Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Seatbelt not optional

My mom goes to Florida every winter, has done for about as long as she's known my stepdad.  They have a lovely condo right on the beach, a 2-bedroom affair that he's had for years and years, and they live in a building where they have gobs of friends.  As you can imagine (condo, Florida, all winter), the building is full of 'people of a certain age,' which I think is great because it keeps the screaming kid factor down and nobody wants to krunk at the dances they occasionally hold.  This is background for what I'm about to tell you next.

Yesterday, Mom was emailing me about a recent incident. and cause for much excitement, in which someone at their building drove through the front gate of the condo.  The 8-foot tall front gate.  Made of steel.  That LOCKS.

How fast does one have to be going to drive though an 8-foot tall locked steel gate, anyhow?  Don't older people have a reputation for driving super-slowly?  When I lived in Florida I know they did, and rightfully so.  This person couldn't have been going that fast on purpose,right?  I'm thinking the driver just got horribly confused, floored it when they thought they were stomping on the brakes, and WHAM!  Gate gone in an instant.  Does anybody know enough physics to do a quick calculation regarding speed of an average car vs a stout steel gate?  I'm very curious, but lazy.  And know nothing about physics.


Also, does anybody know when it might be OK to talk with an older person about surrendering their driver's licenses (No, I'm not looking at YOU, Mom)?  Or has anyone given theirs up because they are aware enough to know they're becoming a hazard on the road?

Just trying to prepare for the future here, y'all.  It's coming faster than any of us think.  Seriously - 20 years ago the smartphone would have seemed impossible, and yet here were are with our noses pointed at the floor most of the time, constantly checking for emails and updates.  In 20 more years, what will be the tech du jour?  I hope it's something to do with anti-aging that will at least let me keep driving without being a danger to other people.  Shoot, I already hate driving at night in the rain, in 20 years I bet I'll only be venturing out when it's dry and sunny, like Nature intended.

Thank heavens I married a younger man.  He'll be able to cart my carcass around for several years after I declare incompetence.  Then it'll be the kids' turn.  Yep - I have my game plan ALL worked out.


Speaking of driving, I need to crank up the heat in the buggy and get to work.  It's beyond time and  I still need to put gas in the tank.  Everybody have a great day and don't forget to feed the squirrels.

Tiff out.

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