While gathering birthday gifts for my daughter, Anne, this week, I found a hidden treasure in the basement that I planned to send.
It’s a grip it and flip it spiral-bound book entitled “Frank’s Blunt Driving Bits.”
One year when we took our children to New York City to celebrate Christmas, we had dessert at a popular dessert restaurant called Serendipity. Even today their original, outrageously divine frozen hot chocolate is so popular that there’s a one-hour wait to get in, but we didn’t have to wait that long back in the day.
In the gift shop we purchased “Frank’s Blunt Driving Bits” to read the tips.
The tips could help you make friends insult strangers, pick up dates, and, best of all, be blunt.
The idea was to flash a tip outside your car window to other drivers.
Frank’s tips were, for the most part, blunt.
Among them, in emboldened letters were: “Move,” “Watch the road,” “Idiot” and “Give it up, Gramps.”
But, there were also gentler ones such as: “It’s Friday,” “This car won’t work when stolen,” and “Let me over” and “Wave.”
We rarely pointed them out of the window but did have fun figuring out what tips, which were mostly crass, would be appropriate to certain drivers at the time.
Now, flash forward to 2014.
I told my husband, Tommy, recently that I feel like Murfreesboro drivers are so courteous.
One of my main traffic patterns involves merging from two lanes to one on North Thompson Lane from Northwest Broad Street, and I truly think everyone tries to navigate that graciously.
And more often than not, I see drivers letting vehicles enter from side streets in front of them.
Most drivers are really very courteous.
However, there have been those lately that make me want to pull out the Frank in me.
Who are some of those people who are so angry out there?
It was bitterly cold when I was coming out of a shopping center on Old Fort Parkway the other day, and, even with the windows rolled up, I heard someone drive by me screaming truly obscene words to another because he was mad for some reason.
Is yelling at someone really going to solve anything?
Because I’m married to the mayor, I always try to go the speed limit everywhere I go.
I wasn’t always like that until I came to a realization that if I have to be stopped for any reason the poor police officer probably would be put in an uncomfortable position. Do you give the mayor’s wife a ticket or not?
Perhaps, there are rules for that situation, but I don’t want anyone to have to figure it out.
If the police officer gives me a ticket, it’s wrong. If he doesn’t, it’s wrong. So, I made a conscious decision to try to never put an officer in that position, ever.
Just yesterday, I was going the speed limit on Medical Center Parkway, which I thought everyone knew that driving over 40 miles per hour on that road is a surefire way to get a ticket, and a person behind me in the right lane decided I wasn’t going fast enough.
He pulled around me and angrily shook his fist at me and gestured that I was wrong. Again, I was in the right lane.
I’m generally a nice person, but I have enough of a mean streak in me that made me want to slam on my brakes and make him hit me for following too close. But I was busy and didn’t have time for the consequences.
Besides, doing so would almost turn me into him, right?
Why are people so angry?
Why is everyone we in such a hurry?
What can’t we just go with the flow?
Frank obviously was inspired to spiral-bind his own suggestions, and after these unpleasant incidents, I felt almost tempted enough myself to flash an insult or two.
It is quite possible that his little tidbits might not make it to Anne for her birthday after all.