Grey Lantern: 102 people saved and counting
Updated: August 29, 2012 4:00PM
I am a super hero.
Call me Grey Lantern.
You might be a super hero, too.
As Grey Lantern I save lives.
The lives I save belong to people in thrall to an insidious, pervasive and mind-altering electronic entity.
They wander our communities on foot or bike, never paying attention to where they are going. Instead they text or talk on a cell phone as they wander.
Too often, these poor people wind up injured or worse.
Last year, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 1,152 people were treated for injuries sustained while walking and texting or walking and using some other electronic device.
And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that while the number of yearly traffic deaths has gone down, the number of pedestrian fatalities in a year rose 4.2 percent and injuries increased by 19 percent.
This is where Grey Lantern swoops in.
These texter/talkers don’t watch where they are going. But I do. I save them by not hitting them with my car. These near-misses happen frequently, as you know, if you drive.
At least two or three times a week I fast-brake as some texter/talker wanders dazedly into traffic and saunters across the street.
Or a bike rider will come straight at me, unaware of the thousands of pounds of metal and glass about to put a period to his text.
But that never happens because Grey Lantern stops in time.
So, if, as I said, I save from injury or worse two to three texter/talkers a week, then I, Grey Lantern, have this year so far saved between 68 and 102 people from injury or worse.
You probably have saved a considerable number of texter/talkers, too. What is your super hero identity? Or is that a secret?
There are many super heros. And there is plenty of work for us.
Recently I read a letter to an advice column in which a teenager asked if she was justified in being angry with her boyfriend. It seems the boyfriend refuses to text her while he is riding his bike. He insists on pulling over to the side of the road and only then texting. Everyone texts while bike-riding, the young woman wrote. Is her boyfriend’s refusal to do so a sign that he really doesn’t care for her?
As long as this way of thinking exists, so long will there be work for: