Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sirens in the streets

Cruising the streets of my small town, you'll find a surprisingly resplendent number of folks behind the wheel of their vehicles who have embraced the technological advancements of interpersonal communication, mobile audio/visual entertainment and data storage/retrieval.

At any given time a well-wheeled woman in a late model Town Car will drive by sporting the latest Uhura-inspired Bluetooth cell phone ear bob.

Pre-adult minded citizens will bounce by, testing the limits of their amps and subwoofers hidden in the bowels of their pick-em up trucks, Pontiac GrandAm's and Dodge Neon's.

Soccer Mom's pulling a livestock trailer with their offspring's blue-ribbon winning pigs, sheep, cows and goats keep in constant contact via flip-up cell phones.

Teens pulling out of the parking lot at the shaved iced stand are text messaging good natured insults to their buddies a few blocks away who are pulling into the Sonic Drive-In.

Ankle-biters enter the third row seat zoned-out squad, absorbing the comic genius musings of the SpongeBob DVD playing on the 9" lcd monitor in the center console of their folk's Explorer.

IPod's are spitting out 0's and 1's in melodious form, ring tones from the Flaming Lips and Toby Keith are being downloaded and programmed into Razr phones and directions to Mrs. Whipple's Grandma's farm about 7 miles northeast of town are being patiently and politely narrated from a Lexus LS430's in-dash GPS system.

Yet with all these high tech hubbub happenings, the lone siren and flashing lights atop a speeding ambulance, somehow finds it's way through the electronic static surrounding the drivers of my small town.

And they pull over.
Without hesitation.
Every last one of them.
I've witnessed it time and time again.
People here just pull over.

No excuses are made. No "I didn't hear it," or "I couldn't hear it over my stereo," or "No one else moved, so why should I," or "I don't understand English," or "I panicked and didn't know what to do," or "The ambulance was in the other lane," or "It was going in the other direction, so I don't have to pull over, do I?"

Everyone on the road just pulls over.

And they stay pulled over for what seems to me to be a very long time. Folks here seem to take what I've deemed a "grace" period -- sort of paying respect for the person traveling in the back of the ambulance.You mean folks where y'all'ur from don't pull over when they hear a siren coming?...asks the young Firefighter sitting next to me at the wi-fi equipped Main Street coffee shop where we're discussing the topic of this blog entry.I once saw a woman roll down her window and give the one finger salute to an ambulance that had pulled up behind her and was wanting to get past," I tell him.That happen here, I 'd get their license plate down, find out who they were and call their Mama out on them...that'll learn 'em" he retorts.Indeed.


Erudite Redneck said...

Lots of us pull over and say a prayer for a funeral procession, too. :-)

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the south, that's how it's done. :)

Oh and mmmm . . . Sonic . . .