Dear Backroads Ms. Manners,
What is wrong with people? How can the species continue with so many individuals missing the common sense gene?
Today I was behind a car in the McDonald's drive-thru line that had no back windshield. And in the back seat was a little girl at least four years old sucking on a pacifier like a real-life Maggie Simpson all hopped up on methamphetamines. She turned to stare at me suck-suck-suck over and over, nothing between us but the safety glass of my own Tahoe's windshield. You would think that family could save up their fast-food dollars to get a back windshield put into that car. And it don't cost nothin' to pry the pacifier out of your nearly-adult daughter's soon-to-be misshapen mouth.
Oh, but that was not the extent of my mind-blowing observations today, Ms. Manners! For the second time this week, I encountered a slim girl-child driving a John Deere Gator on a busy convenience store parking lot. WTF, Ms. Manners? Those vehicles are illegal on the roadways, even with adult drivers. So what kind of dad lets a six-year-old drive one across a mini mall, down through a commuter parking lot, across a road leading to an interstate-side motel, and onto a convenience store lot with a 12-pump gasoline bay?
My head is spinning. Please advise.
Sniffing Smelling Salts as I Type
What is wrong with people is a bad case of the ME-ME-MEs. The current crop of Homo sapiens are too busy living for their own pleasure to care for their young. The herd will be thinned as nature intends, eventually eliminating the line that is without the common sense gene.
Don't worry your sniffing little sniffer. Is it any skin off of your sniffer if a hayseed family carts its offspring around with no barrier between the young 'uns and any debris that might be kicked up from automobile tires at 75 mph? I think not. What would you suggest, that they strap helmets on their progeny to prevent brain damage? That would sorely cut into the food budget. The food budget that goes farther at McDonalds than at grocery stores that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, smelly cheeses, and lean meats. Have you not heard? Classic sandwiches are now two for five dollars.
Put yourself in the noggin of that pacified child, Sniffy. Would you not need continual comfort once you realized that you have no chance to raise yourself above the level of your parental units? Times are tough in this day and age. And they ain't a-changin'. So lay off the binky hate. At least this child was not on the cover of the New York Times suckling at her mama's bosom, without the means to purchase intensive therapy as this image follows her throughout her natural life.
A father allows his six-year-old daughter to drive a motorized vehicle in areas of heavy traffic for one of several reasons. Perhaps he had partaken of too much celebratory Father's Day adult beverages, and did not want to risk a DUI that would leave him unable to provide for his family, such as buying brand-name off-road vehicles costing upwards of $8,000. Perhaps he was saving money on gas so he could afford convenience store treats for the child, and let her drive so he could do mental math while not being a distracted driver. Perhaps he was looking for a lawsuit and sympathy. Again, this is not really your business, Sniffy, unless you ram into that sweet child o' his in order to teach them both a lesson. And I fear that you would be the one to earn a failing grade in such an interaction.
Lighten up. Child-rearing techniques are best left to the actual parents of said children, and not regulated by the government and/or corncob-butted busybodies such as you, Sniffy. Even common-senseless folks have a right to procreate, and raise up their young 'uns in the manner they see fit.
Backroads Ms. Manners