Don’t look now, but there’s something strange going on in the car next to you


What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on the highway?

How about a driving dog?

Or cat?

And if animals can do it, then so can kids.

(Nice product placement for Chuck E. Cheese. Don’t think we didn’t notice that, you shill.)

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the road, then you probably know better than to look at the car next to you. Because you can never be sure what you’ll see.

Not so long ago, I pulled up to a stop light next to a late-model hybrid. I looked through the window only to see two college kids engaged in an indecent act. I turned my head as inconspicuously as I could, but not before my six-year-old asked, “Daddy, what are they doing?”

I wasn’t even sure what they were doing — only that it wasn’t “G”-rated. Let your imaginations run wild, fellow motorists.

Point is, people do all kinds of things in cars that they shouldn’t, and they never bother to talk about them. So let’s talk about that.

I don’t know what’s happening in the back seat. Some of the worst Interstate distractions come from passengers in the back seat — usually kids, but sometimes pets or a combination of the two — who are doing things of which the driver is unaware and would never, ever approve. Like teenagers who make obscene gestures at other drivers because, you know, that’s so amusing. Or younger kids putting on a puppet show for the other motorists who are passing the minivan at 85 mph. Which is fine until the puppets start doing, um, inappropriate things.

Roll up your window.Some of the most distracting things don’t just take place behind the window of a moving car; they happen when the window is rolled down. Like dogs that regularly stick their heads out of the window, open their mouths, and let their tongues hang out. If they want to outlaw distracted driving, they should stop dogs from doing that. Seriously. Kids, too. Rolling down the window and sticking any part of your body out of it should be against the law. It probably is, but what do the kids care?

Yes, they’re made of brass. What’s even more annoying than backseat misbehavers or window rollers? My money’s on the irritating modifications that have absolutely nothing to do with human behavior. Usually, it’s something attached to the back of the car, like Garfield’s tail or a human foot emerging from the trunk. Poor kitty. Bumpers and below the bumpers are worse. I’ve seen plastic cow udders and metal testicles under pickup trucks. Since when is that funny? Plus, try explaining that to a six-year-old while trying to steer a vehicle.

We can all agree that distracted driving is a problem, but to what extent does your car or truck contribute to it? Did you say, “Not at all”? Even if you don’t have kids or pets, check for bumper stickers. Close enough!

If you want other drivers to pay attention to the road, then for goodness sake, please stop trying to distract them.

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