What People Do (Privately?) in their Vehicles

When I drive, I like to look at the people around me. It’s always amazing how many people seem oblivious to the fact that everyone can see them picking their nose (my friend Pam has an obsession with poop, mine is nose-picking), putting drops in their eyes, yelling at someone on their Bluetooth, or stuffing their pie-holes with a burger.

If you don’t have polarized sunglasses, I highly recommend them for voyeuristic driving activities. See, when you look through your rear-view mirror at the car behind you and you’re either A) Not wearing polarized glasses, or B) Not wearing any glasses at all, the sunlight usually creates a glare, preventing you from really seeing in. Polarized glasses however, change the direction of the sun’s reflection off the glass so that you can see through the glare. Nifty stuff this science!

Anyway, people in their vehicles are notoriously bored. Some alleviate the boredom by doing any one (or more) of the aforementioned activities—some with more aplomb than others. Most people simply sit there like bumps on a log looking like their life has come to a sudden end and they just really don’t care.

It’s sad really that a race of beings, such as humans, could evolve themselves into such mindless boredom.

When questioned, most “minds” would say that human’s greatest society-changing discovery might include:

  • the steam engine…and thereby the combustion engine of today
  • medical marvels (antibiotics, MRI’s, X-Rays, etc.)
  • the microprocessor

But I offer a different view. I believe the most society-changing discovery of all time (not including fire…cuz obviously fire trumps all) is the Air Conditioner. Yessir, once again we can thank the British for making us miserable. Were it not for one Michael Faraday in 1820, inventing the first in a long line of modern air conditioners, we might all be outside doing something more suited to our heritage. Instead, we’re stuck in our cars.

Think about it, without air conditioning, we couldn’t stand to sit in our cars; we couldn’t sit in these blasted skyscrapers and we darn sure couldn’t run our supercomputers. Oh sure, we could still have toasters and hair dryers, but there would be no advanced computers and we wouldn’t all be sitting in our automobiles—miserable—on our way to work everyday.

So next time you’re sitting at home watching sports on TV, consider the AC. And then, feel free blame the Brits.

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