Just Put It Down And Drive

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Yes, you heard me, I’m sure I’m talking to you, just drive and watch the road around you. These are words I not only preach but I also practice them as well. Those who know me will tell you I will take a phone away from a person if they are behind the drivers wheel of a vehicle when I’m a passenger. Those people who know me would tell you that I say there is no need to be on your phone talking, texting, or surfing because whatever it is can wait. Let’s use these two pictures as an example of what happens when someone takes their eyes off the road to check a text. Unfortunately, now she will pay more to have it fixed than she paid for the car in the first place. Well, the insurance will be paying because she has a zero deductible. I actually need to back all of this up a bit and provide a little history so every bit of this makes sense. But, before we begin, a message to Allison, who I told I was going to write about her and her accident. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

To begin with I met Allison some years ago. She was 24 when she decided to get out of the Navy since she said 5 1/2 years of the 6 years was to long. She began as a waitress at Club X and eventually decided she wanted more money and began stripping. She was also going to school full-time at the University of Houston getting her degree in radiology of some sorts. Makes me a bad friend I guess because I can’t recall the specifics, oh well. She knew I would go to state auctions that featured vehicles seized for one reason or another. One weekend she invited herself along with me, my son, and my dad. This older Mercedes caught her eye, she liked it allot because it was a convertible. She got it at a good price in my opinion, $5,700.00, since the original sticker on it was somewhere close to $80,000.00. Of course, at auction, you buy the vehicle “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, so the risk falls fully on the shoulders of the buyer. She obviously thought the risk was worth it at the price she paid. She was real lucky with her great buy, she needed to have the leather replaced on the driver’s seat, had to have the trunk liner replaced, and she had to replace all 4 tires. She put that additional $3,000.00 into the car and she was on her way.

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When she graduated form UH she actively pursued a job that would become her career and soon enough she walked out of the doors of Club X to strip no more for the very last time. Life was pretty good for Allison, her career was going great and she has recently gotten engaged, setting the date for the fall of 2014. She had everything going for her and she couldn’t ask for life to be any better. This past weekend she was on her way to pick up her fiancé to go to the Christmas party being hosted by the hospital she works for when she decided to text him to let him know she was running late. Before she hit “send” all hell broke loose as she came to a very abrupt stop in the middle of the road. She had struck a deer that was standing in the road while she was looking down to send her text. She watched the deer limp off the road and into the tree line then she lost sight of it since it was dark. She called me to ask me what she should do. I informed her that she needed to contact TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.) for the phone number of the game warden in the area because the game warden will come out to the scene to locate the animal. If he finds it he will dispatch it and remove it. Other than being very shook up she was un-injured. She told me that she needed to make some calls and make some arrangements, so thanks for my help.

The following day she sent the pictures to me asking me what I think. What do I think? She really didn’t want to hear what I had to say so I kept it to myself. I will say it here tho, I know she will read it here, and I hope it makes sense to her as I did tell her I was going to write about it and use her accident as an example. She neither agreed or disagreed so I’m just running with it. Here are my thoughts on her accident. One could make the argument that she would have hit the deer regardless of her phone activity. That is both true and false. Had she not taken her eyes off the road she might have had the time to react. So, in reality, that argument is invalid and therefore I deem the subject closed from this point forward. Luckily she was not traveling at a higher speed, she was going around 40mph she says. This could have been much worse than just a trashed Mercedes, a crimpled deer, and her getting her nerves shook up a little. She could have died. She could have killed someone else. For what? A text? In my opinion there is zero excuse for being on your phone while you are driving. If it is so damn important then pull over and handle it. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

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Driving School 101

Last night my 16 y/o daughter wanted to go with me out to my property in Needville, Texas. No big deal. She has been taking driver’s education and doing exceptionally well. She now has he minor’s driver’s license. One reason she wanted to go was to get some time in my truck so I can teach her how to drive a stick (manual transmission) since I have been promising for a while now. I thought, hell why not, let’s roll. I drove us thru and across Houston and switched out with her once we hit the country roads. She did fairly well since this was only her 3rd time driving my truck and the 2 times before were around the block and to the corner store and back. Everything was going great, starting, stopping, backing up, and even going up a little hill from a dead stop. I’m thinking she has this under control. But, at that moment when I was thinking that I still was not ready to just hand over the keys and let her take my truck anytime without me. It’s a big truck, a Ford F350 Crew Cab 4×4, so I would like to be with her a few more hundred times. Once we got to the property I had some trailers to move around so I could get some lumber out from behind one of them. She backed up, I hitched them each up, and she took them to where I wanted her to. She didn’t need to back the trailers up since I was just having her pull them away from the building and out from under the cover. Then she pulled thru to drop both of the off perfectly.

I told her to turn it around and bring it back facing the opposite direction so I could load the lumber a little easier without have to drag it so far. I expected her to pull forward enough so she could back up and turn around. But, I didn’t give those explicit instructions obviously. She pulled off the gravel pad, way off, and was (I am just assuming) going to just make a wide 180 degree loop back around. It would have been a good plan and she had the right idea. But, she didn’t take into consideration that is was pretty muddy. Or, maybe she did take that into consideration and just wanted to play in the mud. Whichever way it happened doesn’t really matter. Something happened and she got spooked or something and she dumped the clutch and let the truck lose all forward motion and killed the engine. She tried very hard, in 2 wheel drive, to get it out of the mud which resulted in he burying up to the frame. Now the truck is really stuck. I decided it was time for me to take over and show her how it’s done out here in the country. I found real quick that even in full 4 wheel drive the truck wasn’t moving an inch in either direction. I had her get back behind the wheel and I went for my tractor. In a matter of minutes she was back on hard ground. She was very upset. She thought I was very angry. I told her shit happens and kissed her on the forehead to ease her upsetness. She drove the old roads back and I drove the highway again. She promises me she will have it washed by the time I get home from work today. Sitting here now, I wonder if it will be done. I know now we have some work to do if she is to be helping me out at the property, especially if it is muddy. I wonder when she will ask for her next driving lesson.