Another Write-wing Conspirator

Commentary, observations, musing, and ranting from the middle of the road (or just to the right of center. Usually.) featuring The Curmudgeon

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  • Welcome to The Curmudgeon’s lair

    Welcome to my curmudgeondom. As you’ll soon learn, your reactions to my missives here are likely to range from fear to loathing to tears to outright rage—and I just might even evoke from you an occasional sober nod or two.

    If you see a posting you like and wish to share it with others, by all means feel free to do so. I'd prefer that you send the link to your friends, but you're also welcome to reproduce anything here—as long as you retain my identity on the document. If you have a web site of your own and wish to post a link to this blog (or to a specific post), again, feel free to do so.

    The purpose of this blog is simple: to provide me a vehicle for sounding-off on whatever topic suits me at the moment. While there’s sure to be no shortage of politically-oriented palaver here, it is by no means all (nor necessarily even most) of what will be proffered to your discerning mind. You’ll also find that my personal politics, ethics, morals, and standards are pretty much “all over the map” (according to my mother-in-law)—so, don’t be surprised to see rants regarding, say, the interference of churches in politics, politically-correct anything, “nanny” laws, taxes, the United Nations, Congress, the Commissioner of Baseball, the State of Ohio’s speed limits, steroids, Jesse Jackson, the “mainstream” media, ultra-liberals, ultra-conservatives, the price of cigarettes, Obamarxism, regulating sales of alcohol, gasoline price manipulation, Muslim foot baths, illegal immigration, laws banning the sale of adult sex toys, cell phones, heavy-handed cops, meddlesome politicians, Hillary, Billary, our all-but-self-proclaimed uncrowned Queen Nancy, “W”, eminent domain, freedom of speech, and the designated hitter all in succession. It is, as I said, my curmudgeondom — and I have the credentials and bona fides to lay claim to the title of The Curmudgeon. So, there.

    Some of the postings you'll encounter may seem familiar—especially to those who know me personally. By way of explanation… I once had an ongoing relationship with a local newspaper, and had a number of published opinion pieces—some of which may be posted here. My arrangement was for a feature entitled An Opposing View; given that the editorial staff had a generally liberal, left-of-center view, it stands to reason that my "opposing" view would generally be perceived as coming from the right (in more ways than one, in my own humble opinion). These posts will be annotated as having been previously published.

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    Oh, and…yes, I can spell. That "Write-wing" is only a play on words. So, there. Again.

    Welcome, once again. Strap in and hang on.

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  • About this “curmudgeon” guy…

    Armchair philosopher, politically-incorrect political commentator, raconteur, retired air traffic controller, dilettante truck driver, US Army veteran, recluse, sometime-writer, redneck convert neè Buckeye, ne'er-do-well, bon vivant, unrepentant libertine, unapologetic libertarian, and (of course) curmudgeon…

    Anything else you wanna know—just ask.

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I Nearly Killed You Last Week

Posted by The Curmudgeon on November 13, 2009

I nearly killed you last week.

You, of course, didn’t notice—preoccupied as you were with that oh, so important phone call (though judging by your laughter and coquettish looks moments later…well, it seemed rather light-hearted).

I was driving a 78,000-pound tractor-trailer rig through Birmingham, barreling downhill and struggling to maintain control (the city’s government forbids the use of engine brakes, by the way—making things even dicier) when you made a U-turn across three lanes of traffic to plant your pretty self right in front of me—at a speed about twenty miles per hour slower than mine.

How you could fail to notice a thirteen-and-a-half feet tall, eight-and-a-half feet wide truck lit up like Macy’s on Christmas Eve (though it was broad daylight) coming right at you is beyond me; as I said, though, your phone conversation obviously was mighty important.

Important enough to risk your life?

Well, you did.

Under ideal conditions with a relatively light load on flat, dry pavement, it takes a lo-oooong time to stop a truck; going downhill at nearly the maximum legal weight stacks the deck against you to a degree you can’t even fathom.

I noticed the temporary license tag on your car, by the way. Brand new. Very pretty.

Had I been unable to avoid you, the impact would’ve had the practical effect of dropping your pretty new car into a trash compacter—with you in it.

I suppose I should give you credit, though; at least, you weren’t “texting” (which is even more distracting—and appears to have been contributory to a significant number of fatal mishaps), you didn’t have a child in the back seat (unlike the woman in Dallas last month–also talking on her phone, by the way–who cruised right through a stop sign just as I started a left turn in front of her; she never did stop—though she did look directly at me and cringe when she saw the nose of my tractor dip as I hit the brakes), and you weren’t doing anything patently illegal (unlike the guy driving the Volvo station wagon near Town Creek, Alabama who was so concerned with the safety of the two kids he had securely strapped into their car seats that he purchased the vehicle touted by its manufacturer as “the safest car in the world”; Volvo, however, can’t indemnify idiots who try to pass trucks on the shoulder of a two-lane highway and manage to just miss a looming bridge abutment by a split second—though he skillfully continued his phone conversation throughout. He seemed to not even notice that I nearly rolled over my truck in my attempt to avoid him. I had to shake my head at the irony of the “CAUTION: CHILD ON BOARD” sticker that adorned his car’s rear bumper.)

Sadly, these are not fabrications; all these events occurred as described. Worse, they’re becoming more commonplace.

Ask any truck driver: when we see an expensive late-model car going usually five to ten miles per hour below the posted speed limit (as if you don’t have a cruise-control feature) which may or may not be weaving…five’ll getcha ten that when we pull alongside you you’ll be engrossed in a phone conversation. We equate this with the fundamental inability to walk and chew gum at the same time.

You, like increasing numbers of drivers, forgot that the single most important task facing you was to control the vehicle. And it nearly cost you your life.

Cell phones have become a part of our lives; they’re not going away—nor is talking while driving. If you can’t “multitask”, though…park the car.

I don’t need you on my conscience.


One Response to “I Nearly Killed You Last Week”

  1. Anonymous said

    Idiots that text while driving….Rednecks with caller ID…Cashiers with attitude…..Insurance salesmen….Democrats….(I could go on for days!!! Good call Jim. Let the festivities continue!! Larry Z

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