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Underage Drinking

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When I moved to Texas in 1979, everyone in the car could have an open container…even the driver. I thought you’d get a citation if you didn’t drink and drive. We’ve totally evolved since those glory days (or, as some of my friends call them, the R.I.P. days). Eventually, the law changed and only passengers could have an open container (or a road sodie, as they were called). This way, the driver could merely hand their beverage over to a passenger before the officer approached the car…brilliant. I’m sure the laws in the state that I moved here from were no better. In fact, most bars never closed. Which also means they didn’t clean up. You needed a tetanus shot before you’d go into one of those places. And, as far as underage drinking went, the legal age to drink went from 21 down to 18. Then it went up to 19 for awhile and kind of hovered there. Then it eventually went back up to 21. Somewhere in between, I recall the drinking age being around 8 (maybe that was south of the border). People from European countries say they don’t have an underage drinking problem because they don’t “glamorize” drinking like we do here in the states. And their laws are strict and swift. So, would lowering the drinking age make it less attractive to teens? MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) says not. When states had lower legal drinking ages in America, the underage drinking problem was worse. Underage drunk drivers were involved in over twice as many fatal accidents.
A few months ago, there was a rumor going around on the interweb (that’s what my dad calls it) that the drinking age was going to be raised to 25. It was apparently just a myth. Kind of like celebrity deaths on the internet. That has to be super creepy to the celebrities themselves. 25 years of age is apparently when the frontal lobe completely develops. Better, more rational, adult decision making comes into play after 25 (hopefully). But not everyone matures at the same pace as others.
According to MADD, more than 25,000 lives have been saved in the U.S. because of the 21 minimum legal drinking age. They claim that the law continues to prevent tragedies and therefore decreases crashes by an estimated 16% and keeps young people safer from many other risks as well (such as alcohol poisoning, and aspiration).
Even after 21, it is encouraged to take a cab or Uber if you have consumed any alcohol. In fact, MADD has teamed up with Uber to encourage this. Uber’s revolutionary app connects users with safe, reliable rides at the touch of a button. Those are rides you can count on, whenever and wherever, so that people never have to get behind the wheel drunk.
After all, the easier it is to get a safe ride, the less likely adults are to drive after drinking.
Until next week….
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Underage Drinking – Comedy Defensive Driving

Driving Under The Influence

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Well, I guess I was wrong about marijuana being safer than alcohol when driving under the influence. I had assumed that after legalizing it in Colorado, there would be a lot less speeders and more slow drivers. I had also assumed that instead of people naming their kids hippie names like Sage and Sky, the name Mary Jane would make a big resurgence (quoting Stanley Rose of Colorado Springs). And only now am I beginning to appreciate the true meaning of the John Denver song, Rocky Mountain High.

In fact, fatal car crashes involving marijuana use have tripled. Drugged driving accounted for more than 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010, which is 16 percent more than it was in 1999. And the researchers found that marijuana was the main drug involved in the increase. It contributed to 12 percent of the fatal crashes, compared to only 4 percent in 1999. A study conducted at Dalhousie University in Canada concluded that “cannabis impairs performance of the cognitive and motor tasks necessary for safe driving, increasing the risk of collision.” Currently, there is not a test for marijuana that is as accurate as the Breathalyzer is for alcohol. Surely, a test is in the works and will be available for lawful use soon.

So, what to do? It is against the law to drink and drive, so perhaps we should follow that same rule while under the influence of pot. That’s what the transit system is for, anyway. It’s for people who don’t or can’t drive. Taking a cab to run errands, as opposed to spending years in prison for manslaughter sounds like a much better option. You can also do what is called a Mile High Tour, where you are whisked away with 9 other people in a limo to a dispensary, then out to a nice dinner and back to your car. It includes munchies, eye drops and paraphernalia (the name Paraphernalia also sounds like a choice name for your offspring).

