This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Own Personal Hang-Up, Part One

The following was originally published on the DiaryLand "David'Z RantZ" page on November 5, 2003. (It was pre-scheduled on Wednesday to post at noon on Sunday.)

According to Boston's WHDH-TV, a woman -- I'm showing a rare bit of sensitivity and not bandying her name about in this particular venue -- was killed in an early morning motor vehicle accident on November 1st.

She was studying to be an EMT. And she was only 20. To me, that's hardly a "woman," it's more like a "girl," and I don't mean "girl" in any demeaning, sexist way; rather, I mean that anyone that age, whether male or female, should have had many more years left in which to live her life.

At the time of her fatal accident, the young woman was talking on her cell phone. Her last words, amazingly, seem to have been "I'm about to get into an accident." The friend to whom she was speaking then heard a crash.

I don't quite understand this. The young woman evidently had enough warning to foresee the accident, plus tell her friend, but didn't have time to avoid the crash itself? (That's like one of the more absurd conventions of comic books, where a character can speak an entire sentence while throwing a swift punch.) Maybe she could have saved herself if she'd had both hands on the steering wheel, and if she'd had her full attention focused on driving her vehicle. In other words, maybe she'd still be alive if she'd only bothered to put down -- hell, to simply drop -- the damned cell phone!

Admittedly, I wasn't present for this accident, so I naturally cannot say with 100% certainty that her using the cell phone while she was driving caused her accident, but it definitely was a contributing factor!

(Truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction. I very recently published a story in which something eerily similar happened, but my fictional account did not include the macabre twist contained in the next paragraph.)

Ironically, the young woman's car plowed into -- of all things -- a Cingular Wireless cell phone store! Ordinarily, I could make at least one or two tasteless jokes about that, but this time, I won't. I don't find the situation to be funny at all.

And if you think I'm over-reacting -- and it gets worse -- here's why: Four or five years ago, I nearly lost a "work buddy" to a similar accident. My friend Christine's vehicle was struck by a woman who was: 1) making an illegal U-turn 2) on a notoriously dangerous local highway 3) while using a cell phone.

What an idiot.

Most of my so-called "rantZ" consist of my tongue-in-cheek, self-righteous ventings on various unimportant subjects. Sometimes, I hope, I manage to be amusing. I have admittedly shied away from really serious subjects so far, and will in the future, too. (For the most part, anyway.) Why? Well, at this early stage of my DiaryLand sojourn, most -- if not all -- of my "readers" are friends of mine whom I've directed to this site. And they already know how I feel about the things I consider to be really important.

But if even one stranger reads this blog and says, "Wow, those things really can be dangerous" and pulls his or her car off to the side of the road before using one of those infernal little devices... As corny as it sounds, it will have been well worth my "dropping character" for the length of this entry.

Of course, anybody with a lick of common sense should know that already, without my self-righteously calling it to their attention...

I'm serious. Cell phones -- or, more properly, I should say the way people use and abuse cell phones -- can literally kill you. Don't use them while you're driving!

Someday, I'll have a whole new rant where I deal with the subject differently, in a way which will hopefully make you smile, or even laugh. But not today.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Thanks for your time.


  1. This is all too timely as people are starting to cause problems TEXTING WHILE DRIVING!

  2. Don't thank me, thank Darwinism! None of these multi-taskers better find my fender the hard way...

  3. 2Sorry, World! I am guilty, guilty, guilty! Love to talk and drive.....

    I honestly don't think it's any more distracting than actually talking to someone who is in your car. And at least while on the cell phone, you don't have to look over and make occasional eye contact!


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