I don’t recall having volunteered to single-handedly prevent America’s forest fires. I’m willing to do my part, of course, as I care about Bambi, Thumper and their woodsy friends as much as the next guy raised on Disney movies. But as I told my church family, I was somewhat taken aback recently when a rather official-looking giant bear with a shovel told me that of all the people in America, I’m the only one who can prevent forest fires. Granted, there is some satisfaction in being recognized among my peers, and to be honest, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise. But I would have guessed that the national acclaim I so richly deserve would have come for being an excellent driver. I’ve always half-expected that one day an officer would pull me over to commend me for coming to a complete stop before making a right hand turn at a red light, or for being one of the few Americans who knows the order in which to proceed at a four-way stop sign. I assumed that, as a result, I’d be invited to a ceremony for America’s Best Drivers (maybe sponsored by Allstate, so I could meet that reassuring “good hands” fellow---you know, the one who was Jack Bauer’s president for a while). Then I’d make a few guest appearances on the morning talk shows, and perhaps have a sit down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes.
“So is it true, Russ that you’ve been driving for almost half a century without an accident?”
“That’s essentially true----no accident of any substance, Steve.”