An item in The Old Reliable recently reminded motorists that it’s against the law to run over pedestrians, even if they’re crossing the street against the light.
The reminder is a humanitarian service for pedestrians and bad news for some impatient motorists who seemingly respect street-crossing pedestrians much as they respect squirrels or possums – by stepping on the gas.
This seems especially true in New York City, where, to me, even crossing with the light, is a notable act of courage.
Nevertheless, North Carolina’s pedestrian safety record is nothing to boast about. The state ranks eighth in the nation in pedestrian fatalities.
Never miss a local story.
It’s not surprising that traffic safety studies attribute part of the increase in pedestrian fatalities to the obsessive use of cell phones by pedestrians as well as motorists.
I recently read an account of an Oceanside, Calif., woman whose car struck a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. The body was thrown through the windshield, coming to rest on the passenger seat, except for a leg that was ripped from the torso and thrown through the car’s rear window.
The driver, who drove a mile with the body beside her before crashing into someone’s lawn, was charged with drunken driving.
On a lighter note: One Sunday morning, when our younger daughter was 5 or so, we were driving past First Presbyterian Church downtown.
Spotting an over-the-street sign reading “Yield to Pedestrians,” she said excitedly, “Look, Daddy. The sign says ‘Yield to Presbyterians!’”
Let us all concentrate on yielding to pedestrians, regardless of their religious preference.
Why the fly?
The only fly in the ointment of our recent week at Indian Beach was a house fly.
Flies are no longer the problem they once were. I seldom see a fly these days. But this one, which I named Roscoe, pestered me for a solid week, alighting on my hands as I worked on the laptop, perching on my nose as I attempted to nap, even arrogantly trying to share my midafternoon watermelon treat.
During our stay I must have taken close to 50 swats at Roscoe to no avail. It was uncanny!
I was constantly reminded of poet Ogden Nash’s dissertation on the fly:
God in his wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
They didn’t die
Collecting obits that avoid the use of the word died is among reader Jim Wheeler’s hobbies. He sends along some examples. Names of the deceased are omitted.
▪ died of a heart attack and went to be with the Cosmic Aardvark in the sky. He was a scientist, naturalist, intellectual and wonderful father and friend.
▪ died at age 69, having finally made it from point A to point B.
▪ left this life, fork in hand.
▪ at age 83 slipped her mortal bonds on April 13 to assume a new position as Celestial Director of Social Events.
As the George Gershwin song says, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”
And, I might add, the eatin’ is especially good with all the fresh vegetables available. What better culinary delights than corn on the cob, Ponderosa ’maters and fried squash?
Squash is not only tasty, but also one of the easiest vegetables to grow. It is as prolific as kudzu.
When I think of squash, I often think of the time I accompanied my sister to Fairview Baptist Church up in Surry County.
As we exited the car at the church, she locked the car doors.
“Why are you locking the car?” I asked. “Don’t you trust these good Baptists?”
“It’s squash season,” she replied matter-of-factly, explaining that well-meaning friends and neighbors have a habit of bringing bags of surplus squash to church and leaving them in friends’ cars.
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