Saturday, January 15, 2011


There are times when I want to plant signs at both ends of my street:

1.      YOU are NOT Dale Junior.
2.      THIS is NOT Daytona
3.      CHILDREN play on these streets.
4.      SLOW the (Insert favorite appropriate obscenity here) DOWN!

But I just know that if I did, some mutant redneck Rickey-Bobby/Deerhunter type would drive his dumber dumber than dirt jacked-up four-wheeler up on my yard, spit a big wad of chaw juice on my feet, and take a few shots in the air with his 30-0-6 just to make a point.
All-in-all, I suppose that’s a better option than them charging down our street like a bad flashback to a 50’s era rebellious teenager movie and running over a kid learning to ride the new two-wheeler he got for Christmas.
I know – it isn’t anything new.  When I was a kid we had a guy on the next block over who liked to pop wheelies in his pimped out (I think he preferred the phrase tricked out) arrest me red Dodge Charger while we all stood around wondering how many miles of tire wear had just been burned into the tar and pea stone mixture that Northwest Dade County used to call ‘pavement’, or what kind of suspension could hold up under the stress of that muscle car slamming back down to earth at the end of his little show and tell.
Of course, you can hardly imagine that on side streets today.  I mean, for one thing, most of the cars on the road now are small, unimpressive shadows of the muscle cars of my youth, and then there’s the part about it being difficult to pop a wheelie in even the most pimped out front wheel drive car.  Even if it’s the Camaro that wants to be a Mustang when it grows up that Steve McGarrett hunts down bad guys with in the new iteration of Hawaii 5-0.
Cars today are boring.  I took driver’s ed in a brand spanking new Dodge Coronet 440 painted the screaming orange of my high school colors.  We drove on an enclosed track at the high school’s east end that prevented us from really putting the throaty, thrumming, full basso grando four hundred forty cubic inch V-8 to the test, but it was a rush to drive, even inside of a fenced in figure eight with numbered glow-in-the-dark-striped parking cones.
My kids took Driver’s Ed in a silly little four-banger Toyota, I think.
But even then – nearly forty years ago for me – there were idiots who thought things like speed limits and stop signs were for someone else, and that drinking and driving accidents were something that only happened in newsreels shown to drivers ed classes in an attempts to scare them into staying sober and slowing down.
It didn’t work then, and doesn’t work now, sadly.  I’d even bet that if I took a drive southbound down the15900 block of N.W. 28th Court, all the way to where it horseshoes around to 28th Place, where I lived, the parallel stretch of burnt tire is still on the road, and there’s still a hint of tire smoke in the air.
But I don’t live there anymore, and while where I DO live doesn’t have anyone in an arrest me red Charger popping wheelies (front wheel drive, remember), we DO have dumber than rocks Moms in their mini-vans and SUV’s like their pants are on fire as they move from one end of our street to the other.
I guess it’s going to take something like one of THEIR children running out in front of someone else driving their family car way to fast for a neighborhood side road, and a trip to the local trauma center to make them realize what unbelievable jerks they are being!
Maybe I better start saving for that sign after all.
Until then, please observe Number 4 above.
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