Monday, June 02, 2008

Fear Itself

“Freedom of thought is the only good that is perhaps more precious than peace, for the simple reason that, without it, peace would merely be another name for servitude.”
- Andre Comte-Sponville

Here are some more pictures of stuff I can’t grow in my backyard. The pictures are of my sister’s garden in Michigan. She's too busy gardening to have her own blog.

Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Freedom of Speech. But recently, I was caught in the ripple of an e-mail message circulating about a new scam thieves use to steal your car and terrorize you. Here’s the heart of the matter, purportedly from “a Pine Bluff, AR Policeman”. In the seductively gravelly whisper of a horror book on tape, the message says, “You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into Reverse. When you look into the rearview mirror to back out you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view…” That’s when the thieves “appear out of nowhere” and jack your car. Walking and talking about fear itself: terror is another name for servitude.

Or, I suppose you could do what I do - and simply not look in your rearview mirror before you shift into “Reverse”. I know what you’re thinking, but this story must be true too, because the chain mail message includes “THIS IS NOT A JOKE” in the subject line. The part about me not looking in my rear view mirror before backing is so true I forgot to laugh.

And now for something seemingly completely different.

I’m thinking of starting an e-mail chain to spread the word that me and my college friends weren’t crazy when we were watching the Wizard of Oz, and at the exact moment the Cowardly Lion roared for the third time, somebody started playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Literate college kids all seem to know that the song TOTALLY goes with the movie at that point, and explains some of life’s greatest mysteries. Rest assured, THIS IS NOT A JOKE EITHER. Movie and song sync perfectly even if you’re NOT stoned and listening to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” when the tornado hits Kansas.

To paraphrase what Bill Murray’s character said in Caddy Shack, about how a swami once told him he’d have universal awareness in the moment before he dies: “So, we’ve got that going for us.” So let’s all just be careful about retrieving messages left on our rear windshields, and we can all get on with our lives.


Esther Montgomery said...

I think

'Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of Freedom of Speech.'

Would make a great quote too.


bs said...

you are hilarious! but i have to tell you, you should totally look in your rearview mirror. i was hit in the driver's side by someone in a parking lot because they didn't look. i was fine so that's not the point of the story... the crazy thing is, later that day, as we were leaving the parking lot, a woman pushing a stroller stopped to tie her shoe, and she bent over and left the stroller directly behind my (RUNNING!!) car. only this teeny tiny black handle showed, so i shifted into park until she was done. anyhoo... always look behind you lest you drive over stupid people's babies, and back over creeps who stick stuff on your rear window in order to carjack you. /mom

kate smudges said...

So true with the fear of terror ... and yes! pink floyd's dark side of the moon album fits perfectly with the Wizard of Oz. I hadn't thought about that for years and years.

Your car-jacking email story reminds me of the tv ads on CNN about house alarm systems ... creepy guys slinking about breaking in ... damn.