Different planet, same problems

Shawn Magrath

If the recent cooler weather is an indication of how the upcoming winter’s going to be, I need to dig my parka out of the closet and start feeing my sled dogs a little better.

I’m not usually one to complain – at least not publicly – but I’ve some real problems with local drivers lately. I think it’s a correlational trend: As daylight hours become less and less, driver attentiveness gets lower and lower. This week alone, I’ve done four different last-minute “break-checks” because of drivers pulling out directly in front of me (two of which were within a 0.2 mile stretch on Main Street), leaving me to shout words that would make my grandmother cry, and my passenger picking teeth out of the dashboard. To me, it just makes sense: If a driver can make eye contact with the plastic hula girl jigging on the dash of an oncoming car, there’s not enough time to pull out. Add that to my brush with death when I was almost run over in the crosswalk earlier this week – by a driver on a cell phone no less – and you find the root of my latest hatred for other drivers. I almost wish I had an angrier sounding car horn; that would make me better.

On a separate note, billionaire Richard Branson (best known for being the outgoing, adventurous owner of the Virgin Group; and being mistaken for Polish/Lithuanian American actor Charles Bronson) announced that now, a little more than a month after the Mars Rover touched down on the Red Planet, he is optimistic about colonizing there. According to him, it’s plenty possible within his lifetime to begin a community on Mars that’s filled with “fun people, beautiful people, ugly people” – finally, a place for me. And the best part? I would have fewer neighbors (though I’m sure one of them would pull out in front of me. Different planet, same horrible drivers). Cue theme song from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”