On the Road Home: Shut Up and Hang Up, or Why Don’t You Just Stop for a Psychic Reading?

They should pass a law that mini-vans always stay to the right.  The people (I’ll avoid stereotyping, but we all know who they are) that drive them are never going to drive anywhere near the speed limit.  With SUVs, though, it’s unpredictable.  Some of those drivers are the bullies of the highway and will never give the right-of-way to another vehicle.  On the other hand, sometimes, you’ll get stuck behind an SUV barely moving down the road, and you can almost predict who’s driving it–a soccer mom jawing away, waving her hands talking on the cell phone, oblivious to everything else happening on the road.

Tonight on my commute home, I wondered if there haven’t been surveys made that deal with the effect of cell phone drivers on the overall speed of the traffic.

Just in the middle of that thought, I had to stop at a red light, and noticed a business I had never seen before.  Right there in a semi-industrial area sits a Psychic Reader/Fortune Teller.  It’s close to a very busy intersection, but how many pull over in the middle of the morning or evening commute to get scammed out of few bucks to hear some fairy tale about their future?

I’m sure it’s mostly people for whom the $10 or $25 would be better spent on groceries or some other necessity.

But I went to a reader once, one time when I was feeling poor and low.  I didn’t feel any better after I had heard my fortune and was on my way home.  Nope, not better, just had even less money in my pocket.

Seeing that Palm Reader place tonight made me think of two other things that I’ve tried, and after a bit, decided that like fortune telling, they too have a lot of  hocus pocus involved:  gambling and religion.  Though others might not put them in the same category, both seem to make a lot of promises without any proof, and left me with less money in my pocket.

If others feel good for getting all the hocus pocus and pocket-fleecing, more power to them, but I’ll take a little dog’s lick on the ear to these any time.

And, yes, there have been surveys.  They say drivers using cell phones make our commute about 5-10% longer.  So all you yappers:  shut up and drive!

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View from Suburbia: Hang Up and Drive Courteously

Despite what I wrote about not getting the February Blues this year, the colder, gray days haven’t been the impetus that I’ve needed to write; even so, there has been a hodge-podge of ideas running through my mind.

Mostly, though, the drive home and arriving usually no earlier than dusk have made my days feel shorter, and sitting at the computer, putting one word in front of the other (or is it “behind the other”?) hasn’t seemed the most relaxing way to spend what’s left of an evening.

The drive definitely is often wearing, and, though some other drivers can be frustrating, I’ve kept myself from getting too agitated along my route.

We used to hear the slogan “Drive Defensively” but these days I think it should be “Drive Courteously”.  There are many courteous drivers out there on the roads, people who don’t mind opening up their following distance a bit to let another driver get into the lane or those who stop, like they should, when there’s a long line of traffic to let the drivers from a side street get through.

The drivers who aren’t courteous, though, are the ones on their cell phones.  How can they be courteous when they are oblivious to all the  other vehicles around them?  They are the ones who slow down traffic.  They are the ones who nose into the lane of oncoming traffic because they are texting.  They are the ones whose other hand is gesturing animatedly while they are talking, so they must be steering with their knees.  I’m sure if all these yappers would hang up, the traffic would flow more smoothly and everyone could get home more safely and faster.   I’d like to see how well any of them could do on one of those arcade driving games while they are yammering on the phone.  I haven’t really watched Oprah for years, but the other other I noticed that she has a campaign against using cell phones while driving:  “Oprah’s No Phone Zone.”  I hope it takes off big, because from my view on the road, a lot of the windbags on cell phones look like people that might watch her show.