Monday, August 10, 2009


I have enormous respect for blind people, who despite being saddled with a terrifying affliction, manage with great courage to lead a fairly normal life.

I, myself, would remain at home petting my Golden Retriever and either whimpering constantly or cursing my life at the top of my lungs, “WHY ME @#$%&!”

A few years back I had read that I'd be surprised how many BLIND PEOPLE ARE NOW HUNTING DEER!

As unprepared as I was for this breaking news, I wasn't really worried about my personal safety.

I was comforted in the knowledge that they brought their sighted assistants with them. And that these highly trained hunters would at timely moments shout helpful instructions like, “Deer at 2 o'clock!”

But now there are blind folks out there who are LEARNING TO DRIVE! I must admit-- as much as I admire their pluck--my anxiety level went up by several degrees.

If you look at the papers or listen to the news at all, you know that car crashes and pedestrian injuries have escalated recently in crowded cities like New York.

More people are driving without licenses, driving drunk, driving high, or have just stolen the vehicle that totaled your new car or put you in the hospital with broken legs and assorted contusions.

Now let's get back to the blind driving and how it all happened. A rash and mindless team of engineering students at the Virginia Tech College of Engineering thought it would be cool to retrofit a four-wheel dune buggy that could be driven by people who can't see.

Exactly how these wonks accomplished this feat is a bit beyond me. But voice command software was mentioned, along with a vibrating vest, and a host of other sensory technologies.

Obviously the navigational details are not nearly as important as the fact that people unable to see a hand in front of their face are out taking a little spin and might be in your neighborhood.

The good news for the blind motorists is that they won't be able to see the extended middle fingers from the other drivers.


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