Grown-ups are often stumped for conversation when it comes to kids, so they trot out the standard chestnuts: how old are you? What’s your favorite subject? And the dreaded, what do you want to be when you grow up?
They aren’t kidding, either. Adults want answers to their dopey questions. My answer was an eye roll. I was 6 or 9 or whatever and they expected me to have a career path charted out? Get out of town. So I’d toss out immunologist or petrochemical engineer and they’d shut right up. (My parents, bless their hearts, primed me.)
You know what I wanted to be? Sixteen and a licensed driver. Period. All my hopes and dreams were pinned on that one exotic milestone. Turning 21 held no magic, neither did 18. Only 16 and only because of the age requirement for drivers. Heck, I’m no fool; I liked being a kid. I didn’t want to be an adult and still don’t.
I wanted the riding mower; I begged to mow the lawn. Free. No dice. I begged for a go-cart. No dice. I took up golf — for the cart. It was slow and top-heavy, prone to capsizing on sudden turns, and I was quickly banned.
But my dream was eventually realized and I became a licensed driver on the first try. Years and decades later I still love to drive, but things have taken a sinister turn. Specifically, what’s with the tinted windows? It’s like sharing the road with headless horsemen or vampires or Google cars and it’s deeply unnerving. Are we now a society of moles?
What are you doing in there, what are you hiding? Are you texting as you weave in and out of traffic? Talking on your cellphone? Giving me the finger? Oh, ew, you’re naked!??!
Well, doesn’t matter, it’s just creepy. Driving is an outdoor activity, you know. If you can’t deal with fresh air and sunshine go live in a mall or a basement or a hazmat suit. At least roll down a window or stick your head out of the sunroof, something to let the world know a human is in there.