Conversation in a Car by Debbie Loesel Stanton
“Quiet down!” Frances, the woman at the wheel, almost screamed at her brother, the passenger in her car. “It’s hard to read a soap opera update on my iPhone when you’re talking so much.”
“Uh – shouldn’t you be watching the road?” he replied. He then blasted the radio and was lost in thought. He was not aware of his surroundings at all, once his favorite songs were playing.
“I just hate it when someone follows me right on my tail; it would be embarrassing if they were close enough to see what I’m reading,” the sister continued.
“Yeah, I hate other drivers too, ” he said. “I mean, who are they to tell us we HAVE TO wear seatbelts? I just don’t want to.”
“I know! I don’t like how seat belts get your clothes all wrinkled,” was her feeble attempt at common sense.
The brother and sister then had a lengthy discussion of what they hated in other drivers – ones driving the speed limit, ones who used their turn signals, people who didn’t want to get out of their way…the dirty looks they would get from other drivers when driving 80 miles an hour in a 60-mile-an-hour zone. Oh, and they thought that turn lanes on city streets were a waste of time. What was the problem if they turned left from the right lane? People just need to chill, on streets or highways, was their consensus…before the accident.
Before the car was hit, Frances had injured her eye. She was driving very fast while putting on her makeup. The brakes had to hit suddenly, causing the mascara wand to go into her eye. Then, Frances tried to clean up the oatmeal that had spilled from the bowl on her lap. With her eyes on the car floor, it was a most natural occurrence that she would swerve into the next lane and get rearended.
This fiction story was written as a subtle warning to avoid doing anything except driving when you’re behind the wheel. Eating breakfast, texting, putting on makeup, and who-knows-what else is not smart. We hope you do not do harm to yourself or others. Let’s be safe – life is too short as it is, and an accident – well, that might end things all that much sooner….