Monday, November 5, 2007

Random Monday Strangeness

Why men don't write advice columns

Dear Walter:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a few hundred yards down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help.

When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was parading in front of the wardrobe mirror dressed in my underwear and high-heel shoes, and he was wearing my make up.

I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he tried to make out that he had dressed in my lingerie because he couldn't find his own underwear. But when I asked him about the make up, he broke down and admitted that he'd been wearing my clothes for six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him.

He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore. Can you please help?

Anna Levine

Dear Anna:

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber. I hope this helps.


Speaking of cars...

Driving and talking on the phone makes you stupid

So I’m driving in the typical God Awful Monday morning traffic and I am on two lane street with traffic heavy from both directions. I am sitting behind a woman in her luxury Mercedes SUV who I can see clearly yakking her head off on her cellular phone. The light turns green and the woman casually turns her left blinker on, causing a hundred people behind her to start leaning on their horns, moi included. Rolling down her window, she waves her perfectly manicured hand glittering with rings and bracelets in the universal finger sign of contempt. To which, I rolled down my window leaned out my head and yelled, “Hey Moron! If you’d stop yakking long enough to look to your left you would notice an empty space that we civilized people like to refer to as the turning lane.” After maneuvering her big ass Mercedes into said turning lane, she had to sit and wait as a hundred pissed off drivers honked and saluted her in kind, moi included.

But honestly, I think people who can't multi-task should not be allowed to do anything else when driving. It is a dangerous proposition for the rest of us who have to traverse the roads with these idiots. When I was full time and driving my daily commute, I would witness people eating three course meals while driving, putting on mascara while driving, curling their hair while driving, reading the newspaper while driving, knitting while driving, doing Sudoku while driving, answering email while driving, etc. And everyone of these people drive me mad with a terrible urge to smack their heads.

My biggest pet peeve of course is cell phones and driving. I'm not saying you can't do it, but people need to know themselves well. I've got friends who are very competent drivers that are remarkably multi-tasked oriented and can handle calls and driving without any problems. They, however, try not to stay on the phones for extended long conversations, they recognize that driving is the number one priority, not talking on the phone. But we all know of drivers who can't listen to the radio without being distracted while driving, let alone hold a conversation. I watched a young girl putting on mascara, while talking on the phone and driving, weave in and out of two lanes, causing multiple incidents of close calls before finally stopping. At no time was she even aware that she had nearly caused seven accidents in only a matter of two blocks. Which brings me to my next point, teenagers should not be allowed to talk on the phone and drive EVER. They are the largest risk factor for being killed in a car accident as it is. Adding a cell phone to the mix is just adding fuel to a fire.

And so while I know that I do not take a popular position on this issue, I have to admit that I would be quite happy if there was more legislation banning cell phones and driving in general. But at the very least, there should be a restriction for teenage driving and cell phone use.

OK rant over. Enjoy your Monday!


Danette Haworth said...

Wow! OMG! Extremely effective PSA. Also, love the joke--Ha!

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. Loved that video.

I will occasionally talk on my cell phone and drive, but I try very hard not to.

During one of our severe winter storms here (i.e. lots of icy, snow, and wind), I saw more than one person talking on their cell phone while trying to drive on the treacherous roads. I was furious and dumbfounded at the same time.

David L. McAfee said...

Hwey, c'mon, now...the guy gave her advice, and it was good advice.

Of course, it was completely off topic and about 180 degrees to the left of her reason for writing, but still...

As for driving and talking on a cell phone...what, exactly, is more distracting about that than, say, talking to your friend in the passenger seat?

Granted, there are some people who are utterly incapable of chewing gum and driving at the same time, but I just don't understand the alleged dangers of cell phone use while driving, especially if you are using a headset and voice-dialing.

I'm not trying to start an argument, I just want to see the hard data suggesting cell phone use while driving is actually more dangerous than talking to your kids in the backseat or listening to the radio.

Larramie said...

Walter is the one who needs some advice. ;) As for cell phones, they're dangerous and annoying. Can't people manage to survive without being in constant contact?!

Anonymous said...

I have a worse one for you, because it's even more basic.

After riding down an escalator and seeing the sights, knowing that about 100 people are being mechanically driven down behind you, what possesses people to get off and STOP?! If there is better evidence of more self-centeredness in this age, let me know.

Bernita said...

You could call it the Darwin effect - unfortunately, the wrong ones often get to walk away.

Precie said...

LMAO at the advice column! Heck, even I would rather give car advice (and I know NOTHING about cars) than touch that marital situation with a 10-ft...well, you get the idea.

Ello said...

Thanks everyone for popping by!

