A pair of readable things, that’s all

One serious.

I’m not telling him the rules of the road. He’s learned those cold. I’m telling him the little things drivers are always looking for even if they’re not aware of it — hints of trouble ahead, such as one car closing a bit too fast on another, a vehicle edging out of a driveway, an inattentive pedestrian or a guy in the distance making erratic use of the lanes.

And brake lights. The one point I’ve impressed upon him more than any other is always to watch the brake lights of the cars in front of him and to take his foot off the gas immediately when he sees those lights, even when they’re in another lane of the expressway or hundreds of feet ahead.

“A brake light is like a signal flare,” is the sort of thing I’ve been saying. “It means something is happening to change the relationship among all the vehicles on the road. And whatever that change is, no matter how slight or ordinary, you have to be ready to react to it and know where your escape routes are.”

Merging onto expressways and navigating four-way stops require a deft blend of assertiveness, deference, trust and psychological insight that go far beyond the dry protocols on paper. I frequently offer him tips on how to learn to read other drivers just as they are reading him.

One not.

APRIL
Two-bedroom, two-bath condo in rehabbed building in great neighborhood. Large master bedroom. New water heater, washer/dryer hookup. Walk to public transportation. On quiet street near beautiful park. Low assessments.

MAY
Bright two-bedroom, two-bath with hardwood floors (underneath carpeting) throughout! Newly rehabbed building in great, family-friendly neighborhood. Huge master bedroom. A 42-inch plasma TV included in price! New water heater, washer/dryer hookup. On quiet street near beautiful park that no longer has hookers. Low assessments.

JUNE
Sunny, newly rehabbed two-bedroom, two-bath with high ceilings (though, admittedly, also high floors). Humongous master bedroom. New water heater, brand-new washer/dryer. A 42-inch plasma TV, practically unused box of Bounce included in price. Guaranteed no-hooker park at end of street, which, according to seed packets, will be tree-lined in 25 years. Cats OK. Low assessments.

Bonus link: Did you know you can buy an Authentic Santa Suit? Apparently so. Hammacher Schlemmer is of course the store. “This authentic Santa suit from Halco, manufacturers of Santa suits since 1945, replicates the details of the famous Christmas character indelibly marked into American social consciousness in the 1930s by artist Haddon Sundblom….”

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