Wednesday, August 15, 2007

“Safe” Roads - Or - Why I am Such a Paranoid Driver


Another post sans pictures and also not about knitting


I am probably one of the few people that are not 250 years old in their profile.  Why lie?   I was six years old at the start of the 80s.  As with the ten thousand other innovations that came about in that decade, the onslaught of syndication and "re-run hell" changed my world.   How else could we see every single episode of the Love Boat?  How about Gilligan's Island, anyone?   Well, one that I just loved to watch, more for the opening credits than anything else?  CHiPs No really.


No, I did not have a crush on Ponch, (hee hee, paunch?) or John.  I thought one was too sleazy and the other?   Well, too white, actually (hi, I am a Mexican-American born and raised in East Los Angeles and blond-blue-eyed John was such the anomaly before I hit high school that he kinda looked, well, alien.)   Where was I? Right, the opening credits.  They actually showed a stretch of freeway that every single member of my nuclear family had come to know far too well.   It was mostly THE 10 (SoCal upbringing) as it meets up with yet not quite touches THE110 and maybe THE 101…it's been a while since I've driven those roads.


So in my "World According to CHiPs" eyes: THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE!  I learned many things as I'm sure many of us did:

  • Do not distract the driver by having kids climbing back and forth among the front and back bench seats.
  • Do not carry jugs of gasoline in station wagons as the fumes will escape and make you sleepy.
  • Wheels will fall off your car at the drop of a hat! (Which did happen to a friend of mine.)
  • The people around you do not know how to drive! (Hi, look around you.)
  • Or are "manipulating heavy machinery" under prescription medication that is keeping them from driving safely.
  • Or are high.
  • Or have stolen the car and are trying to get away, FAST.
  • Or are angry and ready to lash out at you (which actually did become reality, now didn't it???!!!???)
  • Airplanes/helicopters will land on the freeway at least once a season.
  • Brakes fail, ALL THE TIME (this actually did happen to me in a parking lot while in college…eep.)
  • If you drop something as you are driving it will inevitably end up propped underneath the break pedal and you will not be able to slow down or stop, thus causing a huge accident.


Does all this explain why I drive like a grandma?  I am pretty much the first to admit it.   Let's face it, the premise of that show had me seeing everything that could possibly go wrong with your vehicle/other people's vehicles and how horrible it could all become.  So does it shock you to know that I don't exactly like being behind the wheel?


Right.  Well, this morning I was thinking about "Smart" ROADS as opposed to smart cars (oxymoron waiting to happen) and how they would do wonders for keeping all those aforementioned "scary things" from mostly happening.


Since I was about 8 or so I had this, "wouldn't it be great" thought of having cars fit into "slots" in the "roads" or main highways that would be moving instead of the cars.   People wouldn't be weaving into and out of your lane like the fellow who tried to "become one" with my car this morning.  No accident, remember, I'm already thinking everyone around me is on drugs, suffering from fumes, or simply cannot drive while watching for planes and their need to land on my street, so I was able to slow down to let him practice his um, stunt driving or whatnot.


It had been my thought, um 25 years ago, that the little roads leading up to the main arteries could be your usual "free for all" and let the drivers actually, well, drive.   The older I get though, the more I think that maybe roads should be more like a Disney/roller-coaster/tracked things that don't let the drivers do anything but only kinda steer.  


I've gone from becoming my mom to channeling my grandfather, I think.  "Those dang auto-mobiles!   What's wrong with your own two feet!  Or a horse!  Back in my day…"
Knitting soon, promise.


Bezzie said...

Great, I think I just obtained a few new things to freak out about reading this post! ;-)

Rick Andreoli said...

HILARIOUS! Especially since you'd been to our house, which is right where the 10, 110, 101 and 5 all merge.

And yes, I still get the shivers whenever I see a truck loaded with used tires. I just know-- I KNOW-- someone is going to cut him off and it's going to roll and those tires are going to come flying at me and I'm going to get caught in a major accident.


tana said...

Ugh! I just drove up and down that freeway(s) on my way to AZ and back. I seriously felt like my life was in peril. It was raining - pounding rain and still everyone was FLYING and tailgating.

The CHiPs thing is hilarious. Which letters are uppercase and which aren't? I could never remember. Anyway. Great post - good laughs!

Beth said...

I like the last one on the list about things rolling under the brake pedal. I worry about that one once in awhile. Drivers really are crazy, though.