Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grits & Shins

No tornadoes, no floods, no hurricanes, no end of life on earth as we know it . . . not even no pythons, cobras, gators, or geezers washing up on our porch—a fizzle. 
Sun out, two bike rides in the can, Michelle hounding me for sex again—life returns to normal.  What I want is a real live “Level Fiver” to ride out on this sand bar . . . for stunt’s sake, for bragging rights, for grits and shins.  If I make it, I’ll become a folk legend and be set for life.  If I don’t . . . well, this old bald coon will be dead, Dead, DEAD and about as significant and remarkable as that hermit Harry Truman character (left) who was determined to hold to his cabin and ride out the eruption when Mt. St. Helen’s made noise back in 1980.  If Truman had made it, he’d still be booked solid for international interviews and would by now be in the 33rd season of hosting his own weekly survival TV program, “Rugged Individualist.”  But. . . . Don’t believe they ever did find even a single hair from old Harry’s head or even any fur from his three or four hundred cats.

Moral:  Screw with Mother Nature and she will beat your brains out . . . and she’ll never shed a tear, neither.


Journey to the Center of a Geezer’s Petrified Brain--Some old-timer rambled on in the paper today, and, I must say, most pleasantly did he ramble, too.  In a letter-to-the-ed the man opined about “seniors behind the wheel.”  I was hoping for some good old fashioned down home common sense and some straight forward honest-speak from this gentleman, but. . . .  In part, the senior spaketh thusly:

’Spunky’ is often used to describe those who still drive past 90.   One woman told me about her father who was in the 90-plus category and is still a good driver.  She did caution me, however, “If you see him on the open road, I would advise not driving in front of him or behind him.”

It is assumed that the above was said in jest and was spoken with a good-natured grin followed by a mirthful chuckle.  If so, then why am I not grinning and mirthfully chuckling?

Orville continues:

The ultimate driving feat for us oldsters is the coveted ability to “drive at night.”  Those who do are held in high esteem not unlike climbing tall mountains. Those who dread the thought seem unaware of those new inventions called ‘headlights’. . . . There was the joke about the senior lady who married the senior man who happened to be a rather unpleasant person.  Her friends questioned the wisdom of marrying someone so cranky.  Her reason was, ‘He drives at night.’  It seems that deep down inside some of us are still like children, afraid of the dark.  Boo!

Now, as scary as this thought is--sharing the streets, highways and post office parking lots with those “spunky” seniors in their 90’s at any time of day--the notion that we are sharing all the above with these people after the sun setteth is an absolutely paralyzing proposition.  From Orville’s light-hearted attitude, one might gather that driving at age 90-something  is a badge of courage, something noble and held in “high esteem” as if it were a trophy for bravery and perseverance rather than a license to "confuse" the brake for the gas pedal a dozen times per day and proceed to squash, flatten, crush, cripple, maim, mutilate, and murder any and all who share a similar street or parking lot.  I rate anyone who is 90 years and up driving on the roads to be on a par with drunk drivers and texting teens.  All are menaces—all are mere accidents about to happen.

The writer above obviously does not see the issue as I do.  Instead, he and his peers deem it a question of freedom and independence versus . . . versus . . . versus . . . versus slavery and dependency, that’s what.  I understand and even commiserate with the notion.  But Orville and his peers’ right to freedom and independence end where the lives and safety of the rest of us begin.  Or rather, it should (Florida does not seem to be in that big a rush to test whether its seniors are fit to walk and blink at the same time, much less able to drive a two-ton hunk of metal on our roads and parking lots).

I guess the ultimate kiss-your-ass-goodbye scenario is to be on your bike some dark night trying to mail an important letter and soon after entering the post office parking lot you spot a drunken 90-something texting and driving and headin’ your way.  See that sight and y’all might as well hang it up since y’all know ya ain’t a comin’ home from that one!  


Pocket Pistols of the Day