Odd Thoughts: It’s spring… brains need not apply

Lambs, cyclists, and hot rodders have something in common.

They all like to cavort outdoors the moment a bit of sunshine suggests the onset of spring weather.

And they don’t let their brains get in the way of expressing their feelings of un-wintered freedom.

In lambs, the effect is cute and charming, as they bounce mindlessly across a barely green pasture. In fact, it’s downright exhilarating to watch them express their boundless energy and exuberant joy at being alive, while their fluffy moms graze peacefully nearby, one eye focused on whatever tufts of spring grass that might be within reach, the other mindful of their youngsters’ safety.

Of course, those lambs are experiencing their first spring ever. It makes their brainlessness in distant pastures the more charming, as well as understandable.

It’s not quite so charming to watch cyclists darting in and out of traffic as they make their first foray into the post-winter world, mindless of the rules of the road, not bothering to signal their intent to weave from sidewalk to roadway and back to sidewalk, threatening drivers and pedestrians alike with their joyful disregard for life and limb.

Like their motorcycle-careening cousins, they know that, whatever the circumstances that will lead to their inevitable collision, whether with a mom and stroller or a Mack truck, it’s always the other guy’s fault.

Unlike the happy-go-lucky lambs, young cyclists are often encouraged into their stray behaviour by blissfully careless parents who lead them through crosswalks without dismounting, barrelling along sidewalks to terrorize pedestrians, and blatantly disregarding the laws that regard cyclists as operators of vehicles – placing their two-wheeled transport on the same lofty platform as motor vehicles.

Whatever happened to the classroom posters that kept us old fogeys on the straight and narrow when we weren’t yet old fogeys?

Those posters used to admonish those of us fortunate enough that our parents could afford to provide us with bicycle transportation to “Be Safe!” and ensure that we all knew – and used – our hand signals before turning left or right, or before stopping.

And of course there was the classic message, always illustrated with a poorly executed drawing of a sunny-faced child on a bike, expostulating, “Bicycles are vehicles, they must obey the rules of the road!”

If a teacher spotted us disobeying those admonishments in any way – at any time at all, in or out of school – our parents would hear about it.

And we’d learn to walk anew.

At least until we learned that cycling safety is both etiquette and law, and that courteous cycling would pay dividends beyond saving us from injury and keeping us and others alive.

I have a theory: that the kids who never properly learned those lessons grew up to become the drivers who don’t understand the concept of a stop sign and appear to have difficulty distinguishing between the buttons and knobs that control their car’s music system from those that operate their turn signals.

And comes the first breath of spring, they are the ones roaring past our homes, rattling our windows and terrifying out children and pets.

If you’re one of those, here’s something to ponder. The sentiments expressed in the thoughtful looks you get as you gun your motors and crank up the volume another notch aren’t, “Wow! What a car!”

They’re, “Wow! Just another jerk!”

Ah, yes. Spring is in the air.

And brains are left under the couch.

 

Just Posted

Langley Rams downed by Saskatoon Hilltops at Canadian Bowl

Four-time Canadian Junior Football League champions built up an insurmountable lead

VIDEO: Crash on 88 Avenue in Langley

At least one car suffered extensive damage

Extreme weather alert issued by Langley shelter

Gateway of Hope offers homeless warm place to sleep

VIDEO: Autographs with Hockey Hall of Fame member, Marcel Dionne

Marcel Dionne, as well as other NHL greats, have arrived to the Langley Events Centre for the 2018 Legends Weekend

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Most Read