I have to share this with you this early because in an hour I leave for church and then I have to arrange my day so that I can sleep at some point because I work tonight. The good news is that I won't have this schedule much longer. I did manage to get a new, daytime job, and I'll be starting that soon.
Anyway, last night someone drove their car into the tree in front of our house. The tree will be all right, and no one was seriously hurt...that we know. The driver, a woman, staggered off as neighbors gathered. (While I live on a somewhat busy street, the neighbors themselves are pretty quiet and by 9 PM on a Saturday night, it's very still around here. So when there's a huge boom and then an endless car horn, people gather.) One lady chased the woman (I did not for two reasons: 1) I was already in my jammies and 2) Homey don't run...we've covered this.) but when she got close enough to call out to the woman, the woman ran and hid in one of the apartment buildings nearby.
So the cops came, the tow truck came, Skippy and I spent 40 minutes out on the lawn with the rest of the neighborhood, talking about the perils of drinking and driving...and many of the neighbors shared their own tales of drinking and driving, each one ending their story with, "And now I just drink."
As for me...I had a different view on this whole thing, as I typically do.
I think many of us believe our cars are sort of like cloaks of invisibility. (Yes, a Harry Potter reference. Everyone in the house is going to the midnight show in two weeks except for me, and I'm just a little bitter about that.) I know that's the case for me because years ago Jim, a writer friend of mine, happened to pull up behind me at a stoplight. He told me later that he could tell I was singing along with the radio because he watched my pony tail (yes, this WAS years ago) bob up and down and my head shake around. I know I'm probably very entertaining in the car. I'm always talking or singing, regardless of who might be in the car with me. I talk to traffic, I talk to myself about plot lines, and I sing...lordy, I sing. I am a rock star in my car, complete with a rock and roll face (Yes, a "Music and Lyrics" reference) and dance moves.
I realize people can see me...I just do not care.
But I am starting to believe that not everyone realizes people can see them in their cars. Case in point, the woman last night...probably thought she was invisible right until the moment her Lincoln hit my tree...and then she fled because her cloak had been torn.
Friday, I was innocently buying some M&M's at my favorite Walgreen's. As I left the store I saw a woman, parked in a the handicapped spot (no tag or sticker, and she didn't look disabled...I'm just sayin'...) with her car window OPEN, and she was very actively popping a zit! As I passed by, I was no more than 10 inches away from her face...had she been successful in the pimple poppage, I could have been splattered.
This is more than teens making out in dark cars...(and no, I'm not quite ready to share my very humiliating story of a make out session abruptly ended by a policeman's flashlight.)...this is about people doing basic, gross stuff in their cars, operating under the obvious idea that no one can see them!
Jerry Seinfeld once did an episode where his girlfriend saw him picking his nose in the car. Hilarious, but true. We've all seen that.
Forget the current hub bub about people texting in cars. I've seen people brushing their teeth (and spitting out of their cars...ew.) I've seen people putting on makeup, reading, digging around in their back seat while driving (yes, guy in front of me on I94 between Madison and Milwaukee yesterday afternoon...I saw you.)
That's just cars moving.
In stopped vehicles, I've seen people vomit (to be fair, I've vomited out of a moving vehicle...but that's a story for another day.) change diapers or clothes on babies, change their own clothes (you do get that windows, made of glass, are see through, right? And...on one trip home from the mall, along the interstate near my home, I saw a grown woman standing next to her car dropping a big old #2. (For those of you outside the US...that means pooping.) She did nothing to cover up her naked, expelling rear end. No...it was sort of like she was subscribing to the theory, "If I can't see you, you can't see me." She had the skirt of her dress hiked up over her head and all the drivers on that fine Saturday morn saw was her size 22 rear end pushing out the remains of her most recent meal.
|Yes, but on toilets...not interstates.|
And for the woman who plowed into my tree last night...I hope you are uninjured...your car is a complete mess, so I am a touch concerned about you. But I truly hope the cops find you and make it so the next time you decide to drink you don't hit something, or someone less stalwart than a 50 year old tree.