Cell Phones and Driving

The following article originally was published February 16, 2009, by Grand Junction’s Free Press.

We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you drive

by Linn and Ari Armstrong

Recently we had a flat tire and found that the spare was also flat, so we hitched a ride to the gas station. We sat in the back seat while the driver held the following conversation with the other passenger.

“I was driving south on 30 Road the other day when a young woman with a cell phone stuck to her ear cut me off just before I was turning onto D Road!

“I’ve never given the one-finger salute, but, boy, let me tell you, if I were inclined this would have been the perfect time. But I guess I learned the fine art of profanity while driving around with my father, so I really let loose. The EPA could have closed commercial air space above the Valley because of that rant! I probably made Al Gore’s global-warming ticker speed up.

“I’m so glad the legislature is finally looking to put an end to holding cell phones while driving.

“Anyway, this young ‘lady’ had no idea how much danger she had placed us in. I was looking at the newspaper ads for yard sales, and I was eager to beat everyone else to the best buys. I had to step on the gas to make up time.

“The week before, I had arrived late to the best yard sale in town, and the earlier risers had grabbed up all of the best buys! Not only did they take the best stuff, but they took all the best parking. So I just pulled in real close to another parked car for a spell so I could get in on the bargaining. Some guy driving by sneered at me, but it’s not like he didn’t have plenty of room to drive around. Sheesh!

“But I didn’t make the next yard sale on time, either. When the lady with the cell phone cut me off, I spilled my coffee all over the paper! That was some hot coffee, boy, and it turned my classifieds, along with the world’s news, to mush.

“The little *&%@ didn’t realize that I was having a heck of time getting one of those little creamers open and into my coffee. But I have the problem licked, now; I get the lids with the drinking hole so I can poor my cream into that, along with the sugar. And I rip the cream open with my teeth.

“I hope the lady who cut me off was making a hot date or something. I hope it was worth it, because Spot’s poor little doggie feet got burned by the coffee. He started dancing all over the dash.

“Poor Spot still won’t get in my lap anymore, and he used to look so cute with his little paws on the wheel. All the kids used to love watching him help me drive! But my insurance company said it won’t pay for Spot’s counseling.

“Not only that, but I had little Suzie for the day, and she was a mess after that, let me tell you. She was in her car seat right behind me, so I couldn’t find her pacifier till I got to a stop light.

“I don’t know what the lady’s cell phone cost her, but she cost me plenty. With Spot jumping around with burned little paws, he knocked my brand new electric razor right out the window. I had just bought that razor, too, on sale for 89 bucks. If the little twit had cut me off just a couple days earlier, all I would have lost is a cheap blade shaver.

“You would have laughed yourself silly — I upgraded after I reached for the shaving rinse cup instead of the coffee mug. Yuck.

“Look here for a sec — did I just smudge this eye-liner?

“They ought to pass a law. They just don’t have enough laws. Let’s pass a law to stop people from using cell phones in the car. Let’s really get tough on the young teenagers. They’re terrible drivers, and they can’t vote, anyway.

“Hold on a minute — I want to find that country-western station on the radio… There it is. I had it on the classical station because it really relaxes Spot. Sometimes he likes to climb up in the back window and take a little snooze. His little chew-blankie is in the back seat; I like to tuck him in with it.

“Getting back to the law. I’m just sick and tired of people driving around chatting on cell phones, paying no attention to their driving. The police need to be spending their time looking for people using cell phones!”

The driver let us off at the gas station, where we breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that our safety rests in the hands of our state legislature.