Speaking of offspring, when comparing alcohol with marijuana use, more babies are said to have been conceived under the influence of alcohol. While less babies are conceived when under the influence of pot (lower sperm count). Less Twinkies are consumed while under the influence of alcohol, while it is said that one human being who is under the influence of pot can eat 3 boxes of Twinkies in under 20 minutes.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Artist / Benevolent Thesbo

Driving Under The Influence – Comedy Defensive Driving

The Proper Way To Tailgate

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The Proper Way To Tailgate

Tailgate parties are upon us, which means football season is here and that means there is only one proper way to tailgate. Nothing against football, and don’t be mad at me, but I’m just not that into football. I grew up in a house full of women. My dad spent most of his time at work (a.k.a. the pub) where he could hang out with other guys and watch sports. He was hardly ever home. While all of the other moms in our neighborhood would be threatening their kids “You just wait until your father gets home.” My mom would be threatening us “IF your father EVER comes home…whatever!” They were mostly empty threats, because when he did come home, “toasted” he’d give us money. Well, he didn’t really give us the money…he’d pass out and we’d take it out of his wallet. I called it my college fund. And, my dad was so proud of me when I graduated from college, he framed my diploma and hung it above the mantel. My sister dropped out of school, so, just to be fair, he framed her DWI Defensive Driving Certificate and hung it next to my diploma (crooked, because he drinks).

Although I am not an experience tailgater, I have done a little research on the proper way to tailgate. The Iowa State Food Safety website says you should always be careful what foods you pack and that you store them at the proper temperature to ensure they do not get contaminated or develop bacteria. Here are a few tips from their website:

Follow these simple steps to ensure food safety:

  • Buy reasonable quantities
  • If food won’t be served soon, store it in a cooler immediately
  • When you get home, properly wrap and freeze deli meats that won’t be eaten within two to four days
  • REMEMBER most food poisoning bacteria can NOT be seen, smelled, or tasted
  • Bacteria multiply fastest between temperatures of 40 and 140; it’s what we call the Danger Zone
  • If in doubt, throw it out! Keep hot foods HOT (above 140° F) and cold foods COLD (40° F or below)

The 21st Century Insurance company website offers these safety tips as well on the proper way to tailgate:

  • If you’re grilling, make sure to bring a fire extinguisher
  • After your tailgate is finished, throw away all food that may spoil. Leftovers may be tempting after the game, but they may also be dangerous
  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure to cool the coals properly before putting them in a garbage container or back in your car (unless you want to use them as a discipline tool)
  • Make sure you can see properly and that there are no items in your way, such as bottles or cans before starting to drive
  • Secure your grill and other items in the back so nothing can fall out
  • If any guest have been drinking alcohol, make sure they don’t get behind the wheel

And, most of all, have fun. You won’t have another 3 day weekend until Columbus Day.

Until next week…Happy Labor Day!

Daun T
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

The Proper Way To Tailgate – Comedy Defensive Driving


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Most people believe that New Year’s Eve is likely the holiday where the most DWI arrests occur. Not true…that is just one evening. Most arrests actually occur at my family reunions. My Mother is the eldest of ten sisters. Every one of them, with the exception of my Mom are all mean, drinking bar-fighting women. And, each of them have a minimum of three daughters. Our family reunion is just one giant estrogen festival. This July will be what we are calling Estro-fest 2012. Because of the fighting, instead of a band, we hire a medic. I wish this all were made-up, but it’s all so true.
Most DWI arrests occur during long holiday weekends such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Most states issue what they call a “No Refusal Weekend.” Police then step up their efforts to get drunken drivers off the streets. Here, in Texas, by noon on Memorial Day, the city of Austin had made over 68 DWI arrests, including 20 Sunday night. Why? Because we do everything big in Texas, right?
During “No Refusal,” any driver pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving must submit to a breath test or get a court-ordered blood draw. In Texas, No Refusal Weekend continues through 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The point they are trying to get across is, if you are enjoying a few cold ones, stay away from the wheel.
I think most people don’t want to leave their car in a parking lot of a restaurant or club while they find an alternate ride home because it may be vandalized, stolen, broken into or towed. So they choose to drive it home and end up in jail. Even if you feel like you are okay to drive, the officer that pulls you over may not think so, and it is up to their discretion whether or not they think they need to take you in. In Texas, if a police officer thinks that you may be so tipsy or impaired, even if you blow under the legal limit, they will likely still take you to jail. If, under the circumstances, they did let you go (which would be the luckiest day of your entire life) and you killed someone or injured someone, that police officer and the police department they work for could be sued by the person(s) you injured or their family if you killed that person. So, for their own liability, they will likely take you to jail. Where you can hang out with real criminals. Not everyone sitting in jail is intentionally a bad person, sometimes it’s just someone that made a thoughtless mistake. A mistake which will lessen your quality of life. But, if you like to read, I hear they have lots of books and magazines. And, if you like bologna, then that’s the place for you. If you did have to go to jail in Texas, I hear Highland Park is the place you’d want to go. Their jail looks like it’s right out of Giverny, France. And I hear they cater in lunch from a little family owned restaurant across the street from SMU campus. It’s kind of like a bed and breakfast…only with stainless steel beds.
With another long weekend coming in July, follow these useful tips. If you decide to drink any alcohol, line up a designated driver. Or, there are several services you can likely call that will be your designated driver, such as a taxi or a wingman service.

