H. Neal Glanville: Get ready for young drivers

As April draws closer, a cloud of squeamish doom slowly makes its way into the daily crud of adulthood.

Grownups acquire rapid head and eye movements, and their hands shake at the oddest moments. Confusion and disbelief are reported in crowded parking lots and fast food drive-thrus.

Speaking of confusion and disbelief, isn’t there something just wrong with a red bear showing us the toilet paper stuck to his rear, or a “Big Mac” turning into a burrito?

I’m sorry, back to the doom stuff.

More time is spent worrying on “if we should go” than actually going somewhere, anywhere.

Yes, the price of gas may have … wait a second, I’m going to interrupt here about prices.

Why is it that something that once cost $119.99 can now be purchased for $9.99, and you don’t get just one?

You get three, plus a guaranteed genuine Floridian back scratcher, that will help you lose pounds and inches in 10 days or your money back. But then again, who would have thought people would pay for water in a plastic jug or air for their car tires?

Forgive me, I’ve strayed again.

The local price of gas is one of those seemingly insurmountable problems that have a simple answer — if one of our local chain convenience stores lowered their price, the others would follow and we’d have an old-fashioned price war, and gas would once again be affordable.

Doubt it? Drive to Hayden.

Again with the straying.

When someone finally makes the decision to go somewhere in a motorized vehicle, the crud of adulthood once again releases the squeamish doom all parents fear more than a lack of Social Security benefits.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls and Mrs. Brown’s cat, it’s time again for our new batch of teenage drivers.

I’m reminded of this by the recent letters to the editor, my granddaughter Haley frantically (kinda) looking for employment to pay for all the stuff that comes with this new responsibility and, of course, Jane whispering in my ear that I’m not to worry. “Everything will be just fine,” she says.

She also reminded me this would not be the time to tell Haley why I was asked to leave Driver’s Education and never return.

I, as we all should, will take just a little more time and add a touch more consideration to my fellow drivers, young, old and in between.

Now for something completely different …

My grandfather once owned a piece of ground that the state decided they needed more than he did.

So, in true big dog fashion, they sent him a letter, advising him of the upcoming sale and to the penny how much the state was offering.

Grandpa threw the letter away.

As the big dog was not to go unanswered, they sent out an assessor to tell Grandpa in person what was about to happen. As the story went, grandpa was very polite, took his hat off, shook the assessor’s hand and said, “Our land is worth this amount.”

The assessor left hat in hand. The state sent several more officials out, each with an ever-increasing offer.

Each time, Grandpa just said “no thank you” and went back to work.

Time passed and the state changed tactics: they sent letters to all his brothers and sisters. None of them much cared what Grandpa did with the silly chunk of ground, and wrote letters telling the state as much.

All except his brother, Blaine. He came down from Wyoming wondering why Grandpa hadn’t sold the ground for the second offer.

“Hell, Blaine,” he said. “I’m going to sell it for what the state offered the first time. I just wanted to see how many times they’d send somebody this far offering more money.”

The whole kitchen shook with laughter. I was going to write something funny about the Hatch Act, but the more I thought about it, the more somber the whole silly mess became. Although I do wonder what brought the whole thing to a head to start with.

Be careful out there.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.