My mom never reads my blogs, but she was on the computer, logged on, and was disgusted by what she saw. It made me glad she never found my dirty magazine collection in college. But I digress.

She called and said "How can you say you're glad someone died?" It became a big debate, and I ended up using a current news story to illustrate my point. It all ended with her saying, "So, what? Are you going to say you're glad that lady died, too?"

Here's what happened. In the Union-Tribune this morning, there was a story about an elderly Escondido woman who wandered away from her car in the desert in Riverside. And she died.

Now, an 85-year-old lady dying is sad. But, I've long been on this kick, that people that old shouldn't drive. My friends argue this with me.

But in the story, aside from all the people that said how wonderful and sweet she is...her family said she had bouts of "occasional confusion."

She took some wrong turns and roads, and the car got stuck. She then called her niece twice, to say she was in trouble. The niece wasn't home. The lady didn't call 911, and she died from being in the desert for a few days.

It's sad. But you know what is sadder? That her family didn't insist on her not driving. With her age, and bouts of confusion, what would've happened had she got confused, and went the wrong way on the I-15? And her car smacks into a family of four.

So, in a weird way, her death may have saved lives. And, it's hard for me to be sad when that happens. A family is grieving. Yet, it's a family that probably didn't push to take her driving privileges, because that meant them shuttling her around.

There was another story about an Ultimate Fighter, who had been on the Spike TV reality show, who died in the dessert. I believe the 37-year-old Evan Tanner lived near Oceanside.

My girlfriend told me she heard on the radio, that he blogged about going on a journey, and how he might not make it back. She then compared it to the film "Into the Wild" (which she loved; I thought was overrated).

When I read some of the reports online, it doesn't mention anything about him taking a "journey". He went to ride motorcycles and camp. When his bike ran out of gas, he made a phone call that he was going to walk to the nearest gas station. That was 100 miles away. And he died of heat exposure.

And, as much as John McCain had been trying to get ultimate fighting banned, there still hasn't been a death in the ring. Although, a few have died in weird circumstances, like this.

Comments

antigeekess Sept. 10, 2008 @ 6 p.m.

Right with ya on this one, JB. Old folks who are a danger to themselves and others shouldn't be behind the wheel.

A few years ago, I watched an old lady in a red Mercedes drifting back and forth across all lanes on Grand Ave in Pacific Beach. People were swerving to keep from getting hit, stopping altogether to avoid her, and having to perform all kinds of evasive maneuvers. I saw her stop at a green light, too, almost causing the driver behind her to rear-end her. Worse than any drunk I ever saw. (Although, who knows? She may have been drunk. Or on a lot of medication.)

My recommendation is that EVERYONE has to re-take their written test every five years, and do their on-road test every ten. The state can collect some small fees for this, and put the money somewhere decent, like, oh I dunno, EDUCATION, maybe?

They also need to reinstate some of those godawful films like "Blood on the Highway" and "Red Asphalt" that we had to watch in high school driver's ed. And make new, gorier ones for people to watch when they take and re-take their tests.

How about including some questions like, "How far does the average human body travel when thrown from a moving vehicle traveling at 60 miles an hour, if that vehicle strikes a fixed object?" In addition to questions about stopping distance, etc.

In short, do everything humanly possible to scare the crap out of people and remind them that they're just a little squishy thing traveling inside a flimsy bullet, the top half of which is mostly glass. And make it WAY easier for a person to lose their license. Drive without one, go directly to jail. No bail-outs for a week. A little time-out, for those who behave like children anyway.

And, you better have somebody bring you something to eat, because the taxpayers aren't springing for it. Nobody's ever starved in one week.

Deal with it.

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towelheadedcameljockey Sept. 11, 2008 @ 11:23 a.m.

I was just curious, do you know that saying someone is "an Ultimate Fighter" is actually incorrect? Of course if you do call a fighter that, everyone would understand what you're talking about and nobody would correct you, so that's why this is an irrelevant question really. But, I was just wondering, because I think a lot of people out there think there is actually something out there called an "Ultimate Fighter".

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Josh Board Sept. 20, 2008 @ 1:29 a.m.

Really? Ultimate fighter isn't the correct term? What is it called?

Cage Fighter?

MMA fighter?

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