I’m at that age where people ask, “When are you going to give up driving?” Now mind you, they haven’t ridden with me or witnessed any driving oddities to provoke the question. Their inquiry is simply based on how I look. OLD. I usually answer with a joke, and say, “After I run over a couple of pedestrians or hit the gas instead of the brake and drive into the south wall of John’s Fine Foods.
The real answer is, “NEVER!” Followed up with an affirmation, like that used by people defending their second amendment rights, when they say you’ll get their gun when you pry it out of their cold dead hand. In my case, it’s the steering wheel you’ll have to pry out of my hand. Driving is one of the few things I have left. So what if I miss a red light now and then. Look at all the people who race through red lights on a regular basis, and most of them are young. Well, younger than I am anyhow. So what if I get in the passing lane on a highway and never leave until I come to my exit. I’m not hurting anyone.
I would agree to a compromise about my driving. I’d be willing to mount a flashing, multi-color warning light on the roof of my car, to signal to the world that a senior citizen (I prefer being called old man, not senior citizen) is at the wheel. So, beware! That way, you can take steps to avoid my rare missteps. Just don’t blow your horn; it will jar me out of my stupor and I’ll veer into the next lane. And, don’t follow to close; no matter if I’m going 25 in a 45 MPH zone. If you do, be prepared to stop quickly, because I’m going to slam on my brakes to get you off my tail. I don’t know why; it’s just what old coots do.
Don’t blink your lights when I’m coming toward you with my high beams on. I know they’re on. I need them to see. It’s another one of those, “They don’t make them like they used to,” things. And they don’t. Today’s headlights are dim and get dimmer every day of a car’s life because of that cheap plastic shield that turns opaque in front of that stupid little bulb that costs so much and does so little. Where was I before I got sidetracked? Oh yeah, when am I going to give up driving? Probably right after my wife reads this and takes away the keys. It’s not that hard to pry things out of an old, “live” hand.
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