Let’s face it. Riots and vandalism and murder and mayhem notwithstanding, old people driving is a one of the truest threats to society. One old person behind the wheel can wipe out dozens of other people, and not even know it. Of course, defining who’s “old” and then deciding if they are actually too old to drive is a bit more dicey. Understand, no one who is too old to drive actually thinks they are too old to drive. Here are some clues to help you realize your are too old to drive:
· First clue: when your Coke bottle bifocals no longer help you read the speedometer, that might be a clue you’re too old to drive.
· Second clue: when your leg bag ruptures while trying to reach for the nitroglycerin in the glovebox, that might be a clue.
· Third clue: if you cannot feel the brake pedal with your feet or the steering wheel with your hands because they’re permanently tingly, that might be a clue.
· Fourth clue: when your walker doesn’t fit behind the steering wheel without knocking off the tennis balls, that might be a clue.
· Fifth clue: when you don’t realize the yappy dog that was in your lap just blew out the driver’s window, that might be a clue.
· Sixth Clue: with your arms out the window your arm flab makes flopping noises you can hear even without your hearing aids, that might be a clue.
· Seventh Clue: when you accidentally send your dentures through the pneumatic tube to the bank teller, that might be a clue.
· Eighth Clue: when the radar detector beeps and stops your pacemaker, that might be a clue.
· Ninth Clue: when the guy riding his mountain bike on the interstate passes you,then flips you off that might be a clue.
· Tenth Clue: when the cop who just stopped you asks for your latest EKG instead of your driver’s license, that may be a clue.
Give a few thousand geriatric demented geezers the key to a 1993 Cadillac Eldorado, and the potential body count from an atomic blast from North Korea or Iran pales by comparison. Consider the statistics: one old geezer and a Cadillac has the lethal force of a 10-megaton hydrogen bomb. And, unlike with the Ayatollah or Kim Jong Whathisname, there is no reliable deterrent, no “peace through mutual destruction.” Mutual destruction is not a viable concept; it becomes a challenge. The prototypical Mr. Wheezer Geezers behind the wheels by the millions is our secret weapon; send them all to Iran and capitulation is guaranteed.
And now consider those who are the parents of senior citizens. You heard me…I said parents of senior citizen. Sounds like a new Parent Teacher Association or subdivision of AARP. If you are seventy and one or more of your parents are still breathing, we are talking senior citizen times two…double the road hazard.
Until now, there was no good answer to this pervasive geriatric threat to humankind…the driving-impaired geezer is pervasive, invasive, evasive, and downright incontinent. Now, thanks to Elon Musk, the Edison of our time and unrepentant marijuana bong enthusiast, has provided the solution: autonomous vehicles. He has paved the way (pun intended) to permit not only senior citizens to drive until death do us collectively part, but even well beyond death itself.
This autonomous vehicle thing also will prove a boon to personal injury lawyers…aka ambulance chasers aka television personalities. There is now a whole new defense…from impaired driving (drunk or high or both), sleeping at the wheel, texting while driving, various forms of intercourse while driving (like talking on the cellphone for you depraved, mind-in-the-gutter types who do not know intercourse means having a conversation).
Of course, I have to admit many people have intercourse while having intercourse, although some would argue the concurrent conversations are often unintelligible and frequently punctuated by repetitive call to prayer as in “Oh god, Oh God, OH GOD”. And, many thanks to Elon, you can now have intercourse while having intercourse while mindlessly meandering for multitudinous miles on the Interstate. The new term for this heretofore unlawful behavior will hereafter be known as the Interstate Intercourse Imperative or the “Triple I” for short. Oh, God bless Elon for a new meaning of “safe sex”.
So, let’s address one possible scenario: the deceased geezer driver. Heading to the local social security office to retrieve his monthly check, driving his Muskmobile, the Mr. Geezer Wheezer succumbs to the collective ravages of life. Fortunately, his Muskmobile is in “autonomous” mode. Unfortunately, Mr. Geezer Wheezer forgot his oxygen tank, the one that makes those annoying intermittent puffing sounds that his wife confuses for flatulence, as in “Wheezer, you have to stop drinking beer and eating Cheetos” sort of flatulence.
Mr. Wheezer Geezer drifts away permanently to a place where he can eat Cheetos, drink Coors Light for eternity, and flatulate to his heart’s content and no one cares, because, after all, there is no bad odor in Heaven.
Mr. Wheezer’s now extra-autonomous Muskmobile is truly autonomous. With maximum speed set at 30 MPH by a traffic court judge at Mr. Geezer’s hearing four months prior, it glides along, unaware of Mr. Wheezer Geezer’s plight, artificial intelligence not withstanding.
The Muskmobile travels on toward the Social Security Administration, now unhindered by living human interference, eventually pulls into the parking lot, and shuts off, its mission accomplished. Electrons cease to flow in both the Muskmobile and Mr. Geezer. The Social Security Administration being the disconnected bureaucracy we all know and affectionately despise, pays no attention to Mr. Wheezer Geezer suddenly decaying in the Muskmobile parked in the handicapped space in their parking lot with no handicapped placard visible.
So, there sits Mr. Wheezer Geezer, slowly moldering a la John Brown, his automatic internal defibrillator blasting away ever few seconds leading curious passersby to conclude the jumping and jerking Mr. Geezer is merely fitfully sleeping.
Months later, as Mr. Geezer liquifies and his skeleton, pacemaker and both titanium hips are all that remains, a bureaucrat finally notices the Muskmobile and its petrified contents. Tapping on the window, and seeing no response from the mummified Mr. Geezer, the bureaucrat merely moves along in the comforting awareness there is now one less Mr. Geezer to contend with on the Interstate. As he walks away you can hear him murmur, “Thank you, St. Elon, savior of humanity.”