The last time I renewed my drivers license, I watched a woman, perhaps a daughter, take an elderly man by the arm and help him walk to the window when their number was called. Since I don’t think you have to renew a license for a pacemaker or a hearing aid, I assume he was there to renew his drivers license, which led me to ask myself “how old is too old to drive?”
I’m sure everyone has an opinion like ‘when everyone else in the drive through lane is going the wrong way’, or ‘you frequently park in the cart return at Walmart.’ These are both clear indicators that your automotive prowess has taken a siesta. No, after careful consideration I have concluded that you should pack it in when you can no longer operate the radio. That’s right. The radio. What happened to the days when you had two options. On and off. Just part of history I guess. Today, you have to be skilled in electronics to even listen to the damned thing. Scan, Fade, Balance, Treble, Bass, AM, FM, CD. What the hell is that all about. It appears that today’s driving skills have to eclipse just being able to get it out of the parking lot.
Let me forward a hypothesis. Do you think that when pilots qualify for their license that some guy slides in besides them and says “OK, start her up and drive her out to the end of the runway. Don’t forget to fasten your seat belt and check your rear view mirror. Not bad, however, you took that turn a little fast. Now, we are going to take her up, make one loop around the airport and land, after which I want to watch you park. Pretty good. We hit a little hard, but I’m sure you will be alright with a little practice. Here’s your certificate, and remember, no flying after dark without a parent present.”… I don’t think so.
We have two cars of different brands. There was a time that wouldn’t make a difference. Not anymore. Today, even the same functions are performed differently from car to car. Wipers on the left. Wipers on the right. How do I turn them on? I think someone is waving at me through the rear window. Oops. My mistake. Just another wiper.
The last time we bought new cars, they both came with something called Sirius and a 90 day complimentary subscription. Bad idea. I have difficulty choosing between two stations and now I have about 862. It also displays the name of the song and the artist on my dash. Now I ask you. After you have run into the rear of the car in front of you, do you really think the cop is going to care that it happened when Pink was singing ‘Try’? Somehow, I doubt it.
Actually, I see an opportunity here. I was thinking about boning up on the operation of my entertainment package and starting a cottage industry instructing other ‘mature’ drivers on the finer arts of driving. I was thinking of calling it “Let’s Get Sirius” What do you think. Has kind of a nice ring doesn’t it. Now, if I can just get that woman to stop asking me “what number do you wish to call” when I hit one of those buttons on the steering wheel, I’ll be ready to roll.
From the archives 2014