A thank you to a very special someone

As of today, you are reading the blog of a proud graduate of the 12/2012 Defensive Driving Program of America.  It only took me 12 of the 30 allotted days to complete the course.  Each slide more excruciating than the last.

This past weekend, I had a chance to put those skills to work.  It was a cool and rainy morning  as I was zipping through the back roads of Westchester on the way to an early morning appointment.  Although unusual for me, I was running late.

The defensive driving playbook would advise me to pull to the side of the road in a safe location, telephone the person I was going to see, and then return to the road in a safe and efficient manner.  Using the turn signals and hazard lights as necessary.  I couldn’t be bothered.  So I did what any normal person would do.  I sped up a little bit (DMV if you’re reading this, please note I was still within the legal limit), and tried to make up for lost time.

As I approached a large hill, a beautiful, wonderful, charming, sweet, kind man approached from the opposite direction in a gas guzzling Land Rover.  Normally I would be disgusted by such wasteful behavior.  But on this wonderful day, that sweet man decided to flash his brights at me, prompting a series of thoughts to race through my head.  It’s not night – I don’t need to have my lights on – oh wait, it’s raining – But my lights are on already – is that asshole telling me to turn them off? – you prick – I know my lights are on – Could it mean anything else?  – Is this the universally accepted signal that there could be something lurking ahead?

Why yes:

So, thank you sir.  Thank you for helping me avoid another horrifying driving class.  Thank you for reminding me that, as Marge Simpson once famously said, you should always rely on the kindness of strangers:

In general, people should do more things to help one another out.  The flashing of the brights, though probably highly illegal, is one of the great inventions of modern time.  I hope that I have an opportunity to repay the favor to others in the future.  I’m going to start thinking of and inventing other ways to help advance human togetherness.

If you have ideas for ways we can make the world a better place, please let me know!

Some random thoughts

As I continue my interminable defensive driving course, I thought I would use the excess time between slides to write down some random things that I’ve found troubling recently. I’ll also intersperse some of the more useful tidbits from the course.  

– Why doesn’t anyone care about Powerball when it’s 50 million dollars?  When it gets up to like 200 million, the whole world is in a tizzy.  But no one gives a shit when it’s a smaller, yet still massive amount.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and the only differences I can imagine are the following:  (1) If I had 400 million, I could afford to wager 50 million on one spin of roulette at a casino.  If I had only 50 million, this would probably be unwise.  (2) If I had 400 million, I’d immediately buy a jet.  If I had 50 million, I’d just join NetJets.  (3) If I won 400 million, I’d share it with Anne.  If it was only 50 million, eh.  

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– When you park your vehicle, make sure the transmission is in “PARK.”  Seriously, they just told me this.

This article summarizes my opinion of half the baby pictures I see on facebook.  The other times, the pictures include afterbirth or other types of overshare.   

– My dad’s in the other room, and just heard him use me as an excuse to get off the phone with his friend Vinnie.  He said, Robert’s here, so I have to go.  He won’t talk to me for at least another hour.  This is also a test to see if Uncle Vinnie reads my blog.  If so, Hi Vin!  If not, you’re a fucking asshole.

– Highway hypnosis generally occurs when drivers have been driving for too long without periods of rest.  After onset, highway hypnosis generally results in periods of unawareness when a driver is unable to recall specific portions of a trip.  It also can result in the hypnotized person forgetting his own name or barking like a dog when he hears certain words.  

– Googling things that hypnotists do just cost me an extra 15 seconds on that last slide.  

– I recently discovered reddit, and it has ruined the rest of the internet for me.  I realize that everything funny I see on other sites has already been on reddit.  Speaking of which, I should probably just post this directly there.  Here’s something I saw on reddit today that you will probably see in the next week somewhere else and now you can be all, “yeah, I saw that already, bro.”  

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– I find it incredibly unfair that fantasy football scores include stats from overtime.  That makes no sense to me.  It’s not like a real game where both teams are physically on the field during overtime and play exactly the same amount of time.  If you have a QB that gets overtime, then you are basically cheating.  

– That being said, I don’t even care about fantasy football anymore.  It stopped being fun when everyone in the world has immediate access to the same information.  I could literally not pay attention to anything in the off season, not read a single article before the draft, not watch a single game all season, and then follow a few tips along the way and still field a competitive team.  I’ll have you know that I did exactly that this season and my teams are 1-12, 3-10, and 4-9 and I missed the playoffs in all my leagues.  But other than that, I stand by this theory.

– The defensive driving course has periodic checks to see if I am still here.  They use five security questions that are supposed to prove that I am who I say I am.  I hope the CIA uses better security questions to determine identity.  So far, I’ve gotten “What color is your car?” and “Is your a car a sedan or SUV?”  Also, at the beginning of the course, I chose the questions and the answers myself.