Last year 32-year-old Ann Sanford was taking selfies and posting to Facebook while driving in North Carolina. Right after she wrote how much the song "Happy" makes her feel happy, she crashed her car and died. The news is full of other similar ridiculous bad texting-while-driving decisions with bad endings.
No text message is important enough to risk your life or others' lives to read it. Texting makes you 23 times more likely to crash. Even scarier, 77 percent of teens and 55 percent of young adults think they can safely text while driving. So I can relate to Brian Doyle's disgust and righteous anger at the reckless jerk who was texting while driving...especially because he could have killed multiple people with his stupidity!
X: Snarling Prayer for the Reckless Jerk Who Just Swerved Insanely Among Three Lanes of Traffic at Incredible Speed While Texting, Causing Us Other Drivers Heart Palpitations
You are important and we are not. You ought not to be slowed down by cars in your way, because you are you and we are only dross and froth.
You obviously are a terrific driver, cool as you text behind the wheel of your shining new Lexus, and we are merely drivers of battered ancient wagons that should be recycled into recalcitrant toasters. Really we should have pulled to the side of the road and gaped as you whizzed by, but forgive us for not realizing immediately you were so cool.
Now we know, and as soon as my heart rate retreats and my fingers unclench from the steering wheel and my rage beings to subside and the visions I had of smoking wrecks and sobbing children dissolve, I will offer a disgruntled prayer for you, you selfish fool: that you get a grip, that you see what fear and turmoil you put into people's hearts when you drive like that, that you get a dose of humility without paying for it in your blood or someone else's.
I pray also that you soon get the biggest speeding ticket in the history of the state of Oregon, so big it has its own zip code. I pray you have an epiphany and realize you are not actually the most important or interesting person on the planet. I pray that you grow up.
It took me long enough to begin to grow up, so I am not crowing here; I'm just saying I hope the One gently delivers a message to you soon, before you kill yourself or someone else, you arrogant dolt. And so: amen.
Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary!
You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on Amazon. Brian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.