On Wednesday – April 9, 2014 – I decided to conduct an experiment that really opened my eyes. Those of you who know me well, know that I am always thinking. You know what I mean now don’t you. Never am I thinking the normal everyday type of thoughts, like most of you have. I think of really weird stuff as I walk, fast walk, slow jog, fast jog, and sometimes run for a few yards. When I see a small beetle walking across the sidewalk, for example, I wonder is he/she on their way to work? Or, are they going to the grocery store in the grass, to gather up some scrumptious food for the rest of the bug family. Or, are they looking for a new place to live.
Well, the thought that has been haunting me for many weeks now is TEXTING! On one walk I started counting the number of drivers that were driving towards me, as I was walking on the sidewalk. I stopped counting after a few minutes. The number of drivers TEXTING is off of the charts! Then, the thought came to me out of the blue. I did not ask or pray for this new found thought, and it certainly is not my best thought. However, it is a new one, and now I cannot get rid of the pesky little devil!
My new thought is, “WHICH IS A SAFER DRIVER? A DRUNK OR A DRIVER TEXTING?”
So, on this fateful beautiful Wednesday, with weather rivaling any day on Maui, I went for my walk. My walk consists of a 1.1 mile loop around my apartment complex, walking south on the Dallas Parkway access road, east on Frankford, north on Pear Ridge, and then west on Timberglen Road. Typically, I walk anywhere from two laps to five laps, with most walks of three laps or 3.3 miles.
I’m not sure what lap I was on, but as usual, I was walking on the sidewalk facing the oncoming traffic, heading north on Pear Ridge. It had rained the night before, and I noticed several spots on the sidewalk ahead that had ten or more feet covered in mud, which met I would have to walk around them on the grass. Moreover, there was nothing but shade on this side of the street, and I noticed that on the other side of the street, was nothing but sunshine. You know the type of sunshine I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Willie Nelson Blue Skies song type of sunshine. “Blue Skies shining for me. Nothing but blue sky do I see.” So, I walked across the street, to where all the sun was, and started walking on the sidewalk, headed north, going in the same direction as the traffic approaching from behind me. As usual, I had my headset on, listening to my favorite songs on my iPod. What could possibly be wrong with this picture? Right? i.e. Beautiful day, listening to my favorite Hawaiian music, walking briskly with the wind on my back, and walking on a sidewalk that has a FREAKING CURB AT LEAST SIX TO 8 INCHES HIGH!
Then, the unspeakable, unthinkable, unfathomable happened! When I listen to my music, it has to have a somewhat higher volume as I am competing with the sound of automobiles driving past me in both directions traveling at 45+ MPH. But, as I neared the point where I needed to cross back to Pear Ridge, and make my left turn on Timberglen Road, I thought I heard something. So, I turned my head around to look behind me, since the noise was coming from that direction. To my horror and shock, I SAW A WHITE VAN THAT HAD JUMPED THE CURB AND WAS ON THE SIDEWALK. I SIMPLY FROZE IN DISBELIEF, AND THE VAN TRAVELED PASSED ME ON THE SIDEWALK, MISSING ME BY INCHES! After the van traveled passed me a few yards, the driver applied the brakes hard, and the van came to a stop with the right front and rear tires still on the sidewalk.
I was so shocked that I was not even angry YET. My first thought was maybe the driver had a heart attack, stroke, or had passed out while driving. I ran a few yards on the sidewalk to the van, and tapped on the passenger side window. Guess what I saw? The IDIOT, MORON, DUMB A##, CLOWN, IMBECILE was STILL TEXTING! I then became angry, and banged again on the window with the quizzical look and gesticulation. He waved to me with a quick right hand gesture that is used to brush a fly away. The gesture said, quite clearly, CAN’T YOU SEE I AM TEXTING? I was so enraged, I knew if I confronted the dweeb by opening the driver side door, and pulling him to the pavement and smashing his cell phone to bits, I’d spend the rest of my life in jail.
So, I continued and finished my walk.
But, my experiment had been completed. I knew then, and I know now, that a DRUNK DRIVER IS A LOT SAFER DRIVER THAN A DRIVER IS TEXTING.
How many people have to die before we make it a FEDERAL LAW AGAINST TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.
I was one of the few very lucky ones to survive.
© 2014, Pierre Cassidy. All rights reserved.