Until next week…Don’t risk it. A DWI is financially and emotionally devastating. It’s a real set-back…

Daun Thompson

Tie One On This Holiday Season

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I remember the holiday parties at our house when I was a kid.  Everyone was “tying one on” as my Dad would say.  The Urban Dictionary indicates that “to tie one on” means “to get drunk or start drinking before the hang over from last night has worn off. Thus having something to “tie onto”.  To tie one drinking session to another before the effects/consequences of the last have expired. Hmmm.  You know who else likes to tie one on??  MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).  They started a Tying One on for Safety program in 1986, bringing more awareness to the problem of drinking and driving during the holidays. Red ribbons are placed in highly visible areas of vehicles, like the antenna, to remind everyone not to drink and drive. As more drivers place these red ribbons on their vehicles, this heightened attentiveness serves to curb the problem of drunk driving, especially during the holidays.  I noticed that the garbage truck had a big red ribbon tied on the front.  Same thing?  Probably not.  He was swerving, afterall.

Here are some helpful tips for safe holiday drinking. Remember, looks can be deceiving.  All three of these beverages pack the same punch. Whether you are having one ounce to one-and-a-half ounces of alcohol, like a shot of vodka in a mixed drink, or you’re having a 5 ounce glass of wine, or a 12 ounce beer, they all provide you with the same amount of alcohol.  Besides what you’re drinking, there are many other factors to figure in to the equation. Just a few of the other factors to figure in are your height, weight, physical condition, age, whether you are fatigued, whether you have food in your stomach, etc. And alcohol takes time to metabolize out of your system. Drinking coffee won’t speed up that time one bit.

Here’s what you can do to prevent yourself from getting in too deep!  Decide ahead of time how much you want to drink and stick to it. And plan ahead regarding your designated driver.

Another reason to watch what you drink – calories can add up. Maybe you can wear that same holiday dress next year!  At least if you wear the same outfit year after year, people will remember you!  And not just remember you as that girl who “Tied one on” .

Have a safe couple of holidays and we’ll catch up with you next week.

Daun Thompson



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Speed traps in North America.Cha ching!Where do we start?There are several websites whose sole purpose is to locate and create a listing of speed traps across the is one such website.(Another option that I feel has saved me from being ticketed over the years? Just drive like a nervous Chihuahua and look out for cops).

How each website compiles their information varies. There are websites where they list the top ten worst states for speeding tickets, or for traffic tickets which are actually compiled by number of violations issued in a given period. Another lists ten states to watch your wallet in. And these states appear to have similar characteristics. Toll roads, road blocks, freeway construction and red light cameras, to name a few. Compiled data from the Google search engine has created a list of the top cities that generated the highest number of searches for “speeding tickets” and “traffic tickets”.Wondering where your city is on the list?Me too.

