Don’t make me pull over

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is it about riding in a car that can make people’s brains mush into either stupidity or aggression? Could it be the vibration of the motor? The smell of vinyl in the dashboard? The toxic fumes of rotting French fries under the seat?

All the buzz and righteous anger this week has been directed at a 45-year-old mother who kicked her two daughters, ages 10 and 11, to the curb in White Plains, New York. Can you hear her screaming into the rear view mirror, “Don’t make me pull over?”

Most of you have the visual of what happened in the car because you have probably lived it, either as the parent or the child. Many of you will understand the rage and frustration that created the situation but most of you would not follow through and leave the kids; however some of you may have already. Beware the kid cops will come and take you away!

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Now, the most hated mother on the planet is being charged with child endangerment. We point fingers and decry that she is a bad mother.

How many of you would cast the first stone if a camera was installed in your car? Would you pass the child endangerment test?

Cameras make a fool of us all and work wonders on school busses across the nation. I would hope kids would act a little better knowing there is video documentation of their stupid or aggressive acts although a few still carry on and then we witness the act over and over again on CNN and the talk shows. This is not how you want your child’s 15 minutes of fame to play out!

Honestly, a camera to film the antics in the back seat might help kids behave. But can I direct it at my husband too? He is Mr. NASCAR driver who likes to play when he is bored or forgets the center lines are there for a reason. Do men really pay attention to the cars around them? I am always pointing out the vehicle that would like very much to get past us while we cruise the fast lane.

The aggressive behavior automobile syndrome or ABAS not only affects kids but adults too.

Road rage is a serious crime today and no one knows how many people it actually has killed. It’s the car that rides your bumper, weaves sharply in and out of traffic or in extreme cases has bumped into cars causing the innocent driver to go off the road.

Another form of road rage occurs within the interior of the car and has ended countless marriages. ABAS has caused normal loving couples to turn into shouting shrews! This syndrome should be studied too. You buckle up, the engine starts and the war begins.

Either one party is the nagging, “tell you how to drive” partner or you can’t agree where to park. If a near accident happens, the intensity of the broo-ha-ha grows.

When near death strikes, my first response is to scream. Women can I get an amen? But, the honest reaction always angers the driving husband who now blames you for the possible accident because you screamed. I have never understood the logic but the scenario has happened a few times in my married historical.

Don’t even get me started about getting lost in cars and don’t think a GPS can save your marriage because once in awhile it too loses its mind. Does ABAS affect machinery too?

For example, one morning after having a few days of the stomach virus, my now hungry husband had the hankering for a real doughnut which in our definition is NOT a Krispee Kreme cake with a hole in it. Sorry, I am the only person on the planet who thinks it’s a low rated treat. They have replaced the good doughnuts.

In Picayune, you can find good, real doughnuts, but, I live six hours away. Apparently, Huntsville lacks good doughnuts.

The morning began with a search for real doughnuts, the GPS was set but it was confused about the address. As we drove around not finding the Doughnut Palace, which was the only non-Krispee Kreme place in the phone book, we decided to call for directions. This is prejudicial, but when a Chinese lady answered the phone my hopes for real doughnuts went right out the window. Sorry, just being honest. My desire was for redneck, country fried in bad stuff, hole-in-the wall doughnuts.

She tried to explain in her thick accent the directions to get to the Doughnut Palace but after three calls for directions, two gas station inquiries, wondering around for two hours and a hundred button pushes on the GPS, we finally found the darn doughnuts. By the end, I could care less about breakfast food and was on to needing lunch! The anger level was heightened but Husband was determined and stubborn enough that he was going to find those doughnuts. And yes, they were terrible. ABAS had struck again!

There is something about a car that messes with our brain chemistry! Husband endangerment should be put on the list of crimes committed in the family automobile.

So next time the kids are fighting and the husband is frustrated, why not yell “Please pull over!” instead of getting arrested for child and husband endangerment, just open the door of the automobile and get out yourself.

A good walk home will do you good!

Are we there yet?

Tracy Williams is a guest columnist and can be reached at her website: