2009.03.04 World's neediest driver

Written by David Green.

I am the World’s Neediest Driver.

And after Googling that expression, it appears that I may be able to lay claim to this designation: the World’s Only Needy Driver.

It’s the reason Maddie didn’t want me to drive to Ann Arbor on Sunday, I think. Except she didn’t remember how needy I am until we got started.

Before returning her to Ann Arbor, she and I went back and forth on who should drive. We settled on me—so she could text and do some homework on the trip back to school and I could get in driving mode since I would be driving back home alone.

But as soon as she pressed the button to heat her seat and I recalled that it’s the passenger seat, not the driver’s that is heated, I regretted my offer.

And, as soon as I asked her to reach in the back seat for the gloves in my coat pockets (“You put one in each pocket?” she asked, slightly incredulous.) and when I next asked for my lip balm, located in my front right pocket, she wished she were driving.

“I’m not going to get anything done,” she said. “I should have driven.”

“Here,” I said, ignoring her comment and handing her my sunglasses. “Put these under your armpit to warm them up.”

And she started to until I laughed and said, “I didn’t really mean armpit...just inside your coat will do.”

I store my sunglasses in the car, but I hate wearing cold sunglasses. They fog up and I have to keep taking them off.

And then it was a request to move the tissue box which, on Saturday, had slid on top of the accelerator pedal at a stop sign, inhibiting David from being able to press it. That was a scary little episode that made me glad I was sitting in the heated seat.

I probably asked for lip balm again before Maddie strategically laid the pocket of my coat within hand’s reach.

Twice I had her take notes for me—creating a “to do” list I am only now remembering to act on.

Is there a trophy for the world’s neediest driver? I could collect that hand’s down. But, I’m a pretty strong candidate for the world’s neediest shotgun rider, too.

On family trips, no matter who else is driving, I’m the designated front seat passenger. It used to be that I would feel sick when I rode in the back seat. I think I’m getting over that now—as long as I look straight ahead and don’t try to read, I’m OK.

Too bad for my kids that my stomach is only now coming around—they were constantly fetching stuff for me, usually food from the cooler in the way-back, Maddie said. Paper towels, tissues, water—I was always in need of something—which seems kind of crazy since I always had (and have) so much stuff around me—most often reading materials.

But when I’m driving alone, I get all my ducks in a row before setting out. I make sure everything I need is within reach. I hate fiddling, trying to find stuff when I’m driving.

So, on the way home, I lined up my little bag of chocolate covered ginger and my chocolate pecan cookie and put my slice of bête noir cake nearby. I didn’t expect to eat the cake since I had forgotten a fork.

But I wanted to be prepared. I’ve been fighting off some kind of intestinal bug all weekend and I made the loveliest discovery—as long as I keep eating, I don’t feel barfy.

I was still on the outskirts of Ann Arbor when I realized my water bottle was tucked deep in my tote bag. I figured I’d retrieve it at the next stop light.

But, because my world always works this way, it wasn’t until Clinton that I had a red light long enough to dig down for my bottle. The timing of red lights—it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

And here’s another: Why does “world’s neediest driver” get zero hits on Google, but World’s Worst Driver gets nearly four million?

I’d say I’m in pretty good company, anyway.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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