It appears that, although California, Texas and Florida are hot beds for losing your wallet to the law (most speeding tickets and traffic tickets written),none of these three states are at the top ten list for speed traps.In fact, California ranks 14, with Fresno being their top ticket city.Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Irvine and Pleasanton are the contending cities.Pleasanton has an awesome mall. I believe I’ve even gotten a ticket there once. Texas ranks 28, with Houston being their top ticket city. Although Richardson, Dallas, Austin and Arlington are nearly as bad.Florida finds itself on the list at number 18. Waldo being its bad boy city for tickets. Where the hell is Waldo, anyway?? No, I really mean it…And Miami, Orlando and Tampa appear to be up and coming ticket cities in that state.

The top states, along with their top cities for speed traps are as follows.And most of them are not large cities.

1) New Jersey (Paramus)
2) Ohio (Columbus)
3) Maryland (Frederick)
4) Louisiana (Woodworth)
5) New York (Brooklyn)
6) Illinois (Naperville
…You know, where they film the show “Female Forces”…like girls gone wild…only with cops)
7) Delaware (Newark)
8) Virginia (Virginia Beach)
9) Washington (Bellingham)
10) Massachusetts (Worcester)

In addition to knowing which states and their cities are worst for traps, there are also other key items to keep in mind when traveling out of state.In some states, you cannot take a right on red. Nor a left on a one way to a one way on red. Some highway traffic has the right of way to oncoming traffic and some yields to. Some states have hands free laws, where some only have city ordinances (i.e. Austin, Texas has a no texting city ordinance).

Do a little research before heading out on a road trip. And keep your wallet where it belongs…in your wife’s purse.

Daun Thompson

( Daun Thompson is a comedienne, artist and writer … who is currently feeling blessed that she is not a hot tar roofer… residing in the triple digits, hotter than hell, state of Texas )

The police are coming to get you!!!

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The police pulling people over on simple traffic stops and robbing their money, sounds like something you would hear about in North Korea, Libya or some third world country but it’s not, it’s happening right here in the United States of America!I wish there was a clever little joke I could throw in there or a witty anecdote about the subject but I can’t, this is horrid!!How can something like this happen??!!!

I know some conservative Republicans, religious fanatics or optimists would say “a few bad apples spoil the bunch.”Bullshit, most cops are crooks and they are worse than the criminals they take to jail, that’s right I said it!

Thank you, MSNBC network, for airing the episode of cops in Florida and Louisiana, pulling drivers over, going through their cars, not finding anything illegal, except for minorities having “too much money” (in some cases $1,200 cash) and seizing that money based on……get ready for this,….the officer thinks it was used in a drug purchase!That’s right, all the officer had to say was “I believe the money was used in a drug transaction.”No arrest, no charges brought up on the drivers, just nothing short of the cops robbing people, it was disturbing!Remember when the cops portrayed on TV were lovable, funny characters like Barney Fife or Sheriff Rosco Train?Now its more like Dirty Harry and sure cops have to put up with a lot crap (for lack of a censored word) from a lot ofpeople just because they are doing their job, which is law “enforcement” not law “abovement”…I think I just invented a new word.

Here a few tips when being pulled over by the fuzz:

  1. Pull over to safe area, like the right hand side of the highway, far off to the side as possible, without running over any mailboxes.
  2. Keep your hands on the steering wheel, DO NOT REACH IN THE GLOVE BOX, YOUR PURSE OR YOUR WIFE’S PURSE!
  3. Be polite and do not argue with the coppers.Remember Rodney King????That whole beating started with Rodney arguing with the pol-ece, then escalated from there.
  4. Never admit that you were speeding (unless you were) and remember to not let the cops intimidate you, it’s your right to refuse consent to a search, unless they have probable cause or they smell drug smoke or you look like Cheech and Chong.

The attached video is another guide on what to do if you get pulled over and for some of you, I’m sure that won’t be long.

The Right Way!

Join me again next week and until then….

Take care and be safe-

Danny Keaton

Get the evil out of you!

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Spiritual driving, yeah we’re gonna get deep with this one.When it comes to driving your vehicle, there are two forces at work, the good and the evil.

