Some might say that I am easily distracted. I just say that I notice everything. Not for very long, but I notice things. And it’s not just squirrels. For instance when I was younger I had this fear that I was going to be the victim of a hit-and-run accident, and I knew that getting plowed over by a car might cause one to lose the last few seconds of memory before the accident, leading the police to never catch the perp who ran me down. Therefore I decided to memorize every license plate of every car that drove near me, just in case. If I was crossing the street, whichever car was approaching the intersection (thus possibly being the car that would attack me and flee) would have its plate number embedded in my mind, so that when I woke up in the hospital I would bolt up in bed and shout “811 FRZ! That’s the guy that got me!” Luckily I have never had to use this system, but I still read every license plate of every car that I see, even if I don’t commit them all fully to memory anymore.
So we have me, driving along the road, and I am reading license plates and noticing squirrels, and so, to keep myself engaged, I like to respond to these passing stimuli. My wife is used to this now, so she keeps her eyes peeled while we drive together. I will often comment on passing billboards, signs, bumper stickers, or the facial expressions of the other drivers, leading to some confused exchanges if she did not happen to see the thing that I was commenting on. And this could make it very hard to play one of my favorite driving games: yelling at road signs.
If you are driving with me over a bridge or other slightly dangerous area, it is quite possible that I will, completely out of the blue, shout out “TRUCKS FAIL! TRUCKS FAAAAAAAIIIILLLLL!” I want you to know that this is not because I have gone insane. This is because I have seen a sign that says “Trucks Do Not Pass,” and I am simply responding to it. There is a chance that we might be in the middle of a conversation and suddenly I will stop short and holler out “NEVER!” If so, there is a high probability that I have seen a yield sign. I love this game.
Town names are often quite fun to respond to as well. Every time we drive by the exit sign for Contoocook, NH, my wife and I invariably shout out “Con TOOOO Cook! No you Con’t! Con TOO! Con TOO cook!” It never gets old, people. Or man, how we love to go through New Jersey and see signs for Mahwah, which inevitably devolve into impressions of the Princess Bride wedding officiant. I mean, why else would they put those signs there if they didn’t want us to do that?
So as you are driving along the literal roads of life, I would encourage you to respond vigorously to any signs that you feel are speaking to you at any given moment. It makes the trip more interesting and, come on, how can you resist a sign that says “Stop: 3-Way Speed Hump?” Answer: you can’t.