Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fire flies and Iron Man

During the summer months one of my favorite activities is going to a movie in the afternoon. It is a nice cool environment and they have yummy treats, if you can afford them and it is a great way to relax.. When I was a kid one of my favorite things was catching fire flies in the summer. Fire flies still hold a fascination to me. I love to look out out over my balcony onto the golf course and see those little flashing bugs floating through the air.

My wife, Nancy, and I just got back from spending a couple of hours watching Iron Man II. It was an action packed thriller and we enjoyed it almost as much as the original Iron Man. From the audience I caught out of the corner of my eye these little flashes of light, almost like fire flies. I finally came to realize that they were not fire flies at all but cellular phones. I watched a couple of the people as they waved their little electronic candles and I could not help but wonder why woud someone pay good money to come to the movie and then insist on texting on their cell phones. Am I just ignorant but didn't they come to escape all that stuff for a little while? Usually the plot needs to be followed. Why the need to be so connected. Most of these folks looked to be 13-16 years of age. The explanation that they were busy neoroscientists or CIA agents did not seem to fit the need to stay in touch.

Let's just face it. Utilization of phones for calling, texting, instant messaging has just become a national obsession. It is not a good one in my opinion. We are way too wired up these days. We need to turn those blamed things off sometimes and read a book or have a face to face conversation with someone we enjoy talking with. It is not just an addicition for teenagers either. A lady in her mid-50's ran dead, head on into me on the sidewalk last week as she was texting and walking. I must admit that it has done got a hold on me as well. I am all too aften guilty of texting and walking and I must admit the occassional while driving.

Now that latter one is the one that can be fatal. I was on the road for DuPont for nearly 30 years. They gave me a company automobile to drive. They were fanatics about safety because of the fact that they started thier company in the late 1700's selling gunpowder. They had all too many accidents with people not paying particular attention while they were working. When you make a mistake with gunpowder your co-workers usually end up picking up your body parts and putting them in the nearest basket or crate.

I remember that for one safe driving campaign they sent us a little decal that was to be applied to the drivers side window so that you could see it and contemplate the message. The message was " While behind the wheel, driving is your ONLY business." Boy that sure has application in today's world. I saw a young lady standing outside of her badly damaged car the other day. There was no other vehicle in sight, just a guard rail. I did not see the accident but I will be willing to bet a sizeable amount of money that text messaging while she was driving was the causation.

Several states have already enacted stiff laws to forbid driving and texting. The fines can be pretty hefty. There are lots of fatlities caused by people that insisted on forwarding the latest knock knock joke they just got texted to their buddies whilst missiling down the freeway at 80 mph. Come on folks is it all that blamed important to be that wired up? Turn those things off and listen to the radio or CD player and arrive alive.

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