Every now and then the Doc is invited to venture out to talk to folks about the pleasures and perils of motoring in Pinellas. For these special occasions I cull through the Ask Dr. Delay reader mail and share a few of the best and most interesting letters with the audience. This usually lightens the mood, which can quickly grow dark when one is speaking of roundabouts, speed humps and toll booths. Here are some of my favorites:
Dear Dr. Delay,
Where can I pick up one of those decals for my rear window, which seem to only exist to keep family members of state troopers and sheriff's deputies and such from being pulled over? I'm not a family member, but I sure would like one of those stickers! Also, I really wonder how the state patrol or the union can support the use of such decals. They can say what they want, but they exist only to identify people who shouldn't be pulled over. Do you think you could get me one?
Not so easy rider
In the next decade, most cars will have video recording capabilities like the cops already have.
A buddy of mine is installing a back-up camera on his car (hooked up to the car stereo) for his really short wife so she can get a better view when she is driving in reverse. I would think the next step is for recording capabilities for bikers to have helmet cameras to be able to present video files to the fuzz to report aggressive drivers that routinely like to mess around with bikers just for the fun of it. So the moral of the story is this: attention all aggressive operators of whatever kind of vehicle you've decided to operate, WATCH YER BEHAVIOR, you no longer can operate without someone being able to take at least a snapshot of your license plate or cell-phoning the behavior in. Personally I report 5 to 10 carpool violators a week this way and I find it very satisfying.
Dear Miss Delay,
My sister Anne Marie is coming to town from Minnesota for a visit next month. She is flying in to Tampa. Her flight arrives at the airport at 5:45 p.m. our time. I believe the day is a Tuesday. What time do I need to leave my house in Gulfport (which is Eastern Daylight Time) in order to get to the airport in Tampa?
Cats in the lap
I believe a law should be passed whereas any animal cannot be interfering with the driver of a vehicle. But I'd say that it should depend on the comfort level and (preferably non) actions of the animal. My current cat is content to remain in her carrier in the front seat, as long as she can see me; the couple of times I've given her the option with an open hatch, she's gotten on the floor right under the brake pedal, so for her the hatch usually remains closed. My previous cat, on the other hand, was completely non-disruptive and preferred to lie on the dash, where she could see things going by. I didn't bother her and she didn't bother me. So I'd say it depends on the temperament of the animal. Sorry if you disagree, but there are way too many cars on the roads nowadays to drive like you live in the country.
For whom the shirt tolls
Where can I get one of those Hawaiian-looking shirts that the fellas in the tollbooths wear? I keep trying to find out, but when I stop to ask, the car behind mine always starts honking when I'm asking the fellas about where can I get a shirt like that. I think those shirts are pretty snappy and I'd really like to get one. It'd probably be nice and cool for wearing while you're playing golf and I think it could pass for a Hawaiian shirt if you were going to one of those Hawaiian shirt theme parties, for instance. Anyhow, if you could find out for me where to buy one of those shirts I sure would be grateful.
(To purchase the Florida Turnpike toll shirts, call 1-800-749-7453 and ask for ext. 3594).
Until next week, happy motoring!
E-mail Dr. Delay at firstname.lastname@example.org to share traffic concerns, questions.