Saturday, January 25, 2014
Don't watch me, watch the road!
As my readers are among the most informed of the citizenry, you are no doubt familiar with the 10 and 2 rule for hand placement on a steering wheel, while driving. Left hand at 10 o’clock; right hand at 2 o’clock. I recently read where that has now been changed to 9 and 3 because of air bag deployment injuries. As I try to complete all tasks in the optimal, efficient manner, I specifically watched where I placed my hands when behind the wheel of my snazzy Sonata. My rule, while it works for me, is not as succinct as 10 and 2; mine is left knee and 5. Not an easy thing to yell at someone navigating the Pennsylvania road system for the first time, in the dark. Not that I would do that. At least not again. Sorry, Christopher.
While my hand placement may not work for everyone it works for me quite well. I only need to have one hand on the wheel as I am a very good driver and not in the 'Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man' sort of way. I am skilled at navigating our nation's roadways with my right hand at 5 o'clock. I need, do you hear me, NEED to have my left hand free to perform any number of motions from gesturing (both Christian and not so) to directing the imaginary orchestra playing through my synced Bluetooth iPhone situation of some sort, according to the 11 year-old who sold me my car.
Outside of the conducting, there are other moments of necessary choreography such as snaps, claps, nose scratches, hair touch-ups and the like. Now I don’t do any actual movements that would take my eyes off the road, no matter what others may say viciously behind my back (Will and Matt and, after last Thursday night, Chandra and Alice). Lies, I tell you!
In these times, it is sadly more common than I would like to see many of my fellow motorists driving while do all manner of inappropriate things. Like the young lady who was semi-successfully navigating Highway 101 beside us as several friends and I made our way into The City for dinner and a show (Beach Blanket Babylon. It was completely over the top. Go see it!). Like other multi-tasking trailblazers, this modern-day Sacajawea was attempting to flat-iron her hair and drive. Don’t get me wrong, her flat-ironing skills were not in question; she was doing her hair. Her ability to operate semi-heavy machinery (her Corolla was bigger than a bread box but only just) whilst hair-doing was not as strong. I daresay she is the intended audience for some of those ridiculous instructions you find on items such as “Do not use in the shower” on a blow-dryer or “Not to be eaten while seated on a toilet” which I have had to handwrite on all food containers in my home. And speaking of toilets...
One of the downsides of a life history is a sense of familiarity that breeds not only contempt, but a casualness that I find off-putting, at times. Case in point, I was cooking last Saturday and after fending off an overly curious volunteer food taster, I realized that my house was quiet; calm before the storm quiet. Having a 72-year old toddler at home, I know the need for oversight so I wandered toward his bedroom, under the guise of dusting, to uncover the activity to which he was up. To my horror and regret, I found him seated on his throne, as it were. With the door open as wide as the great outdoors, and twice as fragrant. I swallowed all my sarcasm and disgust and said, very politely I might add, “I’m just…going to…um…yeah” as I shut the door. Moving very slowly and specifically as to not agitate the molecules in the immediate vicinity, I metaphorically fled back to the kitchen. I would have been more verbose but withholding that much judgment takes a lot of effort, y’all.
Did I forget to mention that my sister had a classmate in high school in Texas who had a curling iron that ran on butane? No? Well, that's a story for another time.
And that is all I’m saying.