To quote Bob Dylan, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’.” When I moved to Texas in 1979, most pick-up trucks had a gun rack mounted in the back window, with a rifle on display for all to see. And everyone in the car/truck could have an open container, even the driver. Of course, the rifle couldn’t be loaded. But the driver could be. Where’s the logic in that? When I moved to northern California in 1990, pick-up trucks had a wine rack in the back window. Not really, but have you ever been on a wine tour in Napa Valley? You know, you’re only supposed to taste the wine, not drink it. I have never seen a car in the ditch on a wine tour. I’m not disappointed, but I am surprised. We, as a race, are ever-evolving (thank God). And, with this forward thinking, we are constantly redesigning the safety features in the evolving automobile.
My first car with a cell phone (that was about the size of a shoe) was a 1989 Volvo. A hideous tank of a car, with a yuppie mom luggage rack. It was also my first car with anti-lock brakes. It also had a sun-roof that would constantly leak, so I put duct tape around it. It was silver, so it matched the car. But I’d always get pulled over in Highland Park (a hoity toity part of Dallas), because they knew I didn’t live there, with the duct tape and all. A phone in the car? I felt like a rock star. Before cell phones, I remember when you had to wait until you got home from work to see who was trying to get a hold of you. We also had rotary dial phones then. If you were being stabbed to death, and you had to call for help, you had to dial 9-1-1. Your other option would be to call the operator, “0”. Now, zero was the last number on the dial and, coincidentally, the last number you’d want to dial if you were bleeding to death. I bet a lot of people didn’t make it to the hospital. How far we’ve come since then. And Bob is right about the times changing.
Not too many years from now, all cars will be driving themselves. It will be just like the cartoon show The Jetsons. All bosses’ names will be Mr. Spacely and (please God) please let all homes be on poles so we have no yards. I want all of those hours of my life back, mowing and edging and raking leaves! We’ll even be able to push a button and dinner is ready. Wait! We already do…it’s called a microwave!
Maybe it’s time to look into purchasing another Volvo, since they recently published a statement that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a Volvo by the year 2020. Maybe I should wait until 2020 to purchase one, since it will likely be driving itself by then as well.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

The Evolving Automobile – Comedy Defensive Driving