Beep, beep, your holiness
"Thou shalt not flippeth the birde to the Rides bus driver, even if he shalt cut you off and turneth to the left without availing himself of the turneth signal."
Yeah, yeah, I know. I was scratching my ear. I like to use one finger. Don't have a cow.
"Thou shalt not honketh at the drunke who double-parketh in front of the bar on Lake Avenue, for he shall need to lie down in green parking lots and sleepeth it off."
Yeah, yeah, I wasn't going to honk. I was just dashboard drumming the hook from Motley Crue. Chill out, dude.
"Thou shalt not tailgateth the SLPD cop car, for my papal library carde fines are not payethed up, and I would be sore afraid to spend the nighteth in the local hoosegow."
Yeah, yeah, I wasn't tailgating. That officer is the size of a Cub Scout - I just wanted to make sure he's old enough to drive.
"Thou shalt not discardeth the Snickers wrapper upon the public property, for the messy shall not inherit the earth."
Yeah, yeah, I know. I was just trying to read the wrapper. I'm pretty sure those things are made out of vegetables and Vitamin E and stuff, you know. You need to relax back there.
"Thou shalt not runneth over the IRS agent, but things really do get a little iffy when it comes to tax collection, and I doubt if anyone would really holdeth it against thee."
Yeah, yeah, I wasn't going to run him over. Sure is fun to see him drop all his papers and run for it though. Heheh.
"Yes, my son, I believe that he has wettethest himself."
So, Your Holiness, I don't want to complain, but how long are going going to be sitting in my back seat?
"My son, you are surely well aware that the Vatican has released its Ten Commandments for Drivers. It has been determined that you are in violation of all ten of them as well as a couple that we had not previously thought of. I'm riding along until I am certain that you have achieved the proper level of automotive piety."
Holy cow - um, pardon me... What I mean to say is, do you really have the power to declare a Ten Commandments? I thought we had Ten already, and let's face it - the original is a pretty sharp piece of work that is going to be hard to follow.
"My son, the world needs guidance. People have let their tempers get the better of them. This Ten Commandments of Driving is just the beginning. I'm already working on a Ten Commandments of Eating at a Sub Sandwich Shop, a Ten Commandments of I-pod Use, a Ten Commandments of Fishing, and the most challenging effort since Moses parted the water hazard - The Ten Commandments of Golfing - "Thou shalt not hurleth thy nine iron into the lake while taking the Lord's name in vain."
Wow, good luck with that one. Makes that "bearing false witness" one look like a walk a park.
"My son, I'll be happy if the Driving Commandments helps people to live a better life. As I have said, 'Cars particularly lend themselves to being used by their owners to show off, and as a means for outshining other people and arousing a feeling of envy.'"
In Italy, maybe. There aren't many Ferarris parked at the Pilot-Tribune. I doubt this old Jeep with the paint peeling off the front, the window that won't open and my daughter's Cheetos stains on the seats is arousing too much envy at the moment.
"My son, as I have said, 'Cars tend to bring out the primitive side of people.'"
Well, you've got a point there. Look at the dude in the Pontiac convertible over there. He's a throwback if ever I've seen one. Better humor him. "Hello Congressman, nice day..."
"My son, I think you should turneth off 'Highway to Hell'. I'm sure I've got a CD of Gregorian chants in my robes somewhere - now where did I put that...?"
Oh, my bad. I wasn't paying attention. It's the guys at the radio station. Bad seeds, the lot of them. Can you put in a good word to get them consigned to purgatory? Here, I'll just punch up "Stairway to Heaven."
"My son, you don't seem to be taking this seriously. Did you know that 1.2 million people are killed on the roads each year - that's many, many times more than in the wars of the world... and you surely know that many innocent lives are lost to drinking drivers."
Your Holiness, you make a good point. But what can we do?
"Well, for starters, you can pipe down and hang a louie over there. I think Pizza Hut has the buffet today. Let's get off the road, it's nuts out here today."
Look, Your Magnificence, if you're going to be a back-seat driver, you can at least make yourself useful.
"What would you have me do, my son?"
Either a prayer for $2 ethanol, or you could pony up your share of the gas money...
"Did I mention the Eleventh Commandment of Driving? Thou shalt not get greedy with thy papal passenger. Now turn up the AC, watch out for that squirrel and pass me that Slurpee, my son. Let's roll."
* Dana Larsen is the editor of the Pilot-Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org