Some good news came out of the legislative session this year.
No, I am not making this up, but I understand your skepticism. If you look back in history, politicians have had many, many good ideas that went horribly wrong. For example, earlier last century America gave women the right to smoke in public, and then later we discovered that it kills them.
Today, some politicians want to limit the use of handheld cell phones. Good idea. Unfortunately, they want to ban them in cars, which is practically the only place where cell-phone jerks don’t annoy innocent people leisurely enjoying vegetables.
I was minding my own business recently while buying tomatoes when a man suspiciously touching the kumquats started yelling:
“I DID NOT SAY THAT! NO. THAT’S RIGHT. NO. HE’S SO FULL OF ….”
I’m old enough to remember when we considered people just plain weird who clipped shiny, offbeat contraptions to their head and talked to people who weren’t there. So, I slowly and deliberately steered my cart over to the wine section where a woman with a cell phone mashed against her head was pacing up and down the Australian red aisle.
“YOU’RE KIDDING,” she shouted at a perfectly good bottle of shiraz. “SHE ACTUALLY DID THAT? WHAT WAS SHE THINKING? YOU’RE KIDDING!”
It was a good reminder why they used to put doors on telephone booths.
Still, I understand that driving and talking on a phone, even a hands-free model, creates a distraction. But, let’s face it, there are other drivers out there also posing serious threats.
How about parents who drive with kids throwing up in the back seat, spilling their 10-gallon Slurpees and pinching their sisters just to watch them cry? Or, how about the brainiacs who drive with small dogs on their laps? What’s that about anyway?
According to supporters of the bill banning hand-held cell phones in cars, driving while using a cell phone is roughly equivalent to driving while intoxicated. Well, that explains the loud voices and inane conversations.
I think the Legislature got it wrong with this bill. Instead of banning cell phones in cars, we should force people to get into their cars to use them. Parked cars, of course. Or, we could take a tip from my wife, who’s always ahead of the crowd. She’s been paying her cell phone bill every month for the last five years and has never once answered my call. She says she can’t hear me.
As we peek our noses over the top of this Great Recession, it’s worth noting that some local businesses are continuing their storied tradition in our community. Desco Audio and Video on Harrison Avenue on Olympia’s west side, for example, is celebrating its 41st anniversary this month. I’m told that whoever can produce the oldest Desco sales or service invoice will win a 42-inch flat panel television … Calvin Werts, a third-grader at McLane Elementary School has a shot at winning the state Doodle-4-Google contest. He’s one of two finalists in his age group … Some of the solar panels on the new downtown parking meters have already been broken by vandals … Yelm FFA advisor Matt Mounts was honored recently as that city’s Volunteer of the Year by the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, while EJ Curry was named Citizen of the Year.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357 0206 or glemasurier@theolympian .com.