Game over

“The better news is, it was an electric vehicle that killed you.”

On the way home from the grocery yesterday I managed to avoid three crashes with Burqueños who were either DWI, DUI, or HUA (Head Up Ass).

Stopping for a red light at Comanche and Tramway, a popular spot for the high-speed not stopping for red lights, I took note of the detritus from a recent collision scattered across the intersection.

And later, at home, hearing the wail of sirens and the whock-whock-whock of helicopters, I wondered idly who else had just made an unscheduled stop for a shit sammich.

Turns out a two-car crash at the next intersection up Tramway — the worst one, for my money — sent six people to the hospital, where four were listed in critical condition.

So color me unamused that Tesla is giving drivers the chance to play video games in their cars. While moving.

The New York Times notes that Elon Musk and his elves at Tesla “did not respond to several emails asking about the new video games and whether they could jeopardize safety.”

Imagine my surprise. No wonder Elon is in such a rush to get to Mars. He thinks it ain’t safe here on Earth, and he’s right.

We should pry Captain Video out of his Starship and drop him into a 1971 Ford Pinto, make him cruise around Albuquerque until he learns how to answer his emails. At a dead stop, of course.

• In other news, from our You’ve Got to be Fucking Shitting Me Department, we have the “Smart-Cockpit,” a bicycle handlebar with a touchscreen featuring Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Is it April 1? Did I sleep through winter?

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28 Responses to “Game over”

  1. sharon Says:

    Elon Musk is a self-absorbed, delusional genius that has formed a cult of personality…dangerous.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      When I think of Elon and Jeffy and the other zillionaires eager for fresh real estate in the sky, I think about Alex talking to Dim in “A Clockwork Orange.”

      But poor old Dim kept looking up at the stars and the planets and the Luna with his rot wide open like a kid who’d never viddied any such thing before, and he said:

      “What’s on them, I wonder. What would be up there on things like that?”

      I nudged him hard, saying, “Come, gloopy bastard as thou art. Think thou not on them. There’ll be life like down here most likely, with some getting knifed and others doing the knifing.”

      Elon and Jeffy do not see themselves as knifees.

  2. Shawn Says:

    It does sound however, that taking the driving controls out of the hands of the Al-B-Cue drivers, and coercing them to play video games insuring full control of their vehicles to the Musk Collective, might at least save some lives.

    I’ve found a heavy equipment rental company in Al-B-Cue. The next time I fly in to town and need a vehicle to get a round, I’m going to rent a 14 yard dump truck. Besides, it will give me plenty of room for hauling my bike. You don’t think they’ll mind me parking a dump truck up at the trail head do you?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    This gal was not so lucky.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, I saw that. Every cyclist’s worst nightmare.

      That’s my old neighborhood, y’know. When I first worked at The New Mexican I lived in the Greater Española-La Puebla-Chimayó Metropolitan Area and rode my bikey bike ever’ whichaway without getting tagged. All my cyclist-motorist conflicts occurred in Fanta Se.

      One thing you do not want to do at the moment is get sent to a New Mexican hospital. There ain’t no room at the inn, according to the weekly COVID briefing. I hope she comes out of this OK.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Yeah, I recall that you lived there. And survived.

        I just cancelled a trip to Buffalo for my nephew’s 40th lap around the sun. NYS is back in a state of emergency; all the hospitals in WNY have No Vacancy signs out. Plus, my old man is 88 with a bad ticker and my bro is going in for major surgery next week. Last thing anyone needs is me hopping off a plane with The Curse.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Same down here in Arizony! The last report yesterday is that there are only 98 ICU beds open the whole state. Cochise county hospitals can’t find another hospital to transfer people too. I ain’t traveling anywhere , and my risk tolerance just went to zero.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The state’s Doc Scrase says New Mexican hospitals have exceeded capacity, boiling over with COVID sickies and would-be patients suffering from other ailments (untreated disease due to fear of plague, gunshot/knife wounds, car-crash trauma, and other acts of God). ICU beds are as rare as intelligence in the GOP, and waiting times are off the charts. One ER reported 90 people awaiting beds, another 65.

        This has got to start sliding downhill, with hospitals kicking patients to skilled nursing homes, and ER overflows dispersing to urgent-care centers, family docs, and voodoo priests.

        “Sorry, man, we’re all out of gris-gris. Take an aspirin and call me in the morning.”

    • Shawn Says:

      Although it likely won’t help anything, but fortunately there was an astute witness to the accident.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Billionaires have different rules and mores than us. They can do anything except premeditated murder in public, and maybe even that. At least one guy said he could get away with it. Wanna bet the Instagram CEO and his stooges are at dinner right now talking about how they told the Senate committee to go pound sand.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Just what I need. Smart Cockpit to take my mind off of my surroundings. I nearly rode off a cliff up in Los Alamos about a decade ago while fidding with a brake cable while riding on a ledge. Looked up and saw the ledge was ending.

    And the 71 Pinto? I highly recommend it to Captain Video. I owned an Exploding Pinto as I finished grad school. It never escaped my attention that being hit in the ass might mean a fireball.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Smart-Cockpit” me bollocks. “Dumb-Cyclist,” is what.

