(Reprinted from The Times and The News-Star, April 3)
Texting, texting all day long,
on my hand-held telephone.
Kitchen, den or patio,
I can text while on the go!
My favorite place to text outside
Is when I’m cruising in my ride.
The road belongs to me alone
When I want on my telephone.
I drive, but still I answer rings
Since driving, I can do four things:
That’s texttalkdrive AND hit your car.
It takes some skill, but I’m a star!
This won’t make a dent in what my small brain perceives to be a big problem, but, as country crooner Lyle Lovett said, or perhaps texted while driving his horse, “A man has to try. What are you if you don’t try?”
I am not an extremely intelligent person. I’m probably in the same IQ category as the guy who took a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night.
You’ll see a fish riding a bicycle before you see me accepting any academic awards.
I’m not a bright man.
But, I do have my moments. I married a smart person. I will stop and ask for directions. I know to come in out of the rain. I can change a flat. And I long ago retired from texting while driving.
Each of us knows by now, personally, of at least a dozen accidents caused by people reaching for their dropped cell phones or talking or texting while driving. A grandfather told me last week of his teenaged grandson who had recently wrecked while texting and is now paralyzed from the waist down.
I am not a good driver to begin with. In fact, I’m probably the second worst driver in the world, and I will take over the top spot should my dad pass away. So I need all hands on deck while steering a vehicle.
It has not escaped my attention, though, that most people are circus acts while driving. I sat outside the house this week and counted the first 10 cars that came by. Seven drivers were on their phones.
I tried again later. Eight out of 10. Must be fires everywhere.
This week I was at a red light and the guy behind me was hit by the woman behind him. Both were on their phones. A conversation on my home phone with a friend two months ago ended with, “Oops, I’ve got to call you back. I just hit a car.”
I am probably more uneasy about this than most because I was on the front end of getting rear-ended back when cell phones were making their initial splash. A woman picked me off at a Dallas intersection. Just a dent, but a nice dent. She was very nice: she handed me her insurance information and her cell phone number and – this is the honest truth – she never got off her phone the whole time. She had to be the National Security Advisor or the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, is all I can figure. In 1999, was the head of national security blonde, female and mid-40s? Had to be...
On the wide open road, I can understand talking and driving. Otherwise, these are my rules, which my family knows: I can text or talk and drive if I am on fire, if I’m bleeding, or if I’m taking a call about a liver transplant. Short list. Otherwise, my phone’s in park, for my safety and for yours.