Driven to distraction
It has been too long since I blogged about driving. I must have been distracted. Well, no more. Hang on. I’m putting it in “L” for “Lunge.” (Like dad used to say.)
You want to kill me? I want to kill you? Fine. We’re gonna settle this once and for all the way nature intended. We’re gonna settle it on the streets. Let’s race.
Psst. Hey, buddy. Wanna buy a road-based transportation system? This baby is state-of-the-art. It’s the absolute finest this planet has to offer. And it only kills +32,000 people per year and injures over two million more. And that’s in the United States alone.
Wow. That does sound great. I’ll take it!
Excuse me. I have to take this call. Okay, I’m back. What were we talking about again? Look out! We’re about to hit that … uh oh.
90 percent of drivers rate their own driving skill as “above average.” They can’t all be right, can they? It turns out that 99.9% of the 90% are delusional idiots.
I, however, can successfully claim to be among the best of the best on the road. I am automotive elite. No, I’m not bragging. It’s not bragging when it’s a fact. And what makes me so special? Only I have the arcane knowledge of the ancients that serves me
in the field of battle when I’m driving a car.
Because I like you, I’ll tell you what it is. I’m even going to tell you for free even though this simple trick is worth millions. The arcane secret of being the best in a car is … hey, where are you going? I’m unloading guru wisdom here. Eyes on me.
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I am a stranger in a strange land.
I’ve done something more notable than even Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals. (Yawn.)
I went out in the world and listened. To another person. Hells to the yeah.
It was the most startling experience.
A conversational pause does not mean the person has finished speaking.
–Tom B. Taker
Interpreting every single pause since the dawn of time as “my turn to talk” means you are an asshole.
–Tom B. Taker
My wife was speaking to me. I was listening. Wow. I know. It can happen. Okay, okay. Stay calm. Don’t blow it. Keep it together, man. So far so good.
Then she paused.
This was an industrial heavy-duty kind of a pause. A good ten seconds. In today’s world that is literally an eternity. I had my feelers out. Was she done? Was she waiting on me to comment? Was it my turn?
I still don’t know what came over me but I decided to wait. I was in it for the long haul.
Then, simply, she continued. And she expressed an additional thought that added more to what she had just previously said. A thought that, if I had interrupted, I would never have heard for the rest of my life.
This is it, I thought! The land of milk and honey over the rainbow. That land that assholes never get to see.
It was so earth shattering that a few days later I even tried it again.
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Gonna Hitch a Pride
Pride and Guruness. Not exactly a common title found in your average library. “Pride” and “Guru” (of negativity) are not exactly words that go together. In fact, you might even say they are a contradiction in terms. They’re a toxic-moron.
Yet, the other day, I found myself knee-deep in the moment, that moment, and I’m proud to say I delivered. That is to say, I’m proud to say that I’m feeling a sense of pride.
Gonna hitch a ride
Head for the other side
Leave it all behind
Never change my mind
Gonna sail away
Sun lights another day
Freedom on my mind
Carry me away for the last time
When that moment comes around, you had best be prepared. It never comes twice. Either you got the stuff and react on instinct or you don’t and you rue the day for a long, long time.
This is the story of how I came through! And we’re bringing along one of the seven deadlies for added fun.
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I have to take this
Am I getting too touchy or is my finger on the pulse of the next generation? With any luck if I press down hard enough on that pulse can I stop the blood flow? 🙂
I’m in a face-to-face conversation with another human being here on planet Earth. Suddenly they get this odd look of surprise on their face and they stop listening to what I’m saying in mid-sentence. They reach into their pocket, pull out a cell phone and scrutinize it like it’s the winning Powerball ticket.
“I have to take this,” they say.
And with that, I’m looking at their back as they turn around and say something of vital importance to the future of civilization like, “Oh, nothing. I’m just talking with someone.”
Well excuse the fuck shit out of me!
The very first thought that crosses my brain is: Why didn’t I pay more attention in the original Terminator movie and learn how to make plastique using common household ingredients found at the local grocery store. Oh yes, that would be so nice right about now. I need to have the proper countermeasures handy for social faux pas just like this.
In a nutshell, we’ve become a society of assholes. I’m no Emily Post by any stretch of the imagination, but some modicum of manners, courtesy and politeness would be appreciated. Sadly those concepts have gone the way of the dodo and the corded telephone.
We no longer live in the moment. We’re never where we’re at. It’s all about what’s next. We’re like a greedy kid on Christmas morning who rips open all the presents in under a minute then complains about being bored five minutes later. Oh, who’s that on the phone? I better look and see. Forget about the fact that you were already interacting with a flesh and blood person who was right in front of you. Someone you can actually see, hear, touch and sense in other real ways.
This concept extends in other directions, too. Watching a movie, about to hurl on the teacups at Disneyland, ringside at a basketball game or rafting down some whitewater rapids? Better make sure you stop while you are still in the act and “tweet” about it and update the status on your fucking Facebook page.
You “have” to take that phone call? Well I “have” to kick you in the face. There. Now we’re even.