Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dashboard Dining is Distracted Driving

Luigi Fraschini wrote in his Driving Today article "Eating on the Run", "While 68 percent of Americans say they eat in their cars to save time, they also have concerns about messiness, trash or spills that come along with eating on the go. In fact, 37 percent of respondents cited messiness and spills as their primary concern while eating in the car. Happily another 33 percent cited safety."

As the guy from Invisible Children and Maria Shriver can attest, if you are going to have a cause and try to change the way people see your chosen good will, then you shouldn't screw up or get busted doing something unsavory or doing exactly what you are preaching against (him Joseph Kony and her hand-held cell phones). I have been making sure that in this endeavor to educate Texans about the distractions that we face in our vehicles these days, I don't do anything that would be distracted driving. However, I might have forgotten a big one, DASHBOARD DINING--the art of eating while driving.

Well, I am busted! And I almost paid the ultimate price for it. Doubly bad is that it's raining here in my part of the Lone Star State and traffic only gets worse when the wet stuff falls from the sky. We see it so rarely that we forget how to drive when rain visits us.

Nevertheless, this morning I was in a rush to get to work and decided to eat and drive to save time. I made it through my Sonic Ultimate Meat and Cheese Burrito just fine. It was just as I popped the yummy little mint (the soft kind that melt easily THANK GOD!) into my mouth that a fellow commuter cut me off. I braked hard to avoid a collision and narrowly saved us both from having to do a rain dance to exchange information. Down side...that not so little mint flew down my throat WHOLE and wedged itself sideways.

Although panicked, I managed to pull into a parking lot safely. It might have only been a minute but I made myself stay calm to assess the situation even though I was sure that I was going to die of suffocation before I could figure how to give myself the Heimlich maneuver using the steering wheel. Then I realized that I was still breathing.

Thank you, Baby Jesus! It went down the "right" way, but Holy-things-swallowed-whole, it hurt and no manner of continuous swallowing was making it budge. I decided a hot beverage might melt the little offender more quickly. I got to my office and made myself a hot tea. I think it has finally dissolved or moved on down to the stomach. However, this life lesson will stick with me. No more dashboard dining! No more distracted driving!

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