I got a note from my friend Raoul. It disturbed me:
"Kids, it’s not what you think. We don’t back up at 35 miles an hour into a line of schoolchildren by accident. In fact, we barely go 35 on the damned highway!
When one of us “loses control of the vehicle” and barrels across the lawn, you think it’s just by chance that we ram through plate glass window in the den and come to a stop in the middle of the nursery?
We’ve travelled the same damn neighborhood streets for our entire lives, and all of a sudden we don’t realize there’s an after-school crossing-guard at the corner of Sycamore and Warden? Talk about ducks in a row!
You see a “rash” of accidents; an alarming increase in the frequency of crashes involving what you so quaintly call “elderly drivers” The news reports on it and everybody wrings their hands. What is to be done? Testing? Fines and penalties? Family intervention? “Troubling”, you call it. “Disturbing and yet terribly complex.”
Well, little piglets, in the words of the old song – accidents speak louder than words.
The fact is; we are organized and angry. We live among you – we are your parents, your grandparents, your friends and eccentric neighbors. And we are crashing into your cars, your houses and your children every single day. And you are powerless against us.
Take our licenses. Fine us all you want Test us. Lock us away. Assuming we survive the crash, all you’ve really got for us is the death penalty. But it takes more than 12 years, on average, to get from trial to actual execution – natural causes are going to get us long before Sparky does. Meanwhile, dear friends, you will be joining our ranks by the thousands every single day.
For now, I’d say, kick little Thurber and Kendra out of the van the day they are physically capable of walking the quarter mile to their lacrosse or rowing practice. If you want us off the roads – move us yourselves! It won’t kill you to chauffer us to the pharmacy or the early show at the Cineplex. But it just might kill you if you don’t.”