Summer rant

The ringing in my left ear gradually diminished as the Harley faded into the distance. On a beautiful summer day (which was rare at the writing of this editorial) I was out cycling along a peaceful country road when I was deafened by a speeding motorcycle. Now, I can understand the appeal of riding with the wind blowing through your hair (that was what I was doing), but I have a hard time comprehending why we allow Harleys on our roads in the first place. 

People who like motorcycles purchase Hondas or Yamahas. Harleys are de­sign­ed to be noisy and their owners (lawyers, dentists, and accountants) are more about being noticed. If you listen closely when a Harley motorcycle idles you can hear, “look at me, look at me, look at me” over and over again. With widespread promotion of hearing protection through organi­zations like WorkSafeBC, shouldn’t motorcycles be subject to some sort of decibel control? Having something that noisy on the road is a little like waving your middle finger at the world. 

Speaking of not caring about anyone but yourself, how about the Hummer? Commuter vehicle? I think not. If you care about humanity and have ever given a thought to the environment, how do you justify popping in to the corner store in something that consumes more gas than produced by my patient Bob (just giving him a plug as it truly is amazing and he is quite proud of it). Maybe that Hummer driver is headed to the corner store to pick up cigarettes—which leads to my next rant. 

As I ride my bike, I notice hundreds of cigarette butts lining the road. Most smokers wouldn’t throw paper wrappers and other garbage out their car windows, and I am also pretty sure that the majority don’t throw cigarette butts all over their driveways. So why do they think it’s okay to flick these things out of their car windows? Again, I bet they use their middle fingers. We should pass a law that citizens are allow­ed to collect the smoldering butt and flick it back through the window at the earliest opportunity—say at the next traffic light. 

At least I can enjoy the breeze and fresh air that summer brings. I like to leave my windows open to revel in all the scents of nature. Unfortunately, one of those scents comes courtesy of my next-door neighbor, who likes to relax outside and smoke. I have a desire to create my own foul odors and place a fan in his direction. I am a little concerned about the adverse effects of secondhand smoke, but I can’t really launch into a righteous tirade as he isn’t doing anything illegal. 

Seeking relief from the sounds and scents of the city, from time to time I escape to picturesque lakes to enjoy the sun, mountains, trees—and the incessant sound of jet skis. These high-pitched, angry hornets strafe the beach, making peaceful slumber im­possible. An entire lake exists on which to twirl, dive, and behave like idiots, but these riders perform just a few feet outside the marked swim area so we can all watch in awe. I am thinking of renting a water cannon.
Happy summer. 
—DRR

David R. Richardson, MD. Summer rant. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 7, September, 2012, Page(s) 321 - Editorials.



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