YUCAIPA – I’m in a foul mood this morning, a carryover from yesterday’s encounters with trashy kids and their trashy parents, an arrogant cop, a text-driving idiot, and an overzealous Riverside County zoning official.
Let’s start with the text-driving idiot. While driving on the 215 Freeway towards Perris and a horse rescue ranch, I came upon a woman, in her late 20s to mid-thirty’s putzing along at about 52 miles per hour in the slow lane.
MENACE TO THE ROAD
I glanced over at her to see what the problem was, and saw her texting. As she rested her cell on the steering wheel, her thumbs were flying and her eyes bouncing up and down as she furtively took peeks at the road ahead.
I stayed alongside her for about 100 yards to see if she would notice me glaring at her. She didn’t once glance to her left. Idiot.
When I arrived at the Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch south of Perris, owner Leigh-Ann Giddings told me that a Riverside County zoning official had been out for a “visit.” It seems the official accused her of running a horse-trading operation for profit.
Giddings rescues horses. Some whose owners can no longer care for them because of our disastrous economy. And some whose owners have abused them. She takes them in, nurses them back to health, trains them, and adopts them out to good homes. For an adoption fee.
SHOW SOME COMPASSION
I don’t know the particulars, but the official apparently wants to make some changes. Which probably means higher fees assessed to the kind-hearted Giddings. My point. How can she make ends meet – paying for the rent on her 4 1/2 acre spread, buy feed and hay, pay for medicine, and horse shoeing expenses, without charging an adoption fee?
Without trying to make a little profit? Show some compassion, Riverside county.
Now we come to the cop. The speed limit is 40 mph on Bryant Street between Date Avenue and Oak Glen Road. I’m tooling along at 40 heading to the park for my daily walk. Suddenly a cop comes speeding up behind me and tailgates me about 15 feet from my rear bumper.
CELL YAKING COP
No lights flashed, and no siren blared. He was on his cell phone talking. By his body language I could tell it was a personal call. He was leaning with his left shoulder relaxed against the door with his head slightly cocked to the side. Deep in conversation.
I would have pulled over into the right-hand lane to get out of his way, but an SUV was traveling side-by-side with me. Finally the SUV slowed down creating some space, and the cop cut sharply to his right, and then back to his left in front of me.
He didn’t signal and he didn’t quit talking on his cell.
What kind of message does this send to the public? What kind of message does it impart on young drivers:
“Well, if the cop can drive and chit-chat on his cell that way, why can’t I?”
And finally, my pet peeve: Trashy kids and their trashy parents.
On California Street, just around the corner from my home is a buss stop. About 20 kids wait each morning to catch the buss to one of the elementary or middle schools in the neighborhood.
While they mingle about, the kids gulp down sodas, munch on candy or pastries from the donut shop a block away. Meanwhile, some of the parents light up in their cars, puffing on cigarettes until the buss whisks the kids away.
I don’t care what they eat, drink, or smoke. Want to get fat and obese, and trigger the onset of diabetes, or die from lung cancer? It’s a free country, go for it.
What galls me is that the smokers toss their butts out the windows on to the street. While their kids litter the ground with their Styrofoam cups, candy wrappers, and napkins. This is my neighborhood and I take offense to trashy people messing it up.
What has happened to personal responsibility, obeying our laws, and compassion?