      Anyone who wants to play with the Innernet should stay on the couch, let the rest of us enjoy the outdoors in peace. Keep the eyes on the road/trail, the ears open, and the mind focused on the task at hand. Be here now, as the fella says.

      Shit, I don’t even look at the Cateye until I get home.

      “The hell? Twenty miles? I’m sure I rode a century. This thing must be defective.”

    • B Lester Says:

      Yup. Touchscreen in a car equals crash, but mebbe survivable. Touchscreen on a bike equals compounded certainty of passage to the next realm.

    • khal spencer Says:

      They should name it the Darwin Cockpit.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      The addiction is fed everywhere.

    • carl duellman Says:

      i see people all the time cruising through the neighborhood on bikes looking at their phones, no hands on the bars. i even saw a guy once tucked into an aero position reading a book. some people are just begging to be killed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      This is one trickle-down effect that actually works. All the electronic bullshit that turned the American auto into a mobile living room is coming to the bicycle. God forbid we should enjoy “radio silence” for 90 minutes while we crack a sweat.

      I’ve seen motorists shaving, adjusting makeup, reading the newspaper, and yes, tweeting, posting, and browsing, all while in motion. And I’ve seen cyclists riding no-hands on bike paths, staring into their phones. At such times one yearns for a really big dude walking a really small dog on a retractable lead. Catastrophe. Retribution. Etc.

      It’s all part of the “if it ain’t on my screen it ain’t happening” phenomenon. How many times have you come up on some oblivious tool standing in the middle of the trail, or blocking a trailhead, while s/he connects with some far-off “friend?” The temptation to carry a can of bear spray is practically irresistible.

      “Shit, officer, I was startled. Came around a blind corner and saw what I thought was a really small hairless bear wearing Lycra. Figured it escaped from a circus. Didn’t want to get mauled so I gave it a couple squirts. Who knew it was a day trader out for a jog?”

      • JD Says:

        All these “distractors” place a premium on exercising self-discipline. Which seems to be more and more a declining trait of Homo SAPIENS.
        When I flew fighters, there were certain things you didn’t try to do at certain times (even though you might be tempted) if you wanted to stay safe and fly another day. Sort of a “survival hierarchy of needs”.
        Think of what the coming metaverse will do to those already inclined to want 24/7 virtual presence, illusion, and connectivity. And to those whose lives they may tragically impact.

        • Shawn Says:

          Perhaps someday “those” who wish to be distracted will simply stay home in their virtual world doing all those virtual activities that have evolved well enough to more closely resemble actual activities. Then perhaps, “those” distracted will become obstacles to others operating in the virtual world. Peloton can promote their new feature: “Virtual Death Race 2030”?

      • DownhillBill Says:

        In defense of certain species of crazies (myself included) I’d note that circumstances may allow more latitude on lightly traveled rural interstates. You have two eyes and two brain hemispheres – after the first 100K of commuting on a given route it’s possible to perform two functions simultaneously. I used to commute between Richmond and Charlottesville. The regulars were all reading. One guy I knew claimed to have written most of his masters thesis on I-64 (psychology, UVA).

        I rigged a little red light so I could work crossword puzzles to stay awake. It was a lot safer than nodding out….
        NB: We have no cyclists or pedestrians on the interstate here.

        My award for most distracted and still rolling goes to a couple I passed one morning. She was sitting on his lap facing him whilst they enjoyed a most serious and dedicated lip-lock. Don’t know how he could see *anything*. Someone was going to have an orgasm before they got to Albemarle County.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The other day I was over on the La Tierra singletrack. Came around a curve and there is this young sweetie jogging slowly along, earbuds blaring. I dinged my bell a couple times, said “excuse me if I pass” a couple times, turning it up each time.

        No response. So I follow along figuring, well, I’m retired and in no hurry and will wait till we get to a spot where I can pass Ms. Oblivion. So the trail turns 90 degrees, roughly, and the low-in-the-sky sun is behind us and suddenly she startles visibly at the big shadow of a person right behind.

        I laughed as I went by.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I met up with one of those on the narrow trail paralleling Simms as it rises toward Elena Gallegos Open Space. She was legging it along at a pretty good clip, earbuds in and apparently cranked to 11, because as I approached I gave her eight bells and four progressively louder “Excuse mes” before finally shouting, “ON YOUR LEFT!” She jumped sideways like a cat with its head on a swivel, eyes bugged out like VW headlights.

        The concept of a shared public space seems to elude some people.

        • Shawn Says:

          When I need to pass walkers, joggers, etc., I like to see them with a dog. I can then bark like a dog (I haven’t yet learned to bark like a cat?) from a distance that is farther away. Typically the dog hears me and that normally alerts their owners. It works reasonably well and offers the owner’s time to hold their dog if they feel they need to. A cat meow will work also but gee, I don’t know why.

          • Shawn Says:

            Gosh I need an editor. “allows the owner time…”

            I must convince you all that I wus once edgeyoucated.

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