Monday, June 23, 2008

Attention Michigan Drivers

Dear Michigan drivers,

On the left side of your steering wheel is a protruding object. You may think that the manufacturer placed it there to get in the way of your boss tiger fur steering wheel cover, but in fact, it does one of my favorite things- by merely pushing it forward or pulling it toward you, you can signal a turn. Can you believe it? Give it a try sometime. By the way- you do not save (noticeable) gasoline if you coast towards a red light, going slower and slower, without hitting your brakes. If the light is on a sensor, you may be delaying the progression towards a green light. A better idea to save gasoline would be to stay home. Especially if you eat a bowl of ice cream while driving (as seen two days ago) or feel the urge to engage in "relations" with your passenger (as seen a few weeks ago).

Ever so lovingly yours,


Driving with a baby is something like driving a Brinks security truck, but without the safety in size (and bulletproof glass). You never really notice how fast things are hurling towards you until you strap a little munchkin into her $200 state of the art, five point harness car seat. Then, you go from being a defensive, cool-headed driver to being the inventor of Clarateaches Car Machine Guns ("What to use the next time you see someone texting at the wheel!")

Blasting tunes at top volume disappears as well (although Gianna does seem to like the Beastie Boys) and enjoyable music from my college days (where music will always remain, and my children will someday call me a fogie, to which I will respond, "Turn that crap down!") is replaced by ten rounds of "Six Little Ducks." Mr Clarateaches does not like her music one little bit, except for the funkified version of "Hickory Dickory Dock." He irritatedly punches the "Skip" button, going from Track 5 all the way to Track 30 without stopping, some days.

Each month that passes adds a small increase in the dread I feel when we face a road trip back to our natural habitat, Western NY. As Gianna grows more mobile and less apt to fall asleep within moments of getting into the car, it becomes more difficult to entertain her. Last time I resorted to letting her play with the pens in my purse. This time, I think it's going to take some cold hard cash. Or, a promise of her very own alpaca. Then and only then do I rue the safety of a car seat, and hearken back to the good old days when you could just take a baby out and hold them*. The first person who makes a safety device that allows this, receives a free alpaca from yours truly.

*Do not ever do this, ever.


gs said...

I have heard (but do not know from personal experience) that in England it's a citable offense for the driver to remove either hand from the wheel for any other purpose than to operate the controls of the car. No eating, no sipping coffee, no changing the CD in the player while the car is moving.

I've often wondered why no one has made a car in which the back and passengers seats, at least, don't face backwards. There would need to be some reengineering -- where the air conditioning vents are placed, for example -- but it doesn't seem as though it would be rocket science, and it would be tons safer for the passengers.

clara said...

That's a good question! Any of the MEs who read this want to chime in?