Thursday, July 1, 2010

The End of Distracted Driver Crashes Is Finally Here!

The reign of tears is over. We will turn our prisons into factories. Men will walk upright now, women will smile, and children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.

Those are not original words. To whom they belong is to be addressed later, but it is a glorious day as the Georgia Legislature and governor, in a law taking effect today, have brought an end to one of the most insidious activities known to man, and by man, I mean woman. Farding in cars has been banished, as the little kid with the glasses in "The Sandlot" would say, for-ev-errr.

Gentleman, how many times have you been in the passenger seat of a car driven by your wife, girlfriend, sister, friend who happens to be a drag queen, or any other woman when, out of the blue, while you are zipping along at 75 on the interstate - or worse, while doing 55 in a 25 mile-per-hour zone in bumper-to-bumper downtown traffic - she starts farding like there was no tomorrow? As the farding continues, with the car swerving every which way, you take some time in between fards to ask her to stop, to be more considerite of the non-farding passenger, meaning you. Her response is either (a) if I don't fard, you complain, (b) shut up, or (c) something unprintable, depending upon her religion.

By now, you probably realize that 'fard' is a synonym for applying makeup, and as someone who doesn't wear makeup, I can only imagine how impossible it would be to drive a vehicle while attempting to even out one's rouge or applying eye liner without (what your mother warned you!) poking your eye out. So it is about time our state's lawmakers got together and rid the roads of these dangerous drivers who..... wait a second.

The Legislature didn't outlaw farding while driving? Oh, wait, my mistake. It was a different driving distraction lawmakers targeted. That's right, the law actually targeted men according to a conspiracy theory posited by supporters of goobernatorial candidate Nathan Deal. According to the conspiracy, Governor Perdue is trying to help snag the female vote for the person whom Deal thinks is Perdue's teacher's pet, Karen Handel, so the governor bribed enough, I mean, he rounded up enough votes to outlaw an activity that only men are engaged in behind the wheel. Guys, you'll just have to set the alarm clock a few minutes earlier, because shaving while driving is now illegal.

True, women also shave, but everyone knows women are responsible enough to remember to take care of their follicle expulsion at home, since they can always put on their makeup on their way to work. Besides, can you think of a bigger distraction than whipping out the razor, the sharpening strap, putting the bib on, plugging the electric kettle into the former cigarette lighter, balancing your Napa Soap Company lavender-cedar shaving soap cup on the other seat, not to mention wetting the badger badger badger brush - come on, real men shave wet! It is not only a danger to other motorists, it is potentially deadly for the shaver, hold on.

Shaving while driving is still legal. Even with a wussy Norelco. Oh, that's right, it was another cause of distracted driving that lawmakers went after, Taco Bell and who can blame them for taking out the chihuahua?

You know how difficult it is to try to navigate a road while putting away a grilled stuft burrito? No matter how well it is wrapped, you take one bite, and a little bit of rice and/or sour cream squirts out of another part of the tortilla. You try to cover it up with some of your wrapper, but you just open up an even bigger hole with your next bite. Goodness only knows where your car is going while you fight with the Americanized-Mexican-American version of plugging holes in Hoover Dam with old chewing gum. So, God bless our fearless lawmakers as they finally put an end to.....hey!

You can still eat Taco Bell and drive? Oh, you can still eat anything and drive, even those delightful little crunchies in the bottom of your Long John Silver's combo. Doggone it, did our Legislature do anything to...oh yeah, now I remember.

It was radios and CD players in cars and the ridiculous distraction they are to drivers our fearless legislators took on. How many times have you almost run off the road trying to get rid of that stupid Pina Colada song CD your wife left in the CD player? Well, we'll just have to tough it out having it stuck in your head from now on. Ladies, if your husband was listening to Rush Limbaugh and you get in your car the next morning to the dulcet tones of Bill Edwards, your out of luck (just kidding Bill!). Thank goodness our Legislature....wait, not again.

Okay, I think I have it now, the Legislature has made fighting among siblings in the back seat illegal! Yes! What an incredible distraction that is for me and other parents. I can't wait to lay that one on my daughters...oh, nope, that isn't it.

GPS and other shiny new dashboard devices are history. How many distractions have automakers added to their wares over the past few years? Thank goodness.....nope, those are still legal, too.

Say au revoir to smoking in the car. After all, I think the Legislature has already voted to add "Thou Shalt Not Smoke" to the Ten, wait, smoking in the car is still okay.

Muffy and Mittens will have to stay home, as there will be no more pets bouncing back and forth inside your...oh, never mind again.

Aw geez, I almost forgot, when in doubt, blame Bill Clinton! How many times have you almost been broadsided by a driver on the receiving end of a Lewinsky? Well, thank goodness our governor and lawmakers have put a stop to....oh come on, not even that? Well, I suppose that's covered by indecent exposure laws, though is the guy really exposed if....well, that's another show.

Okay, the truth. Texting on a cell phone while driving, or doing anything with a cell phone if you are a teenager, are now against the law. We could debate how nonsensical it is to say it is okay for adults to talk on cell phones while driving while taking away that right for the generation that is actually proficient in cell phone use. Instead, I would rather reveal the identity of the man who uttered the quote at the beginning of this piece. It was taken from a sermon by evangelist Billy Sunday delivered on June 16, 1920, the day the 18th Amendment to the Constitution - Prohibition - took effect. As you know now, his clairvoyance was off just a little bit that day.

This is not meant to trivialize a genuine problem, that of distracted driving and the injuries and deaths caused by it. But if those who make our laws were actually interested in ridding the roads of driver distraction, they would not be their typical spineless jellyfish selves and only target a tiny part of the problem. Sure, the part they targeted is politically attractive, not to mention it is heavily promoted as a "good law" by some media barons who probably hope drivers will spend more time reading hard copies of newspapers and magazines, listening to the radio, or watching their in-car TV's, all of which remain, as far as I know, perfectly legal. Most lawmakers don't have the guts to take on the list of driving distractions mentioned above, many of them more distracting than cell phones, and they never will. And let's face it, a whole lot of us will break this law and not feel that badly about it.

This leads me to wonder, when cell phones are obsolete in five years after Steve Jobs develops the Apple Vulcan, where we can send any message, get news content, or download our favorite songs via Apple's exclusive mind meld cloud technology, how will lawmakers ban that? Georgia's legislators and governor think they have made the roads safer by outsmarting the latest technology. As they have many times, they forgot about a little thing called human nature, and as for technology, they are a few million iPads behind the times.

1 comment:

  1. Kind of like Chatham County going for the conceptual cell phone ban. Sheesh.