During the past seven years that I have been ferrying my grandchildren around I have been very proud of my record of never having used profanity when describing the poor or rude driving habits of my fellow motorists while my grandchildren were in the car. Mind you, this was not an easy accomplishment for I am a true northeast-end Cantonian who grew up in an environment where swearing was an accepted fact of life. Even my dear old maternal grandmother could out swear seasoned sailors. As I developed and moved from a childhood into adulthood I became a master of monosyllable sign language. At one time I was a walking lexicon of swear words in four different languages.

My clean record that I was so proud of received its first blemish the other day. I had picked up my grandson from his preschool at noon and I decided to treat him to lunch from McDonalds; something I only do about once a month. My mistake was choosing to go to the McDonalds on North Main street in North Canton. While this McDonalds is a fine establishment it is a nightmare trying to get out of the parking lot at lunchtime. We placed our order, went through the drive-thru and proceeded to the exit at Main St. As we reached the exit we were blocked by a long line of cars waiting for the light to change; something that I had expected. I reached into the bag, captured a particularly large and hot French fry and handed it to my grandson. Just after I gave him his fry I noticed a gap in the traffic and I thought that the driver to my left was going to let me out. I started to edge into the flow of traffic when the aforesaid good Samaritan speeded up and cut me off and I swear he had a smirk on his face. Frustrated and angry I blurted out #@$%**! . Fortunately my grandson was so wrapped up in eating his treat that the expletive deleted went over his head and I am pretty sure he never heard what I had said. If he had I am sure he would have used the new word that grandpa had taught him at the most possibly embarrassing time, most likely that evening at home while have dinner with his mom and dad. Thanks buddy!

Even though my grandson didn’t hear what I said doesn’t excuse my having uttered the aforesaid expletive. Like a lot of people I tend to feel sheltered by the metal tortoise shell of my automobile and I far too often use inappropriate language when describing the driving habits of others.  Unlike tortoises we don’t stick our heads out of our shells and expose ourselves to the wraith of others through our use of inappropriate language. If we did there would be far more road rage, making driving a more dangerous pastime than it is. Road rage is a growing concern today: an uttered profanity is met by one in return; an escalation of words and soon we have a major incident. Maybe we should all take a lesson from my past seven years of transporting two toddlers around town and conduct ourselves while driving as though we have little children in the back seat of our cars.