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Frank Mahony

Super-Seniors at the DMV

10/21/2010   ( 1 comment )   Comment on This

So, I’m at the DMV the other day waiting forever to get my eye exam, get my picture taken and get the hell outta there. As you know, this is a 45 minute ordeal on a good day and an hour plus when you’re in a hurry – I was.

As I was sitting in the many rows of chairs, bored out of my mind, I glanced at the organ donor pamphlet they handed me on the way in. The picture of a super enthusiastic, smiling Jessie White is a little creepy to me. It’s a good program that saves lives, but Jessie looks a little too excited to get his claws on my lungs and liver. He needs to tone it down a little and look more somber like the funeral parlor guys.

As everyone sits down, they leave a little buffer between themselves and the next person. Some people are in groups of three. why does it take three or more people to get a driver’s license?

Being a scary looking guy – I get an entire row to myself – which is fine by me.

I’m bored with Jessie and everything else in this place in about 3 minutes. Then I start noticing the sizable number of people that I'm suspecting are 90+ years old getting licenses. There is no specific age when you aren't able to drive. For some people, I'm sure they can drive and function into their 90s. Other people probably shouldn't be driving in their 70s. Common sense should prevail here.

Hang on! That guy who is shuffle-walking like the Tim Conway character and can’t hear anything is going to re-new his DRIVING privileges and nobody is saying “NO” - ???

“Sir, can you please read the second line of the eye chart.” Tim Conway looks up from the eye exam machine, he stares at the DMV employee still squinting and says nothing. After about 10 seconds he looks back down into the machine. He knows somebody is talking to him but cannot figure out who and he cannot understand one word. “Sir, can you see the second line?” Again, no response... HOW is this guy able to drive?

The lady with the cane, who can walk about 6 feet at a time and then needs to stop to rest for a minute, is also going to continue to drive? She is so frail, that it took her more than a minutes to figure out how to hang on to something to sit down in a chair. How could she possibly brake quickly or swerve to avoid something?

All these super-seniors are accompanied by a younger person (presumably a daughter) who is supporting this process.

They can’t see, can’t hear and can barely move. How do they possibly belong behind the controls of a one ton steel projectile, moving at 30-70 miles per hour, filled with twenty gallons of flammable liquid?

I blame the family for not putting their foot down when grandma and grandpa are too “out of it” to understand that they are no longer road worthy. When they are at that point, tell them you WILL NOT help them renew their license. If they get mad and “take you out of their will” – so be it.

At least you can sleep at night knowing you have protected the kids standing at the bus stop.

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Frank Mahony

Just Say Blow

10/17/2010   Comment on This

There are signs that all this talk of legalizing marijuana is having a small effect. According to a recent survey, between 2008 and 2009, drugs use grew from 8% to 8.7% among people aged 12 and over.

If you think about our current state of world competitiveness contrasted against our current sense of entitlement and "all about me" priorities – this is probably not a good sign. The old saying is: "when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher." Somehow, if you hear "Dude... pass that shit down here," - it just doesn’t sound like a competent plan for redoubling our efforts towards being the world leader of innovation and finance.

cheech and chongThe desire to be "mind altering" our way through difficult times is a sign and symptom of the weakness that plagues our nation. We think it’s somebody else’s fault that we’re in our undesirable position and if we can just drink/puff/snort/shoot/tax our way through the next week, we’ll be fine.

I’m probably guilty of pizza-ing, McDonald's-ing and Portillo’s-ing my way through a week – but I can’t allow anyone to put drugs and junk food on the same level. You need to eat... It doesn’t actually help me get through the week, it doesn’t stop me from performing well in my work and I can quit any time I want. Hmmm – that’s probably what an addict would say too. Come to think of it, I have sometimes felt like I was sort of drifting off into another plane of consciousness after having a Cheeseburger, a Maxwell Street Polish or freshly made Churros.

Actually, I’ll get off this junk food stream of thought for now... It’s really going nowhere and we need to get back to the important debate over drug legalization.
(Note to self: Look into 12 step programs).

wow dudeThere are people ranging from tax hungry politicians right on through to modern day hippies (is that the same thing?) that are very anxious to legalize, legitimize and tax the shit out of marijuana. The legalization of one drug is possibly the slippery slope to another - especially when we get hooked on the tax revenue. Hooked on drugs, hooked on government hand outs, hooked on taxes, hooked on the power of a political office – they’re all junkies to me. If they were legalizing it for genuine reasons, I might have different feelings. They’re not REALLY supporting legalization as a freedom issue; they’re taking a we-failed-trying-to-stop-it-so-lets-tax-the-hell-out-of-it approach. Those tax and vote junkies are the worst – they’d sell their mother to get more taxes and more votes.

Maybe we can come up with the equivalent of a Methadone clinic for people hooked on tax revenue, political office and entitlement thinking.

What’s really ironic is that the same assholes that have banned smoking are probably "OK" with legalized marijuana because they can use the resulting tax money to buy more votes.

Regan era politics championed the phrase "Just Say No" – I think the political drug slogan for the modern day might end up being "Just Say Blow"

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