THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON PARADE.
I live in a rather small community located in the mountains of the sunny state of Florida. When I tell people that, I am often greeted with looks of disbelief or that tiny patronising smile you give to a person who you believe has lost 8 of the 9 marbles in his bag. But honestly these are the mountains of Florida…ok not mountains by the traditional definition but high enough that my truck kicks into overdrive trying to make up the climb.
Living here has brought many moments of entertainment as well as frustration. You see, we have a rather large community of “seniors” that call this area home during the winter months. Much like the bird population they migrate once a year and we affectionately call them “snow birds” for that reason. While they don’t “fly” in, they do arrive in massive numbers via RV’s, motor homes, converted buses, land yachts and the assorted motorcoaches, all of which contain the supplies needed to “winter” away from home and they are usually “towing” something which just adds to the fun of trying to maneuver in traffic.
They come from all points north which is defined as anything above the Florida / Georgia line and to the west of Alabama. This migration starts with the first cool blast of air and usually doesn’t end until the first robin shows up. While some who have never encountered this may think “so what” they have also never had to deal with the fun of being on the roads with them. There is nothing quite like encountering “grandpa” behind the wheel of a 35 foot boat on wheels, towing a 1975 Caddy, two motorcycles, and a golf cart while “grandma” tries to read the map without her glasses, while answering the phone and sipping a glass of cooking sherry at 8 in the morning while your just trying to get to work… alive.
More than once I have found myself joining this “parade” and wondering just who the hell gave these people a license. There really needs to be tighter rules I think so while killing time doing 25 in the 55 zone I have devised my own “test” that I hope the DMV will implement some day. It goes like this:
Answer yes or no to determine your eligibility to drive .
1. I need the couch cushion under my ass to see over the wheel….yes or no
2. I require a hearing aid to hear the ambulance approaching….yes or no
3. I require my GPS to have a 52 inch flat screen so that I may read it….yes or no
4. I must stop at every rest area to either tinkle or change my diaper….yes or no
5. I consider any speed over 30 street racing….yes or no
6. I need to be in the far right lane to make a left turn…yes or no
7. I travel with my wife so I stop at all yard sales, garage sales and outlet stores at a moments notice and without warning….yes or no
8. I often turn on my blinkers and wonder why my wipers aren’t working….yes or no
9. I sometimes forget which one of the pedals on the floor is for “go” and “stop”…yes or no
10. I believe the mirrors on the sides of my vehicle are for checking to see if I remembered to put in my teeth…yes or no
11. I believe that it is my job to get out on the road at the first sign of rain…yes or no
12. I believe it is my job to lead the “Sunday Afternoon Parade” regardless of the actual day…yes or no
IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED YES TO MORE THAN TWO OF THESE QUESTIONS…YOU MAY NOT DRIVE ANYTHING BIGGER THAN A TRICYCLE!Stop pouting…and where is your helmet?
If we manage to survive the initial migration we are left to deal with the next several months of having them on the roads with us. There must be a little black book that is sent to you on your 60th birthday that outlines how to be a “senior driver”, because while this is a very diverse crowd they have many things in common, among them is “How to endanger hundreds, on your next trip to the grocery store”.
Now smile and wave…the parade is starting.
Copyright 2010 Theresa Allen