Al Brooks Only Hurt Himself

One of my favorite films is “Defending Your Life,” a practically perfect film about courage and personal responsibility and how it’s never too late to redeem yourself. Al Brooks’ character dies in a car crash when he reaches down to save a stack of birthday CDs from the floor of his new BMW. We are led to believe, in the film, that he only hurt himself in the crash. If only that were how the world really worked when people act like selfish what’s-it-calleds while driving.

Those who know me a little know that I get somewhat aggravated when those who choose to conduct a couple of thousand pounds of metal and rubber around various streets at speeds that could kill or maim a human being decide to rush around without common sense or feel they need NOT pay attention to anything other than a foot on the gas and who is asking “Wuzzzzup?” on the phone. (Yes, aggravated enough to write a sentence like that one.)

In most cases, thankfully, I have been lucky enough to be reacting angrily or sadly or self-righteously to situations that are further from my life than what happened on Hallowe’en. Some selfish [totally appropriate nasty word redacted] decided that he should be texting while traveling on a major highway during rush hour instead of paying attention to the stop-and-go traffic ahead of him. And this is what happens.

He ran into a stopped car – my brother-in-law’s car – which was then pushed into another car which was pushed into one more car. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, although there is a sore-necked and backed daddy of two whose family didn’t complain at all when he got home late for trick-or-treating.

So, let’s think about what would be important enough to text instead of paying attention to traffic or *gasp* pull-over to read or type. Perhaps someone was asking him to pick up milk on the way home? Or, since it was Halloween, an extra bag of Milky Way bite-sized bars? Was that worth creating a four-car collision? Or how about answering the text:
“When will you be home, honey?” “No traffic. Be home in a few…” Yeah, so you missed Halloween, huh? That Karma is a total wench, isn’t she?

So here’s my All Saints Day message to you: STAY OFF YOUR PHONE WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING!*

* Yes, I know that all caps is like shouting. Please share how to use font styles to also shake the reader by the shoulders.

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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to the car culture, dealing with leaving a career I love, and spouting off along the way.
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14 Responses to Al Brooks Only Hurt Himself

  1. christina says:

    UGGGGGGGGGGGGH! living in Chicago i see this every damn day and every day i shake my head at the aholes reading their texts with their foot on the brake in stop and go traffic. i get that it’s stop and go traffic and it sucks and it’s draining but i’m SO SICK AND TIRED of seeing these ignorant people “driving” along like it’s no big deal that they can KILL someone… and i’m sick and tired of feeling like i have to constantly watch every one ELSE every second i’m on the road b/c others are too self absorbed to think that something very well could go wrong. i could go on and on but i will stop. just know that i understand this piece all too well.

  2. Erica M says:

    I thought New Jersey had a law about only using cellphones with a hands-free device. Is that only for talking?

  3. Azara says:

    I’ve never understood the texting in traffic thing. People can hardly drive when they’re not distracted, let alone while fiddling with a tiny keyboard and screen. I was thrilled when Canada finally passed a law making it illegal.

    • It makes me crazy. I’m the dork who pulls over to check a text or just doesn’t answer it. I like being a dork. :)

      • I’m a dork too. I never answer my phone when I’m in my car and that makes the ones calling me plenty mad even though what they have to say is never in response to some crisis. Everything has to be now, now, now! I think there should be stiff penalties for causing an accident texting while driving. Maybe then people will reconsider the importance of choosing to take this risk.

      • Sadly, I think the wallet is the only way people ever pay attention to anything that inconveniences them.

  4. Wow. So glad he is okay. I live on a busy street and often sit on my porch to work. It’s amazing to see how many people go by texting. And it is against the law in our state. I make me very angry. I have a no texting and driving sticker on my car.

  5. Kianwi says:

    Agreed! The people that drive me nutty are those who are chatting on the phone, driving crazy, and then they look at ME like I’m the one who made a mistake when there is almost a crash. It would be funny if it weren’t so terrifying.

  6. You’re talking to someone who lives in what I think literally is the text-n-drive capital OF THE UNIVERSE. People in huge Hummers, their toddlers wrangling in the front seat while mummy texts with one hand and pilots her death machine through the intersection with the other. Sucks. There are so many accidents here – multi-car domino accidents. I now get in the car with the attitude of “it’s not if but when” that I’m rear-ended like your brother- in-law was (glad he’s okay). I’m with you on this all the way, lady. Shout it louder.

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