One of the great things about writing a personal column is that I can take one subject and make points for or against it. I can take my position and move on to the next column.
Sometimes, however, I have a series of things that bother me, but they don’t rise to the interest level of devoting 600 or 700 words to it. But golly, there’s a lot of stuff that irritates me so much — or really impresses me that I just want to get it off my chest.
Well, that’s what this column is all about.
To the bicycle riders who whisk down busy and fast Greenwell Springs Road some evenings, you should wear bright clothes and have lights on your bikes. You are pressing your luck. I didn’t see a couple of you until it was almost too late.
To the motorists whose lives would crumble if they didn’t spend their time texting and holding up traffic, please stop. I wish there was some way all of you could get $500 tickets on the spot each time you sit at a traffic light until someone blows the horn or when you notice that you should move on. Then, how about when you are poking along in the left lane frustrating me and everyone else?
I’m sure the folks trying to get to work on time or something more serious would love you getting the penalty.
To the people who throw stuff out of your vehicle windows. As I’ve said before, aren’t you going somewhere that has a trash can? Didn’t you leave somewhere that had a trash can? Do you have any pride or do you get some kind of lovely rush knowing you trashed your neighborhood or someone else’s?
I have a particular kind of you know what for politicians who say they don’t want big government, but then fight to ban books and movies, control what words you can say, fight rights for certain children, and shun the idea of placing restrictions on weapons of war that are killing hundreds of children.
As comedian Wanda Sykes said: “Until a drag queen walks into a school and beats eight kids to death with a copy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ I think you’re focusing on the wrong s***.”
And, to the tiny people walking their giant dogs, especially pit bulls, knowing there is no way they can hold that dog back if it decided to attack someone, especially a child: What are you thinking?
To the people who play their vehicle music as loud as they can at the gas station, are you in need of attention? Are the head turning and stares you get the positive reinforcement you need? Instead of doing that, won’t you just wave at us and we will smile and wave back — I promise I will — giving you the personal enjoyment that you crave.
To the people who break long lines, skipping ahead of people who have waited patiently by using the talking-with-a-friend method. You and your friend suck. I just had to get that off my chest.
Let me thank the young man at my neighborhood grocery store for helping an elderly woman get her basket to her car, helping her to unload it, and then just smiling and walking away, not seeking anything in return.
Thank you to the driver who pointed out that I had left my coffee mug on the back of my truck. Much love.
And, lastly, a big thank you, so many years too late, to the old men in my first neighborhood who would often leave cut and cleaned fish, rabbit, squirrel and deer on my grandmother’s (and my) back porch.
You never asked for anything in return other than, “Miss Annie, fix that how I like it.” You never once came by to eat with us. It took me years to understand that you did that because you knew her old age pension check would often struggle to cover the month.
Okay, I’m done for now. But, I’ll be back.
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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