Way, way back in the late ‘50s, when I was taught to drive, besides the actual mechanics of moving an automobile, I was given lectures on safety and maintenance that I remember to this day. I was taught that, while driving down the streets of Canarsie — or anywhere for that matter — “When you see a ball rolling in the gutter, hit the brake! Behind every ball will be a child — and the bigger the ball, the smaller the kid.”
A short while ago, I was listening to my son, Daryl, talking to my grandson, Brandon, who was learning to drive. My eyes and ears lit up when I heard my son repeat those exact words that finished with, “The bigger the ball, the smaller the kid.” I’m not sure what comment I made when I heard what my son said, but then he looked at me and whispered, “Did you think I wasn’t listening? I remember everything you taught me.”
Here’s another driving rule I was taught in the middle of the last century that I will pass on to you right now with hopes that you will pass it on to your children: “When you are stopped by a cop — and you will be stopped by a cop some time in your driving career — pull over, keep your hands on the wheel where the officer can see them, and when he talks to you, politely respond with: “yes sir,” “no sir,” and “thank you, sir.” Do not be a wise-ass. He’s doing his job.
I vividly recall being stopped for a minor infraction. It was a broken tail light. The officer became my best friend when, instead of writing a ticket, he told me to have it fixed as soon as possible and he added, “Be careful driving, son.”
I responded with “yes sir” and “thank you, sir.”
Within the hour, I was at Vinny’s Service Station on E. 92nd Street, and for less than $2, my light was fixed and I was on my way. I never saw that cop again, but I swore that if I did, I would offer to thank him by buying him a Pepsi Cola.
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And the scams keep on coming.
You may have received an official looking e-mail from the FBI that someone needs to talk to you. It appears to be authentic with that magnificent genuine seal and all. They claim you can save a lot of time and prevent the need for going downtown by e-mailing them back certain information, such as your Social Security number, your birthday, and bank information. Stop! Don’t do it!
It is a scam intending to rip you off. If the FBI really needs to talk to you, it will not be via an e-mail. When you least expect it, two giants flashing badges will come a-knockin’ at your door. If by any chance they ever do, just remember it’s “yes sir,” “no sir,” and “thank you, sir.” Now where did we ever learn that before?
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One of the lesser-known talking heads said that Sen. Ted Cruz gave Donald Trump the middle finger in his speech at the convention. On another station, Charles Krauthammer said that the Cruz speech was the longest suicide note he’s ever heard. I am StanG