Friday, June 12, 2015

"An Imagination Game"

So I'm thinking its time for an imagination game. I want you to close your eyes and imagine something. No, not yet. Wait until after I finish. Hey you. Yeah, you. Open your eyes back up. I wasn't ready yet. You know what, everyone just wait till the end to close their eyes. 

Ok. Now, as I was saying, we are going to imagine something. I want you to imagine you're driving down the highway. There's not much traffic out on this nice sunny day. It's a nice big highway. Three travel lanes on both sides of the median. By the way, it's a median. Not a comedian. Not a medium. A median. I can't tell you how often it's called a comedium. 

On this highway you're just bebopping along in the right hand lane. (We call that the granny lane in the trucker world). Your favorite song is on and you're jamming out, proud of yourself for sounding EXACTLY like the lead singer and not missing a note. All is right with the world. Maybe you're on your way to the beach. Maybe you're off to pick up your spouse for a weekend getaway to an awesome bed and breakfast. 
Up ahead, just off the travel lanes, on the shoulder you see a car. Back in the day people would stop to help change a tire or something but this is the modern world and you've got more important things to do. I get it; I'm usually on a schedule myself and I never have time to stop. Besides, it could be a serial rapist or something and I'm way too pretty to take that risk. 

As you get closer you see someone sitting in the grass away from the car that has its hood up. Cool. They must be waiting for AAA or a friend to come help. Thank God for cell phones! 
As you're looking over at them because, let's face it, we are curious creatures and can't help looking, what you don't see right away is the guy in front of the hood trying to figure out what all that steam is coming from. That's when the 6 year old boy or girl standing next to Daddy jumps away from the blown hose. It's a kid and not as careful as it should be. WHAM! This child tripped in her or his excitement and fell into the roadway. You've just hit this kid!!  It bounces up the hood and over the windshield in the time it took you to get your foot off the gas pedal at 70mph. As you literally stand on the brake pedal this small kid is plummeting back to earth from the impact. You've killed an innocent child. Was it deliberate? Of course not. But that child is still dead. 

Equally bad, the poor girl or boy started to fall but their dad had quick reflexes and had already started reacting. He saw the risk and jumped to save his child. He pushed her or him to safety and took the impact himself. Right in front of those eyes their father's body is destroyed and he's dead. 

Why? How'd this happen? Why did I deliberately talk you through this? Right now you may be absolutely appalled at what I just put your imagination through. If you're like me you think in pictures as well as words. In that scenario I have to make the victims faceless because I do have kids and a heart. 

Calm down for just a second and take a couple quick breaths. Shake it off, we know it's not real. But, let me ask you a question so I can answer a couple of the ones I just asked you. Be honest with yourself when you answer this...
How many of you, as you were imagining this, simply checked your mirrors and changed lanes as you approached the car on the shoulder? Be honest. Did it cross your mind? 

We see emergency vehicles on the shoulder and we grudgingly get over at the last minute, if at all. But if you see a broken down vehicle or an 18 wheeler, do you get over? Why not? Because it's not legally required? 
I see this every day. Many times I, myself, have had to pull to the shoulder to tighten straps or fix tarps. There I am between an 80 foot long vehicle with flashing hazard lights (we call them four ways) and cars zipping past at 70+ mph. Sometimes even other big trucks zipping past. Literally within a foot or two of me. One misstep, one thousandth of a second of someone not paying attention and my kids are orphans. And all they usually have to do is move over one lane. 

Think about it folks. How hard is it to just move over a little? One life ended, another changed forever. In the blink of an eye. 

Many of you will forget all about this imagination game, hopefully to never be reminded by a real life scenario like that. Some may change their driving habits just a little. Remember, though, this is a fictional story. Some people call what I do "art". Well....life often imitates "art".  Drive safe.