up and tape it. Cameron and would fix it after I got home. They did the best they could – they said – but there was still a gap at the top. I stopped at a larger Love’s. It was either duct tape, electrical tape, or packing tape. A few minutes later, I was taping my window like the last package I mailed – except sloppier because of the angles. Yet it worked.

I drove on to Chattanooga and checked in at the hotel. I spent the rest of the trip feeling like I was driving inside a wind tunnel with the radio cranked.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

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.

I have a theory – call it the a-hole relativity theory. The number of a-holes in any given area is relative to the total number of people in that area. Hence, more people, more a-holes. This of course includes many varying degrees of a-holism.

Some of them don’t actually know they have this social disease. They are oblivious of the fact that they are disturbing a very large number of people. Then there are those who are chest-thumping proud of pissing people off. Some are in between – most of the time they are considerate of the people around them. Until something hits their switch and they became flaming lunatics.

What they all have in common is a serious lack of driving skills. They have the inability to see that everyone is passing them on both sides and they are slowing down. And they were not going the speed limit to begin with.

To do what I feel is my duty, I thought I would jot down a few rules to help these poor demented souls survive yet one more day. Some are just common sense – something most of them do not possess.

If you are already in the turn lane while coming to a stop, there is no longer any need to turn on your blinker.

On the other hand, if you are not yet in the turn lane or left lane, please turn the damn thing on.

If you are turning right at the corner, don’t turn the blinker on until you’ve passed the parking lot entrances. People coming out of the parking lot will think you’re turning there and will try to pull out in front of you. Turn on your blinker when you pass the last entrance. You can begin slowing down, however.

Being in the middle lane going forty miles an hour is not the best time to whip out the phone and post a selfie on Facebook and/or Instagram.

If you get a phone call when you are driving in rush hour traffic, let it go to voice mail. You can check it at the next red light or at your destination. If you are lying in the road dead or dying, letting them know you are running late is not going to matter.

Whether you know it or not, the mirrors are on the car for a reason. Use the freaking things!

Please feel free to add others in the comments. The ironic thing is, if the people I refer to read this, it probably won’t occur to them that it’s about them.

Peace be with you.

Stopped behind truckI don’t know if this happens with any of you. I don’t mean if you are ever stopped behind a truck, because I know most of you are – at some point – or have been in the past. But when I’m stopped behind a truck that has something strapped on at a slant, my mind wanders.

I begin to picture the straps coming loose and objects hurdling toward my car. In this case, the top few “slats” (or whatever they were) would have ended up in my chest, as close as I can determine.  And I had a feeling that the longer the light took to change, the better the chances were of that actually happening.  Which would only be true if the straps were slipping, but one never knows.

There are times on the highway when I’m passing one of those big flatbed trucks with a load of pipes approximately six inches in diameter. I get stuck beside it when traffic doesn’t move like I expected it to. Unlike the truck in the picture, not only is it two and a half times longer, but the pipes are shaking and the straps are straining. Then my mind goes into overdrive.

In both instances, the main thought that occupies my nervous mind is ” what would I do if they came loose?” Which leads very quickly to “what the hell can I do?” When the obvious answer is – not a damn thing. Which is disconcerting to me, because I drive with an awareness of what move I need to make at any moment.

I reach a point of calm panic. I can’t even enjoy the song on the radio that I like. Then the person who has been holding us up moves over.  I move on past the truck and the incident is over.  Until someone doesn’t drive like he should and the whole scene is replayed again. I consider myself lucky that none of the scenarios have come to pass. And then it occurs to me that it could still happen. Which guarantees the next time will be worse – in my mind.

Anyone else have the same sort of thing happen to you?

Peace be with you.

 

??????????Thinking while driving is something of which I am excessively guilty. But it is completely legal. In fact, I wish more drivers were guilty of that. Unfortunately, they insist on doing everything they can to avoid actually paying attention to the road and the vehicles around them. Not to mention the drivers who consider traffic signs, such as “left lane for passing only,” mere suggestions and therefore they do not apply to them.

I drove to Nacogdoches last week to pick up our youngest son, J.D., from SFA. On the drive out there, I recalled a trip I made to Nashville in the late 70’s. Joel Nichols and I had just begun playing music together. Joel was going to school in Nashville and I moved out there while he finished his last year and we played music. I had to drive out to SFA and back on the same day. It wore me down. I remembered that Joel and I did not think anything about driving back and forth from Nashville – even though it’s a twelve hour drive.

The first time we drove to Nashville – Joel to return and I to move – I was following Joel in my Comet. My tailpipe had come loose and Joel rigged it with a piece of wire if I remember correctly. It was not too long into the drive before the tailpipe fell loose. Fortunately, the wire kept it from falling off completely.

I would signal Joel and pull over to the side of the road. He would pull over behind me. Then he would grab a towel he had in his car, run up, lay down under my car, shove the pipe back in and tighten the wire. I waited for Joel to get back in his car before we hit the road again.

I would be listening to my 8-track player and cruising right along. Eventually, the tailpipe would come loose again. I would turn the volume up as loud as I could. I would speed up, then slow down so I could hear the radio. When I could not stand the sound anymore, I would signal Joel. Then we would go through the process all over again.

At one point in the journey, we pulled over again as was becoming frequent. When Joel walked up to my car, he was grinning. I asked him what was funny. Joel had been listening to the CB radio in his car. I was driving the truck drivers crazy, speeding up and slowing down. I didn’t think it was so funny at the time. As far as I was concerned, I was doing what I had to do to hear the music.

We went through the process numerous times, but finally made it to Nashville. The reason we didn’t think anything about driving back and forth long distances was because we were young enough to not have anything to worry about but getting to where we were going. I was still concerned about getting where I was going when I was picking J.D. up, but I wasn’t nearly as relaxed as I was driving to Nashville that day. I enjoyed the solitary confinement in the car because it gave me time to think, but it also gave me time to think about problems and worry.

What is the point, you ask, besides just the story? And that is a legitimate question. I was wondering myself for a while. But I think I have the answer. Driving back and forth from Nacogdoches, I was thinking about what I could be doing and what I had to do. When I was driving back and forth from Nashville -as I said earlier – all I had to worry about was getting there and wondering what would happen when I got there.

Sometimes I wish the times could be like they were when Joel and I drove to Nashville. Then I wonder if anything has really changed. Then I think about what has changed. Then I think I might not really wish that at all. Then I get to where I’m going.

Peace be you.

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