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Hi. I'm trying to think of another description to put here. Any ideas? I'll try again at 420.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In My Country...

...things would be American-ISH...but with a few tweaks. One change would be:

Old people would only be able to drive vehicles painted conspicuously. My first thought is blaze orange. But that could be a tad too harsh for the Paris Hilton's of the world. We would simply save ALL neon car paint for old people. These cars would also glow the dark because, for some reason, old  people don't seem to care if the lights are on or not. Hell, they don't care if they get arrested. What can you do to these people? They've survived every disaster, man made or otherwise, for the better part of the last 100 years. A night in the slammer won't really bother them...and Lord knows they don't mind the placement of the crapper. I'm not saying the cells are hellholes, let's just say it's obvious the architects didn't consider feng-shei when designing them.

For most of my life, my father remained the only person who could drive a car that I could fall asleep in. With everyone else, I remain awake, alert and animated. I never even married a guy whose driving I trusted enough to curl up and sleep. Besides being too afraid that I would sleep through a fatal crash, SOMEONE needed to navigate.

I can't say for sure but if you go by the men I've married (and now, sadly, my father) you would come to the conclusion that the interstate system and a map are like some hieroglyphic rock. I'm simply the one genius who gets it. I've driven, alone or with someone else, across the country four times, I lived in Frisco AND L.A., I've driven the part of the  country east of the Mississippi so many times I've long ago lost count. But no matter how old I get or how many years go by with more country-crossing, I have always been and still remain the ONLY person in a car that can navigate this country. 100% of the time, it is I people rely on when driving 1,000 miles in any directions.

I can easily get to one city from another without a map because I grasp the interstate system. I only use maps for the insets, I might not know how to get around Key West...but I could get  there from anywhere in the country. My poor old father can't even orient himself to the water. About a billion years ago, he grew up in a small resort town in New Jersey. To him, the water was always east. Also, when we lived for decades in the Chicago area, the water was east. But here, it's to the west. It's an easy adjustment, that is until you start to need a neon colored car. After 10 years of Florida retirement, that man cannot orient himself because his brain wants to be on the other coast.

He's at that age where he can still say his insurance hasn't suffered. But, triple pictures of his car running red lights come, by mail, to his retirement community. Also, I've been in the car with him. Once again, I don't want to be cruel so I'll just say this, I'll never sleep in the car with him driving...ever again. Anyway, as of yet, he hasn't hit anything but I trust that to continue like I trust a pit bull...I think he's OK, but I'm not taking any chances.


Blogger Tundra Woman said...

I grew up in the metro NY area, learned drive on the L.I.E. tailgating at 90, so I hear ya. You are conveniently located in the most dangerous place I've ever had the heart-attacks and pure hell of driving. These people (and I'm now of the age to be one of 'em) have more drugs in their systems than the below-average drug addict, the legal medicine cabinets from pharmaceutical hell, bi-lateral cataracts that never seem to ripen and the sun is always shinin.' They own glasses, a variety of prescription sun glasses as well but they "misplace" them. With depressing frequency. Somehow the glasses get "left" everywhere but the car. My father routinely ran people off the road. His tank of a Lincoln ensured he and SM (who resided in YOUR neck of sunshine) would survive but the young mommy with the kids in the sub-compact were road kill without immediate evasive maneuvers.
He REFUSED to let me drive and refused to surrender his license. He was diabetic, shot up twice a day and had peripheral neuropathy and the reflexes of a slug on a slow day. By the time we got to where ever we were going I was on the floor in the backseat scrambling around in my handbag for the valium. ("Please, god or who ever, tell me I didn't forget to get that prescription.")
In view of my advancing age and my old vehicle with the paint peeling off the hood while I was in another state (civilization) participating in a Medical Clinical Trial (which I "failed" as soon as I closed on a house in the area) I purchased an obnoxiously yellow one. I knew I wasn't staying there and my thought was, "Well, at least it can be seen in a white out." And the price was right, especially when I walked out of a huge, empty show-room without a customer in sight and some salesmen who figured I was too stupid to negotiate a vehicle. As I got in my old bomb, they came flying out, prepared to play, "Let's make a deal." I didn't put all that extra crap on the vehicle-they did, so they could eat it.
It has been exactly as as "described" by it's color. This is the first brand new vehicle I've ever purchased, maintained to the max and the lemon to end all discussion of shitty vehicles. Never again.
Dad has since died but not before I called his MD and Fla. DMV and threatened all kinds of stuff if they didn't jerk his license post-haste. They did. So he got one from ANOTHER state. And the Lemon sits out in the driveway and "gifted" me with a flat tire earlier this week. Inspection is due next month and it's not gonna pass. (Nor should it.)
I could NOT get my Psychobitch mother to comprehend Cloverleafs on interstates/parkways etc.: "Turn off here." "NO! That's NOT the way I WANT TO GO!" (Exit recedes quickly in the distance.) She was a true road-rager long before there was such a term. Those old tanks were built to take all kinds of abuse and she managed to break off the turn signal on one of them from repeated beatings while she wasn't using her other hand the beat the crap out of me.
Even though I'm an AARPer I think EVERYONE over, say...65 should have to re-take a road test every time they renew their licenses. And that includes yours truly. I hope I have enough decency to turn in my license (as my SM did) when I can no longer drive safely.
In the meantime, I hear ya Meg: You're right in the middle of Ground Zero for terrifying drivers. Due to repeated exposure to both driving bio "parents" I prefer to drive as well. I know my left from my right, my north from my south and my medicine cabinet is so PC it's pretty much useless even to me. And when it isn't, I make sure I don't have to drive anywhere.
Tundra Woman

July 20, 2012  

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