Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mr. Magoo

People cannot drive. Not you per se. Of course you can drive. It's just that your neighbor, blind uncle* or co-worker is a menace and should be re-tested. The fact that we have one inch of snow make matters infinitely worse. Warning signs to keep an eye out for (snow or no snow):

-someone who is hunched over, with chest touching the wheel
-driver wearing glasses two-times thicker than Joe Paterno's (combined with above)
-a death grip on the wheel that would make Andre the Giant proud
-little yellow license plate (joking Mr. McGreevey!)
-cell phone talker with opposite hand gesturing
-knee driver (see above)
-make-up applier
-no turn signal using, lane switcher
-person who doesn't wave after you let them in

Did I miss any? I'd love to hear what pisses off Massachusetts drivers.

I'm no expert, but my new car is 15 months old and I have 35,000 miles on it, so I have more experience than some people.

*In a former life I worked as a soft lines manager (apparel & footwear) for the Sports Authority. My days were spent merchandising displays, ordering people around and loitering at the customer service desk. One day, as I was taking up space delegating responsibilities I noticed a man enter with a seeing eye dog. He walked around for a little while and then asked for an item that was out of stock. I told him a couple of different places to try to find it and he left. As the store was empty at the time I watched this gentleman and his dog walk toward the parking lot where I guessed he was getting his ride. I was mistaken. They walked up to a conversion van parked in the first handicapped spot and the man opened the side doors for the dog to climb in. He then entered the driver's seat with a minimum of "feeling around," started the van and drove off.

I never saw the guy or his dog again but that experience left a lasting impression on the three of us who witnessed it. We all agreed that he had to be one hell of a good driver in order to get a license while being, at least partially, blind.

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