little Sally speedbump
(first appeared at theyellowham.com 11/13/2013)
I am writing to express my displeasure at the recent article that you ran in the Eye On The Community section about the rash of hit and run incidents involving children taking place in my town.
Three is not a “rash.” You wouldn’t call them a “rash” of Little Pigs would you?
Aside from that gross exaggeration, the tone of the story made it seem that somebody was intentionally going out and running over kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. I realize that you have newspapers to sell but frankly I don’t think that kind of sensationalism is the way to improve circulation. I always thought that the press was supposed to be fair and non-judgmental. The truth is, unless you’ve driven a mile in my inebriated shoes, I suggest you stick with the facts and leave the name-calling to the trashier publications.
You must admit that waking up with your car sitting in the middle of your lawn, still running, with a tricycle stuck in the front grill is enough to make any man want to go throw a few back. Hair of the dog that bit me and whatnot. For you to infer from three straight days of incidents that some heartless villain was at work was just irresponsible.
I’m just a man, same as anyone. Flesh and blood and beer and whatever corn chips are on sale.
Why not do an exposé about how easily available alcohol is or how delicious it is or how useless passer byers can be, what with all their shrieking and screaming, when what’s needed is less theatrics and more first-aid? Take lemons and make some lemonade for heaven’s sake. I guess you don’t have the stomach for that kind of hard-hitting journalism. You prefer to jump on the bandwagon and bash the easy target in this scenario. I’ve heard that in Mexico if a bus driver runs over someone, they are instructed to back over them because it’s cheaper to settle with their family than pay out to a victim. I bet you’ve never done a story on that in your precious Eye On The Community.
If you want to know truth, I plowed over that kid yesterday because I sneezed in a school zone and the next thing I knew I heard that tell-tale thud. You know right away; it’s not like when you hit a dog or a deer or a raccoon or one of those inflatable things that are painted like a clown with boxing gloves that you punch and they pop right back up. I’d only had a few cold ones up until that time, but a few wet sneezes later I realized why they ask drivers to slow down to 25 in front of schools. Those little devils come out of nowhere. One minute you’re fiddling with the radio because a crappy Sheryl Crow song is on and the next you’re ducking down behind the wheel as all hell breaks loose.
So on top of having to spend the rest of the day with a plunger trying to pull dents out of my hood, I have to read some spiteful work of complete fiction about how a maniac driver is on the loose, tooling around looking to run down innocent children. When I came to the part about my car being tan I almost spit my Pabst Blue Ribbon across the kitchen. In what world is my station wagon tan? That’s not even close. What with so many horrified witnesses, I’d expect you to have at least come up with the right car color. I swear, after reading your article I actually started to doubt I was the one you were talking about.
Honestly, I’m half tempted to pound a couple and head over to visit you in person, man to man like, but you’ve gone and made me self-conscious about my driving.
I hope you’re happy with yourself and the biased rag you call a newspaper.
– Insulted in Lancaster