As I'm sure you all have seen, a holiday can bring out the real stupid in some people. This holiday appears to be no different. July 4th is always a good one.
Every holiday there is the typical excitement, the anticipation of getting together with friends and family...well some family... and the fun times ahead. There is always one person who bounds through the screen door thinking its open, when its not. The spilled drink on someones lap, usually someone Else's. The plate drop, where food goes everywhere. The funny things kids do, or say. A secret revealed. The back yard games that start out as friendly and fun, and sometimes end in someone having to take a trip to the emergency room. Fun stuff.
Whats not fun are the situations that end in tragedy. The times when someone goes a bit to far, drives too fast, or drives after having one too many drinks.
We have all had to make the last minute trip for things like ice, Hamburger rolls, Soda, chips, ect, or when you are late to a cook out and feel the need to rush. To drive a bit faster than you really need to. What is the point?
Today I was out on the motorcycle. I decided to take a nice early morning ride, and enjoy the peace and quiet early in the day before all the action starts. I planned on a nice ride in the country. I got up, had my coffee, planned the day with the wife, and got dressed to go ride. I stopped off for gas, and as I was getting ready to hit the road, I noticed people on the road were a bit hurried. Its 10 am, Whats the rush?. I took my time, got comfortable and hit the highway.
I was just getting on the highway, and looked over my left shoulder to merge in traffic, and along comes a Nissan Maxima swerving in and out of lanes trying to pass every car on the road. I stayed to the right and let this fool get in front of me, and I glanced over at the car. The driver was a 20 something kid, cell phone to the ear, one hand on the wheel and just blasting down the highway like we are all using his highway, and are just in the way. The road was filled with families on the way to or from somewhere, and doing a pretty good speed, But that didn't matter to this jerk. This jerk was determined to get where he wanted to go in as fast a time as possible, and he did not seem to care about anyone else. Happy Holiday to you Mr. Jerk, Whoever you are.
Now here is what really got me upset. Whats the frigging hurry? Really? Was his wife having a baby? Is he on his was to a fire? If so, He forgot the firetruck. Is the world coming to an end? If So, where are you going? Was this guy trying to get to the cookout before someone ate the last hot dog? I just cant imagine what was so important that he needed to drive 90 miles an hour dangerously swerving in and out of lanes risking the lives of everyone on the road. I'M pretty sure they would like to get to where they are going too, Buddy. And I'M pretty sure that they don't need you screwing it up for them.
Now, every single one of us has seen the news right after a holiday weekend. We watch and see what destruction has occurred this time. A car crash here, a motorcycle accident there. An injury due to fireworks. A domestic dispute. A drunken brawl. A fire started by a grill with way too much lighter fluid. ( there isalways one or two of those). So what have we learned? What do we do different? Who hasn't heard that phrase " Be careful on the road, watch out for the crazies"?
How do we know the crazies? Do they wear bright orange shirts that say "Hey, watch out for me, In an inconsiderate moron who cant use common sense"? Nope. I'm pretty sure I would have seen that. How do we know when one of these crazies will come our way? We don't, so we always have to be on the look out. We have to wear our seat belts, we have to drive 8,000 lb SUV with 23 air bags in them to wrap us up in bubble wrap in case of an accident. We have to leave the party early, and try to beat the drunks home. This is just nuts. Someone out there has to know who the crazies are, and so I ask you, Will you please pass a message along to them from me? The message is:
Hey, you, do you mind? Do you mind if I have a safe holiday? Do you mind If I ask you to drive safely, and not have you cause an accident? One that wipes out an entire family who just wants to go to the beach, or a cook out. Do you mind if I get to live for another holiday and enjoy my family? Do you mind if I get to see my kids and grand kids grow up? Thanks, Now, Here's a tip, put down the God Damn phone, drive the speed limit, or at least close to it, and change lanes safely. Leave the house a few minutes earlier. Yes, that will mean being a bit more prepared, but I'm sure you can handle it. Be prepared to encounter others on the road. Yes, this may come as a surprise to you but, there are others in this world besides YOU. If you try this, Not only will we all be better off, but you may just save a life, and your own.
If anyone out there knows one of the deserving, please forward this to them. Thanks.