So have you seen the VW Commercial, where the mother get’s into a Honda Del Sol tuner – or should that be half-tuner?
I laugh my ass off every time I see that spot – what a fantastic commercial! Chamillionaire’s song Ridin’ Dirty is my new favorite – just as long as I stick with the chorus and ignore most of the other lyrics… Let’s see, I’m white as the day is long and for fun, I ride a bicycle.
Here’s something more my speed:
So the rumor mill is cranking in high gear and everyone is excited, yet again… They’re testing an instant sobriety pill! Of course, it takes a real drunk to point out how it will be used in reality versus how the powers that be think it will be used.
Now, it’s being billed as “instant”, so let’s assume it takes less than five minutes to work… I’m not going to bother looking it up because they release news about a new sobriety pill every six months to a year, and have done so for decades – nothing has ever come of it.
So, the hope is that this pill would end drunk driving, or at least this is how the media is portraying it – you hit last call and wash your pill down with the last swig. You hit the john on the way out the door and you’re sober by the time you get to your car, free to drive home safely! Woohoo! Drunk driving becomes a thing of the past!
Folks the notion that this will happen is foolish wishful thinking. We drunks need the buzz, we’re not going to kill it to drive home – especially when it won’t be able to be re-kindled once we’re there! It is assumed that the pill would block the ability to get re-drunk.
No folks, drunk driving won’t be slowed much at all and here’s why: To get your blood alcohol level to .08 (the legal limit) takes about three beers in the first hour and another every hour thereafter to maintain it… People don’t drink like that because they’re thirsty, they drink like that for the buzz. Now, .08 is not a buzz to a drunk, .2 is buzzed (just less than three times the legal limit) – that’s how it is when you build a tolerance. There are records of drunks surpassing and functioning at a BAC levels beyond .4 – enough to kill a normal person. You don’t blow that much on booze at the bar just to kill your buzz for the ride home!
No, here’s how this works in real life: a drunk drives home in the bag. If he gets pulled over, he pops the pill and lights a cigarette before stopping the car. The cop checks the license and registration, comes back and asks the driver to extinguish the smoke. By then the pill has kicked in and the drunk, who would otherwise have gone to jail, skates. How could that be, you ask? What’s that, the timeline doesn’t work?
Oh yes it does. Here’s How Stuff Works, Drunk Pill Edition:
As the drunk is being pulled over he pops his pill, right? Remember that cigarette that he lit? That’s a timer right there. The check on the license and registration takes from three to five minutes as it is – and the officer has to wait at least five minutes after the cigarette is extinguished to run a breathalyzer test, because the smoke messes with the test. The pill won’t stop drunks from driving, it will help them to keep from getting caught in the act. Drunk driving will go up because it will be easier to get away with it.
Now, you may be thinking – “hey, jackass, don’t give the drunks any ideas”!!! Oh, you silly, silly, well-intentioned yet entirely incorrect person. I’ve been sober for twenty years now and I figured this out within five seconds of hearing of it for the first time – the practicing drunks are salivating waiting for this pill.
Finally, we need not worry. This pill probably won’t see the light of day anyway. It’s got three strikes against it (maybe four or five) before the FDA has a chance to look at it.
First Strike: Liability. Can you imagine the legal ramifications if someone gets into their car and that pill doesn’t work and the driver slides into a family of six?
Second Strike: Governments will lose the revenue generated by prosecuting drunks, and make no mistake about it, DUI prosecutions are big business… They’re one of the few crimes committed that cops can actually stop in progress by cruising the streets. No chance that revenue stream will be shut off. Now there is a chance that the costs to government in prosecuting and monitoring the probation of offenders is significant and a lot of money could be saved if they weren’t prosecuting drunks, right? Now you’re trying to use logic when talking about local government. No government jobs will be cut as a result, they’ll just lose revenue. Trust me on this one.
Third Strike: This pill would make policing miserable, if not near impossible.
In short, I predict a swift and sound dismissal from the FDA.
Oh, by the way… One more thing I forgot to mention: It is my understanding that this pill messes with brain receptors to counter the effects of the alcohol. Taking this pill will have disastrous consequences in terms of the liver. That’s one more strike.
I bought a new laptop the other day – my old one, while a Ferrari in its day (huge 18.4″ screen, 2 Gigs of RAM, etc.)… When it comes to computers, I only do laptops and I like ’em big, fast and top of the line. The old laptop was six years old and still performed admirably, quickly and for the most part without error (no blue screens of death etc.). In fact, the way I saw it, I really didn’t have a reason to upgrade – my system works quite well and I’m pleased with it. So much so that I’ve worn down the braille bars on the F and J. Unfortunately, my industry specific software is just about to render the old machine obsolete – so it was time to move up. I thought my old computer worked great, until I had two days with my new Ferrari. It’s the very top of the line, though I opted for the less bulky and lighter 17″ (and change) screen. Startup is mere seconds now, shutdown just as fast, and the operation of my programs is seemless. A re-calculation on my old machine that would take 10-20 seconds is now done in a flicker. I didn’t know what I was missing. I’m even more efficient now than I was two weeks ago, and that’s saying something (the two days it took to transfer files and get used to the new system was a little rough going, but that goes with the territory).
This got me to thinking, cycling is really not much different when you think about it. My mountain bike of choice is a Trek 3700, the low-end of the totem pole in the high-end bike world, but I love it just the same as if it were a $3,000 carbon Cannodale Lefty 29’er… This is, of course, only because I’ve never ridden anything better. This is the Theory of Cycling Relativity.
Last year, my buddy Tim offered to let me ride his Trek carbon mountain bike on one of our trips – and was shocked when I opted to stay with my 3700. Why would I pass? The Theory of Cycling Relativity which posits that you don’t really realize how big of a piece of shit your bike is until you ride something better. I have 21 speeds that work flawlessly on that bike – I know where the shifters are without thinking and I can shift within milliseconds when I need to. I know just how much to lay off of the pedals if I’m shifting going up a hill – I know that bike, and I know there are vastly superior rides out there, but in theory I can’t know what I’m missing until I ride one.
The same theory applies to a road bike. While my road bike is vastly superior in fit and finish to my mountain bike, I’m still rolling aluminum rims (even if they are “aero”). I know that putting a good set of carbon wheels on there would greatly increase my comfort but the Theory of Cycling Relativity protects me from knowing exactly how much more comfortable they’d be. I used to ride an old (though gorgeous) aluminum Cannondale SR400 with down tube shifters and a 14 speed drivetrain that I loved, admired and enjoyed – until I test rode a full carbon Trek 5200 with Ultegra integrated shifters and components with 27 speeds and the road smoothing comfort of the carbon frame. I owned that bike shortly thereafter – it’s the Theory of Cycling Relativity. This is, in part, why I refuse to test-ride a new bike at the shop… Once I’m clipped in, one way or another, after I feel how much better that new ride feels on my butt, that bike’s going home with me. It’s all Relative.
So, my recommendation is this: Buy the nicest bikes you can possibly afford, don’t skimp a penny. Then keep your ass off of anything nicer until you’ve got the funds to part with, because once you feel how much nicer those high-end bikes really are, you’ll spend yourself into the relative poor house before you damn well relatively figure out what just happened.
That’s BgddyJim’s tip ‘o the day. 😉