A recent survey of over 1200 people revealed that one in 12 admit that they have driven while drunk at least once over the last year. Yet if you ask if driving under the influence of alcohol is a major threat nearly everyone agrees that it is. Why is there such a difference? The answer is that there is an element of society who cares for no one else but themselves. They are selfishness personified. Why else would you be able to pick up the newspaper and read the names of those who have been arrested for DUI for the umpteenth time? One third of all fatal auto accidents involve drunk driving, often involving someone who has been arrested numerous times. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Mortality hit home for me when I was in college. I was on my way to take an exam and zoned out going over all the material in my mind. The roads were wet from the drizzle and there were accidents all over the place, so of course, I took the back roads. The witness says I went past his driveway at about 50 mph, and he knew what was going to happen. I hit the 75 degree curve and turned the wheel. The car didn’t. I bounced off the guard rails like a bumper car and got shoved off the road where I center punched a tree. He stopped and offered me a lift. I rode to campus where I ran to class and took my exam. I aced it. After the test, I realized what had happened and went to call my parents. The car was totaled.
When did my moment of mortality come? While driving a laundry truck many years ago, I stopped at an intersection waiting for the red light to change. When it changed to green, I started to put my foot down on the accelerator, but something in my mind told me to put on the brake instead. I’m thankful that I did, because an 18 wheeler came across that intersection going about 65-70 mph, running the red light. Had I been in the intersection, I would have been killed instantaneously. After carefully looking both to the left and to the right, then safely going through the intersection, I pulled over and stopped in order to calm my nerves down. I then thanked the Lord for saving my life. Guess He had some future plans for me.
When I was working full time for the El Paso School District, the drive to work was 17 miles one way. Since I’m now working as a substitute librarian, my driving distance can be any number of miles, depending on where the school is – usually not more than 20 miles one way.
Rarely do I catch the bus to The Snuggery, my study and place of residence for the major part of my books, since it takes three to four times longer that way.
Usually, I drive or The Missus takes me by car, when she has chores to do or a Bible study (like today) on a given day. So the commute provides a moment of conversation and consultation about the day. Takes longer to go than to return because of the streets, 15 minutes there, 12-15 back, depending on the time of day and traffic.
We go by the only avenue that gets us across the South Paraiba River toward the main part of the city, then past the Colinas Mall, around the traffic circle, up São João Avenue, down and across a couple more main arteries before landing on the square next to the office.
Sometimes, if early in the morning, I pop in to the padaria and buy bread for The Missus to take back home. And pão de queijo (cheese bread) when they have it. They didn’t this morning.
I took some photos this morning as Vicki drove us to the office — from the car window, so take that into account. (Only the first photo has much glare.)
Eating and drinking in the car is not convenient for a driver, roads are not so smooth, and most cars still are stick-shift. Still, if you’re agile, you can go through the drive-through at McD’s for breakfast, which appeared on the menu about a year ago. We never have. That’s the only drive-through I’m aware of. Not a Brazilian habit as yet, fortunately.
When we moved to our present house, someone voiced a concern that we were far from the church’s meeting place at the time and from the main foci of work. They needed not worry. In a city of 700,000, we’re not that far from the center of town, about 15 min., and 10 min. from catching the main Interstate through the region, the Via Dutra. And as the church here has no permanent building, we’re usually about 15 min. from whatever and wherever we rent. At the moment, 10-12 min.
A 34-year-old Geneva saleswoman was caught driving down a Swiss motorway while she was not only using her laptop computer, but chatting on a handheld mobile phone as well. When asked she was unaware of any wrongdoing and that she was “driving like I always do”. Police pulled her over after they saw her car zig-zagging along the motorway. Some listening may see nothing wrong with her behavior because they do much the same every day. But before you justify such recklessness, consider that though you may not regard your welfare very highly, others whom you put at risk prefer to live. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess