Thursday, July 28, 2005


We drive in the United States. We drive a lot. We have to drive to get places. For most of us there is no reliable mass transit. So we drive. We strap ourselves into a machine made out of a few tons of metal and plastic, and powered by a gasoline engine. As we happily travel down the highway, we carry a few gallons of a dangerous highly flammable liquid, that when it reaches the engine is used to create a series of tiny controlled explosions. That's what makes our car run. And it can run very fast. We can cruise down the freeway at eighty miles an hour surrounded by other drivers also going 70-80 mph. Are we crazy? How the hell do we trust all of these other drivers surrounding us as we all travel at speeds that flesh and blood was never made to travel? We pay so little attention as we travel at these crazy speeds, that we eat, drink, talk on the phone, sing along to the radio; and some fools (I'm told) watch DVDs, while driving . . . fast . . . amongst other drivers, none of whom knows what any of the others are doing or thinking (if they're thinking). This is insane. People are killed and maimed for life while driving. And yet we do it every day as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Actually this used to feel like the most natural thing in the world. But my son received his learner's permit a few weeks ago. That changed everything.



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