'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR MOTORISTS
A couple of months ago the Vatican issued a document listing the “10 Commandments for Good Motorists.” Since automobiles are such an integral part of modern life, the religious leaders thought it would be wise to offer spiritual guidelines for the motoring public. Some of the commandments include: “Thou shalt not drive under the influence of alcohol,” “Thou shalt respect speed limits,” and, “Thou shalt not consider a car an object of personal glorification or use it as an occasion of sin.”
When asked at a news conference when a car becomes an occasion of sin, Cardinal Renato Martino replied, “When a car is used as a place for sin.” The cardinal did not elaborate further, but one suspects he might have been thinking about driving to a secluded spot on Prom Night to watch the “submarine races.” (I don’t mean he was thinking about personally doing that, since most cardinals are a little too old to be attending proms anyway.)
Cardinal Renato noted that the Bible is full of people on the move, including Mary and Joseph, who had to travel to Bethlehem when Mary was pregnant with Jesus. Unlike modern families, they did not travel by minivan. It was more like mini-mule.
Since approximately 1.2 million people die each year worldwide in motor vehicle accidents—usually because of some sinful behavior such as speeding, driving drunk, or listening to sad country music songs on the radio—it’s a good idea for the Church to address this issue from a moral and spiritual perspective.
The Church also should offer commandments for other areas of modern life that are prone to sin and dangerous behavior. Some examples:
Watching Television. “Thou shalt not channel-surf constantly, especially when women are present, as it drives them nuts.” “If thine couch has a permanent imprint of thine lardbutt, thou shalt take a walk around the block before watching another program.” “If thou truly thinks ‘The View’ is entertaining, thou shalt immediately jump off a cliff.”
Using the Internet. “If thou’s ultimate dream is to be seen on ‘Youtube’ by total strangers, thou needeth to get a life.” “If thou hast not seen sunshine for five days, thou shalt turn off thine computer and go outside.” “If thou finds thyself becoming aroused while using the computer, thou shalt logoff of the ‘Red Sox Highlights’ website.”
Cell phones. “Thou shalt not use a cell phone in a restaurant—ever. If so, other restaurant patrons are permitted to ignore the ‘Thou shalt not kill’ commandment.” “Thou shalt not use thine cell phone to call someone in the next room.” “Thou shalt not have a cutesy song for a ringtone, as it makes thine look like a dope when it rings during an important meeting in the executive conference room.”
Youth sports. “Thou shalt not skip church on Sunday morning to take Timmy and Jennifer to their 9th soccer game in six days. The Almighty saith: give it a rest, please!” “Thou shalt not complain to thine coworkers about how many soccer games Timmy and Jennifer have each week. No one put a gun to thine head and forced thou to sign them up in three different leagues.” “Thou shalt give thine offspring a ball and glove and send them into the backyard to play without adult supervision, so thine offspring may for once have fun.”
Some people think it’s perfectly normal to break multiple traffic laws while racing across town to bring Timmy and Jennifer to their next soccer game, all-the-while surfing the Internet and having a cell phone conversation on their BlackBerry devices. For these poor souls, even divine intervention won’t help.
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