What's crackin', folks? I don't know about you, but I'm stoked for the Olympics to start this evening. But first, let's touch on a few things before we officially call it a week.
- Before I forget, if you're up for your weekly laugh, here's the link to my Thursday TV thingie. Interestingly enough, at the time I went on the air, I'd received only one comment on the blog post I did Wednesday about happiness. So my theory had gone largely unchallenged publicly. I did, however, receive a bunch of emails from people who said they didn't want to make their comments public, but that they agreed just a little with the notion that some people who aren't happier later in life attribute that lack of happiness to having spent most of their lives and most of their time working for other people's happiness. Some emailed me to say they didn't want their comments public on this topic, but they strongly disagreed with me. I'd say it was a 60/40 split in terms of the emails. We were all over the place on TV though, and trust me there was nothing scientific about our rambling. Anyway, if you didn't read about the happiness study, here's a link to that post.
- Moving right along, cops and federal authorities in Pembroke Pines, a Miami-area city, have captured a man who fatally shot a federal agent earlier in the week over a road rage incident. Seriously, this story has reformed my road rage. According to details investigators have shared with media, the shooter, a 65-year-old man, and the victim, a 52-year-old man, were driving down the street and got into some sort of altercation. They apparently made obscene gestures at one another and traded words. Then the older guy pulled into a post office. The victim, whose 12-year-old daughter was in the car with him, followed. Both men got out of their cars. The dispute continued for a brief moment. The suspect pulled a gun from his car and shot the victim once in the head. I feel horrible for the victim's family, especially his daughter who watched all this go down. I'm not kidding you when I say I'm going to make a concerted effort to keep my middle fingers and chin flips to myself next time someone cuts me off in traffic. It's a bad habit to begin with and shows a glaring lack of self control on my part. Of course, this murder wasn't the victim's fault in any case. I'm just saying if you can't make stupid people behave better, the next best thing is to not interact with 'em at all. And that's my plan on the road from now on.
- In the how-NOT-to-show-your-kids-a-good-time category, a woman in Marathon, FL, was busted Tuesday for driving around a grocery store parking lot with her 3-year-old granddaughter sitting on the roof of the car. The article we ran says the woman told police she had a firm grip on the girl's leg and that she was driving at a snail's pace. A local radio host reported this morning that cops later learned the child had requested a trip to Orlando, I guess to Disney or one of the other theme parks. The grandma said it wasn't in the budget, and so she recreated a theme park ride with a little bit of low speed roof surfing.
- Finally, a little food for thought: I post about manners and civility and etiquette, and where those things are lacking, and when they're displayed in spades. And I always argue that its the subtle things that best demonstrate civility or a lack of it. I've always believed that grandiose gestures are made with an audience in mind. So as I left the office yesterday I was sitting at a traffic signal in a little bit of a salty mood. What can I tell you? I'm human. My red light was the last before the Interstate ramp. There was one straight-ahead lane to the ramp - the lane in which I sat at the head of the line - and a single turn lane. Impatient people who see the long line of cars waiting to get on the ramp, often speed down the turn lane, and when the light turns green they dart over to the straightaway in order to bypass the cars that have been patiently waiting. So a guy pulls up next to me in a bright yellow Lamborghini Gallardo. Right away my mood soured further, 'cause I assumed he's one of the impatient ones, and worse, he was gonna show off his fast fancy car and leave me with a grill full of dust as he cut in front of me to get to the highway. But a strange thing happened. Shortly before the light turned green, I glanced over at the guy and I could see by the look on his face he'd just realized he was in a turn lane, the turn lane. The light changed and I hesitated to let him go. Why fight the inevitable, right? If this guy wanted to cut in front of me, there was nothing I could do to block him unless someone put jet packs on the back of my Subaru without my knowledge. But he didn't budge. So I looked over at him, and he rolled down his window. I cracked mine, and he said "I'm sorry. I didn't realize this was a turn lane. Go ahead. I'll wait my turn." Imagine that! In my town, where rushing around is a way of life this guy was courteous enough to offer to wait his turn...even though he easily could have floored it and been in the next county by the time I got my car up to 55 MPH. Remember, it's not the big, dramatic acts that will tell you who has manners and civility about them. It's the little things.