The evil is my “addictions” and I’m not talking about drugs, (I’ve been clean since Oct 8, 2002)  I am talking about my other addictions that plague me like a succubus who hate f*(%’s me even during the day that turns my daydreams into nightmares.This is the road rage “evil” Danny, who will always mess things up in his life and then… there is the spiritual “good” Danny who loves everyone and everything.The good guy who is closer to God when he is out on the road doing stand-up comedy, the Earth, Wind and Fire God who is the creator of everything.This is the Danny I want to prevail.The Danny who sees the humanity in every driver, who has compassion for every living thing, even tailgaters.

The key is to raise the good side and eliminate the evil side just sort of a “road rage driver” exorcism.Even by just reducing the evil side, you can have a safer driving experience to your therapist or your 12 step meetings.Defensive driving and driver safety skills will help you obtain this goal.

These defensive driving skills should consist of:

1. Using your blinker when turning or changing lanes.

2. Always have an “out” when driving by checking your mirrors and keeping a safe distance from the cars around you.

3. Stay out of the left lane, except when passing and never tailgate another driver.

The other solution, change your life if you have chronic road rage.Relax, get plenty of rest, get up and do something that intrigues you and that you have a passion for.Manage your time better and meditate, find some alone time for yourself every day.Remember, Gandhi never got road rage, come to think of it, I don’t think he had a car either.

If you keep doing the same thing, expect to get the same results. Changing your life will help in you achieving the characteristics of a good defensive driver at the very least.In Narcotics Anonymous, I learned that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”And in the Tarrant County Jail, I learned patience but that’s another story.

And changing your life is easy, the hard part is getting past the evil side manifesting fear inside of you that keeps you from being free.One of my favorite movie quotes is from Vanilla Sky, when Penelope Cruz’s character says to Tom Cruise; “… Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

Join me again next week and until then….

Take care and be safe-

Danny Keaton

The Information Super Highway

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We have come a long way since our automobiles just took us from point A to point B or a cellular phone just made phone calls, now both can do so much more.Come to think of it, when was the last time you heard a car referred to as an “automobile?”Grandpa’s drunken stories of when he lost his virginity in the back of a Studebaker and those images can send you to therapy.

The information super highway in this day and age is all too real for drivers everywhere.Back in the day we had to rely on maps and directions given to us by half nitwits who had no idea what they were talking about, kinda like the writer of this blog.Now with GPS, a nice un-sexy half female, half robot voice tells you where and when to turn.You can even ask your car where’s the nearest pizza joint to your current location.Now if your car can tell you where that cop shooting radar is hiding, then we will have made progress!

All this information can be very useful but when is it too much?It seems like no one is “right here, right now” anymore.We are off into cyberspace, living life bi-curiously through our Facebook and Twitter profiles, projecting to the world what we think our lives should be rather than what they really are.Our future generations will not have to know the concept of north, south, east and west, because GPS systems will tell them where to go, OK, maybe not to that extreme!

I think progress is a good thing but all I’m saying is, every now and then pull off the information super highway and take the scenic route, stop and smell the litter off the road.Appreciate your gift of life because we are only here for a short time, live in the here and now and put away your cell phone/life line and drive.

Join me again next week and until then…

Take care and be safe-

Danny Keaton

Happy Holiday Rush

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As we start our once a year ritual of the holiday season, oh wait a minute, it actually started over a month ago according to the commercials on tv and that holiday music I heard on the radio.  

The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family and hopfully a time for remembering our blessings.  But we all know how stressful the holidays can be and how we can take that out on the other drivers on the road with us.  Not only do we still have the everyday responsibilities of going to work, picking up kids from school and making appointments, but now throw in holiday shopping, going from one mall to another then to Wal-Mart, going to grandma’s house for dinner and hoping that “Drunk Uncle Ned’ doesn’t show up.  It’s enough to spark road rage with one honk of the horn or being cut-off on the freeway!

When you are on the road please be kind to your fellow drivers.  If the traffic is backed up let someone else in and if someone lets you in, give them a friendly “thank you” wave, with all five fingers!  Give yourself plenty of time for your shopping, try not to be in a rush, I know, easier said than done.  Let’s make this the best holiday season ever with no road rage!!  Together we can make it happen.  See you next week.

Happy Thanksgiving!!-

Danny Keaton