Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Backseat Driver

I’ve always been a reluctant driver. I hadn't even gotten my driver's permit before I joined the air force at age seventeen. Once in the service, and stationed in North Dakota with the prospect of driving parts out to missile sites at midnight in subzero temperatures, I chose to wait until my return to Massachusetts before getting my driver’s license. So, all those hours on the byways of North Dakota, I sat in the backseat, listening to my Sony Walkman and watching the fields of sunflowers passing by. To me, driving is like golf in the respect that it would be a lot more fun if there was nobody else out there.
"Take a right up here."
"How do you know what's right?"
I've never been an effective backseat driver. I'm too willing to keep my mouth shut and go along for the ride, not complaining until we get to the destination. Whether intentional or not, the backseat driver can often be left behind, seemingly forgotten at the Seven-Eleven, as the driver pulls back onto the highway. Miles can go by. Maybe the title of this post is a misnomer. I'm more like the guy in the trunk, waiting for Samuel L. Jackson to find a vacant lot, where he can dispose of my body. I'd rather be stuck in the trunk with Jennifer Lopez, as in the film "Out of Sight," but I guess the producers lost my number, so they had to settle for George Clooney.

Trunk Music
I usually take the backseat in my relationships too. Always wanting someone else, preferably a strong female, to do the driving. I’ve always been attracted to strong intelligent women, like Marie Curie and Pam Grier. Periodically, some fool on Facebook asks which celebrity the reader would most like to spend the night with. I used to always say Elizabeth Warren, but she just endorsed Hillary, so she’s been demoted from my fantasy list. She’s easily replaced by a plethora of smart women like Carolyn Porco, or Mary Roach. I’m immediately turned on by their intelligence. Pillow talk would be subjects like dark matter and the gravitational pull of love. I’m a mind-f*cker for sure.

Smart and sexy Carolyn Porco, please whisper sweet mathematical forumulas into my ear.
Maybe we're all backseat drivers when you consider that we are 90% microbial and only 10% human. We have over 100 trillion microbes in and on our bodies. Where are they driving us? Talk about a lack of freewill. We are not in as much control as we thought. Not only are we stuck in the backseat without a map, but we don't even recognize the driver. Some say let Jesus take the wheel, but if I were going to give up control I think I'd want a more talented driver, like say Dale Earnhardt, Jr..
 Let's go for a drive OK? Well I'll go for a drive; you'll go for a ride. The person who drives the car they go for a drive, the other people they go for a ride. People don't know that, tell them when they're in your car. Say "you assholes are goin' for a ride!"
– George Carlin
Right now, I'm going to settle for walking....

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