David - I did say I know several people that have no problem multi-tasking while driving and I have no problems with responsible hands free talking and driving for them. Unfortunately, and I know you have seen them around, there are always those brainless drivers out there who can't seem to think and drive let alone do anything else. It just seems to be a larger preponderence of brainless drivers these days and they tend to cause accidents in the wake of their stupidity. Also, fyi, the insurance companies have all confirmed statistically the rise in correlation between driving and talking on the phone. A study released in April 2006 found that almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the event. The study, The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), breaks new ground. (Earlier research found that driver inattention was responsible for 25 to 30 percent of crashes.) The new study found that the most common distraction is the use of cell phones, followed by drowsiness.

Anonymous said...

mcafee, I am trying to start a fight! . . . Not!

Seriously, in regard to your:

"I'm not trying to start an argument, I just want to see the hard data suggesting cell phone use while driving is actually more dangerous than talking to your kids in the backseat or listening to the radio."

The data is there. Keep in mind that no one has suggested that "talking to your kids in the backseat or listening to the radio" is NOT dangerous although I would consider listening to the radio much more passive than engaging is conversation. The point being is that carryong on a conversation does engage your mind and takes away from your full attention on driving. Yes, there are degrees to which people can handle this but in general, cell phones do have a negative impact on one's driving ability.

Don't believe me - go dice some onions and then go dice some onions as you try to carry on a conversation with somone on your speaker phone.

If you bleed, I win.

pacatrue said...

I loved the Walter thing.

That is all.

Church Lady said...

I have dial-up and cannot see any of your videos. ;-(

But the text is funny! ;-)
There was a story in a Dubai newspaper last year (it wasn't even in the editorial section) complaining about the British mums who smoke, chat, drive, and crash their husbands' SUVs. It was quite hysterical! :-)

Mary Witzl said...

Great rant. I love rants, especially when they are well done, even when they aren't about important topics. But this one is particularly important -- and interesting.

Here in the U.K. it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving, but people still do this. Call me mean, but I love seeing drivers get fined for this. The statistics say it all.

I have only recently learned to drive (it is far harder to pass the test here!), and I take driving very seriously. I too cannot get over the number of drivers doing stupid things while talking on their mobiles. If I used my mobile while driving, I guarantee you I'd be one of them. Driving, for me, demands total attention. Even turning the radio on distracts me, and the kids know not to start an argument when I am driving the car. If they do, I pull over.

Robin S. said...

I rarely drive and talk on the phone- because I think that's an accident waiting to happen.

I definitely feel- with a kid who's now ready, at 15 (15!!!!) to get her driving permit, that cell phone usage shoudl be banned outright below a certain age, while driving.

Not to mention 15 is too young for a permit. That's another rant altogether.

Bernita- I'm with you- I think sometimes this Darwin stuff is helping the wrong people make it through. I don't know why. Maybe a conscience and awareness of others causes a person to second-guess themselves. I don't know. I just finished driving home from DC - so I'm not in the best mood.

Sherry said...

Love your have some of the funniest things to talk about...and it is amazing what people "think" they can do while they are driving. Boggles the mind!

David L. McAfee said...

ello - Meh. I'm still not convinced, but I'll take your word for it on the study. I tend to think the biggest problem with cell phone use while driving is the block of your peripheral vision rather than actual innatention. I also tend to think that people, in general, are simply more innatentive these days.

BUT, as I have no hard proof, and am far too lazy to go out looking for it, I will give you the nod. :)

Anonymous - Actually, I cook and use my phone often (well, relatively speaking, as I seldom cook). I also ride my bike, wrap gifts (using scissors), and many other things. To date I have never had an incident (knocking on wood). Not to say it will never happen, but it hasn't yet. ;)

Stephen Parrish said...

Loved the joke, loved the video, loved the post. Thanks.

SzélsőFa said...

I found that joke funny and liked the video, too. I'm with you on that issue. Isn't there a thingy that makes you hear the caller a touch of a bottom while you don't have to hold the phone in your hand?
I'd make THAT compulsory in cars.

There are more opinions about the joke I posted yesterday. As expected, none has found it really funny, some found it disturbing.

Vesper said...

Well said, on both counts, Ello! Bravo!
Yes, I've seen these people driving and talking on the phone, and reading, and putting on make-up, and behaving with a huge inconsideration towards the others. My sentiments for them are exactly as yours. I would like to see them all suddenly having to change gears manually - this is my little fantasy. :-)

Angela WD said...

Ello, in Chicagoland there is a law that teens can't talk on cell phones while they're driving. When Little One calls me while she is out, I'm always asking, "Are you driving right now? No, you can tell me. You are? You're grounded. Come home right now."