Driving can clear my head, or fill it with strange thoughts


My work day starts with a 30-plus mile drive to work. Sure, I wish it was closer at times, but I don’t mind driving.

In fact, I enjoy driving. I like nothing better than driving long distances. It gives me a chance to clear my mind, enjoy the scenery, catch up on the news on NPR.

I have also come up with column ideas and sung new song ideas into the recorder on my phone while driving. In short, driving can be good for the brain.

So there I was last week, just driving to work and looking at the snow and zoning as someone on the radio talked about no end in sight for the partial government shutdown and the 238 Democrats who have already announced they are running for president when I saw some roadkill and it brought me to a realization: If we were all hunters and gatherers again, I would live exactly as long as it took for me to starve to death.

Seriously, if humans had to go out and kill, clean and prepare our own food, I would not survive long at all. And I know I am not alone here. Plenty of you reading this would be in the same boat.

That also goes with the zombie apocalypse. First of all, if these are the running zombies, I am toast. Actually, probably more like a sandwich, but either way I will be dead. I would be able to outpace the really rotten ones, but a fresh, semi-athletic zombie would take me down in 40 yards.

And if it is slow zombies, I probably won’t make it anyway. Again, not a big hunter and once the food stock goes bad I will be at the mercy of anyone around me. And in the zombie apocalypse, I don’t think people will be ready to feed the likes of me.

That means I will be on my own. Which means I will have to fix and/or build things I need to survive. Without Google around to help, I will be as useless in the apocalypse as the English major I am.

If you want to sit around the fire and discuss literature I’m your man, though.

I realize and zombie apocalypse is far-fetched, but what about some pandemic? There are plenty of viruses lying in wait to pounce on mankind. If I actually survive the initial sickness, I don’t know how well I will fare in the new world for all of the reasons mentioned above.

If I could hole-up in my house and ration my food, I would probably make it for a few months. After that? I would have to rely on the kindness of strangers, and judging by the world around us right now, I think that could be a problem.

I am clearly a man of my time. I buy meat at the grocery store, take my car to the mechanic to get it fixed and thankfully have friends who are incredibly handy and generous. Google videos have meant I can fix my lawnmower and prepare a delicious low-cal meal, but that isn’t exactly the kind of stuff you brag about around a bunch of rough and tumble dudes who just killed, cleaned and prepared a grizzly bear.

So, yeah, that’s what I think about during my drive to work. On second thought, maybe I should move closer to work.