Gas guzzlers have special place in car pickup

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

If you could read my mind, love, what a tale my thoughts would tell.

-- Gordon Lightfoot

As each of us goes about our daily business, we tend to see things along the way that strike us as somehow unusual or out of the ordinary. These can be good things or bad, but they kind of stick in a place that puts them on memory rewind and keeps them coming back to us, often at inopportune times.

We're told that the best way to diminish the significance of these episodes is to address them, to bring them into the open. It may not get rid of the items altogether, but at least we get to release ourselves from the hold they have on us.

And thus:

n The car pickup regulars at local schools are part of one of the most interesting subcultures I've ever encountered. From the people who arrive as much as an hour and a half before school even lets out so they can be first in line (sorry, folks, no prizes) to the ones who gather to socialize and hold up lines while they carry on obviously vital conversations to the jerks who show up late and then try to cut in line, there are plenty of memorable characters in car pickup.

But the ones who are most unforgettable to me are the "Gas prices? Who cares what gas costs, I've got my cellphone" soccer moms who usually show up in their oversized SUVs a good half-hour or more before school is out and sit with their motors running through the entire wait. These woman could not care less if they burn three-quarters of a tank of gas while they're waiting, they're going to be comfortable at any cost while catching up on the latest gossip. Reason No. 237,842 why gasoline is $3.45 a gallon and rising.

n I was amazed -- and surprisingly happy -- to hear youngsters discussing the nuances of the "shotgun rule" the other day. You know the one: Whoever calls "shotgun" first gets to ride in the front passenger seat while others are relegated to the back seat. I tried to come up with other universal "rules" that have been handed down from generation to generation -- "shotgun" having originated with the Old West stagecoach riders who sat beside the driver and held a shotgun for protection ... at least that's my take -- and from location to location with very few changes. I could think of only one other.

Everyone, at least in this country, seems to have the same "jinx" rule -- with slight variations -- when they say the same thing simultaneously. The phenomenon is usually followed immediately by a quick-thinking, "Jinx, buy me a Coke," after which the slower reacting participant is legally obligated -- in all 50 states and other U.S. territories, as well as parts of Canada and China -- to buy the quicker thinker a soft drink or face penalties that, I believe, include jail time (or in China, death if the jinxed individual is female).

n Bowing to the demands of older -- and old-school -- readers, Albany author Jon Gosa has decided to make printed versions of his excellent first novel "August Ending" available to readers after all. Released late last year as an e-book only, "August" is an ingenious mix of real science and scary-because-it-could-happen science fiction that introduced Gosa to readers as a writer to watch.

The author said print and electronic versions of "August Ending" would be available on amazon.com in the next couple of weeks. The e-book version will remain available at barnesandnoble.com.

n Just wondering if anybody else out there is suffering from LMFAOverload. I was as intrigued as anyone when I first heard "Party Rocking" and "Sexy and I Know It," but those two songs -- and their creators, the duo that includes Motown founder Barry Gordy's son -- have become so everpresent I'm about ready to scream enough. Let's see ... Appear with Madonna at Super Bowl halftime? Check. Have song prominently displayed on car and M&M commercials? Check. Make sure modern radio stations play one of the songs every few minutes? Check ... and we're done.

Welcome to LMFAOversaturation.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcheralbanyherald.com.


Spike 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow Carlton. This article was all over the place. Just felt like ranting huh? This could qualify as a Squawk couldn't it? :-)


ObjectiveEyes 3 years, 6 months ago

I read it twice and I still have NO idea what Fletch is saying?


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