Happy Independence Day holiday! I love, love, love being an American. Yes, I like to throw the word LOVE around like they throw diet pills around at a Weight Watchers meeting. One word that I have sworn off is the word HATE. And there…I just used it. So, I am a liar and a hater. And I will be getting professional help for both. I must say, though, I really do hate driving. Especially with the hateful traffic we have here in Texas. It seems like they’re doing construction on all of the freeways at the same time. So now, your alternate route is “damn!” Road rage is on the rise with more people waving the finger at each other on a regular basis. Apparently that’s what the sunroof is for. And, if you can drive with both knees, you can flip someone off with both hands. People are talented, aren’t they? They should just put Prozac into the water system here.

My Aunt Sally is currently on a road trip to Austin from Illinois. She doesn’t know what she’s in for. Just the trip from Dallas to Austin used to take around 3 hours (another half an hour if you stop for kolaches at the Czech Stop in West, Texas). Most of the stretch on I-35 is only two lanes wide now, due to construction. Currently, if you drive to Austin from Dallas, you leave the house clean-shaven. And by the time you get to Austin, you have a full grown beard! And my Aunt Sally is at the age where, even as a female, she could totally grow a full beard. I’ve seen it…and it’s creepy.

With the Independence Day holiday approaching, taking a road trip can be a fun adventure and a costly one. Not only do you have to figure in gasoline expenses and time, but you also need to do a little research before you begin your journey. Knowing the laws in the states you will be passing through may save you from hefty traffic fines. Being from Illinois, she may not know that in Texas you can take a right turn at a red light. But your car has to settle before taking your right turn. You can also take a left turn at a red light from a one-way street, onto a one-way street. Here, you can only occupy the H.O.V. lane in Texas if you have two or more people in the car. There is currently no state law in Texas about cell phone usage or texting while driving. But there are city ordinances that vary from city to city. In the Lone Star State, you can only litter with ice, water and chicken feathers. And the police will certainly be setting up road blocks for drunk drivers throughout the Independence Day holiday weekend. And, I’m certain there are many other laws that differ from Illinois law that are too plentiful to list here. Not to mention the laws in Missouri and Oklahoma which she will be passing through. Something in the law books about cousins and animal husbandry, I’m sure. (You didn’t think for a minute that, as a Texan, I wasn’t going to take a shot at Oklahoma, did you?)

Until next week…be safe this holiday weekend, my friends. And don’t blow a finger off. At least, not the middle finger. You’ll be needing that one.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Independence Day – Comedy Defensive Driving