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Monday, April 4, 2011

Close to Home

They say not to swim on a full stomach.

They say not to eat sushi when you’re pregnant.

They say not to judge a book by its cover.

They say, if you want to keep your friends, and your family, and your job, blog anonymously.

They say to brush after every meal.

They say it’s more dangerous to drive than it is to fly.

They say variety is the spice of life.

They say that, before you can help someone else, you have to help yourself.

They say lots of things, and, typically, We listen.

Folksy sayings and pop psychology rule our lives, whether we realize it or not. In fact, the less we realize it, the more it’s probably true. With rapt attention, we suckle merrily at the teat of old wives’ tales and timeworn adages, because they sound so alluring, so, well truthful. Sometimes, we repeat these axioms to our families and our friends and our coworkers (whom we retain through anonymous blogging) without even realizing we’re doing it. This is especially true when someone around the office gets knocked up. When that happens, we all become founts of wisdom concerning the consumption of ginger or peanut butter or morning sickness.

It’s kind of annoying.

One piece of oft-repeated wisdom you hear a lot purports to come from a source of authority, but no one can really conclusively identify said source. Is it the NTSB or the NHTSA? Is it the Today Show’s pseudo-medical guru Dr. Nancy Snyderman? I don’t know who it is, but someone, somewhere, probably long ago stated that “Most automobile accidents occur either a mile or less from your home.”

Ever hear that shit? I have.

And, you know what? I’m beginning to think that it’s true.

About a year-and-a-half ago, I collided with a fuck-me-red Nissan 350z driven by a hot, blonde Russian on her way to work at a beauty salon. It was raining, and I was exiting the drive-thru of a Dunkin’ Donuts, making a left. She was racing up the left-hand turning lane, trying to catch a green light maybe three hundred feet in front of her when she nearly took the front end off my wife’s old PT Cruiser. I was 7/10ths of a mile away from my house. I don’t know how far away from her house the hot blonde was—probably more than that. People who look like her, as a general rule, don’t reside in my neighborhood.

That’s the only time I’ve ever wrecked with another moving vehicle. I’ve hit stationary objects/cars several times in my history, but that’s another story. However, I’ve had numerous close calls on my way home from work, and I’ve usually been super close to my own street when these near-misses have happened. And, why is that, you may ask?

Well, I’ve been pondering the same question, and I think I’ve come up with the answer. When other drivers are arriving close to their houses, they get lazy. They get complacent. They decide, “I don’t need to put my turn signal on as I’m about to turn onto my own street or enter my own driveway—everybody knows that I live here—including that bespectacled asshole driving behind me, so I’ll just hit the brakes in the middle of the street, wait for opposing traffic to disappear, and then I’ll turn into my driveway or onto my street.”

I can’t tell you how many dumb fucks I’ve nearly rear-ended just because they stop, in the middle of everything, secure in the knowledge that they are home, and I am almost home, but equally almost about to end up in their trunk.

So, here’s a bit of folk wisdom for you to pass along to those whom you cherish: you might know you’re almost home, but everyone else doesn’t. So put your fucking signal on, and don’t shut your brain off until you’re ready to shut your car off.

Oh, and remember to speak to others the way you’d like to be spoken to, too.


  1. Hm. Isn't it because, statistically, a high percentage of our driving occurs within a close radius to our homes?

  2. Silly Rebecca. That's not why! It's because of... um... what I... said.


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