Winter Photos: Safety First

Safety First

I figured that it was time to start posting some cool “found” winter pictures, the way I do for summer.  The thing is, it is not nearly as easy to find fun, photos of winter–it’s a more serious season, in many ways.  Google “winter” and you get a lot of landscapes and snowy foliage, as opposed to the surfing and bikini babes a ‘”summer” search turns up.  Nevertheless, I found a few.

The image above reminds me , however obliquely, of my own The elementary school days.  My school was at the top of a hill–not a precipitous slope by any means, but in winter before the age of kneejerk school cancellations, and during the heyday of large, rear-wheel drive american cars, there was no shortage of tire-spinning mechanized behemoths churning halfway up the street before surrendering to gravity and backing their way back down the hill.

My children today fixate on the possibility of delayed schedules the moment word reaches Mercthem of even a single flake, but back in the day snow meant getting ready and going to school a half hour, maybe even forty minutes early, in order to join the daily round of “smear the queer” (yes, I know how that sounds, but I guarantee that not once of us ever gave pause to consider sexual orientation and, in fact, in this game “the queer” was generally the role of the bravest, boldest, and most athletic of the lot of us) which wasn’t as bad as it sounds: in short, one kid has the ball and he runs like hell while all the other kids try to get it from him.  We played in snow over asphalt.  There was often blood.  It was wonderful–we all wanted to be the queer.

Even better, however, was when twenty or thirty of us would be busy beating the living tar out of each other and a car would start spinning tires on the slick hill, and we would run out into the street, en masse, and push it up the hill, laughing and shouting, erupting into a boisterous cheer.

Can you imagine that happening today.  I’d be terrified of the liability issues if a horde of children surrounded my car on a slippery hill.  Eventually, a driver called the school to complain and the principal herded a bunch of us into the school library and proceeded to shout and foam at the mouth along the way towards banning that tradition.  He stopped “smear the queer,” too, just because he could.

Funny and/or Strange sheer awesomeness

Gonna Go? Go BIG.

With her back turned and her hands cuffed behind her back, she manages to put it in gear and drive. And from what we can gather, she drove at very high speeds with that position somehow manipulating the gears and steering the wheel….” 

20150114rldRimer01Meet Roxanne Rimer, of “no address given.”

One would like it to manifest as something bold and beneficial, a cure for disease, for example, or a technological breakthrough that frees us from reliance on fossil fuels, or a transcendent epic poem that defines our age, but it isn’t ours to choose when inspiration–or desperation–will drive one of us to glorious, unexpected heights.

This is, however, something we should strive for.  Too often, too many of us–myself chief among us–settle for good enough, when we should strive for something grand and perhaps even noble in scale and aspiration.  We should follow the examples of heroic over-achievers like Homer, John Brown, Amelia Earhart and Elvis…if you’re going to go, GO BIG.

Such was the case this week in Pittsburgh with alleged shoplifter/escapee/joyrider and momentary media sensation Roxanne Rimer.  This young woman, detained for shoplifting at a moribund mall, crashed a family car with several relatives inside, and was arrested, handcuffed, and locked inside a patrol car.  Not satisfied with what would have been a mere blurb deeply buried deep inside the newspaper, Ms. Rimer–still handcuffed behind her back, crawled through and 11″x12″ gap in the plexiglass barrier in the cop car, slipped behind the wheel and, still handcuffed, roared away on a ten-mile joyride, lights flashing and siren howling.

I mean: Holy Icarus, Batman!  You want to be a fighter?  Fight Tyson.  Want to build an Empire?  Invade Afganistan.  But if you want to steal a car, don’t screw around with Grammy Polinski’s plum-purple Camry parked behind the church on bingo night–steal a freaking police cruiser from a crime scene.  Better still, steal it from your crime scene, while handcuffed and under arrest.

When she eventually crashed that car, she either stuck out her thumb and caught a ride further down the road–or stole another car, depending on accounts– before she was finally apprehended, perp-walked before the cameras by an unabashedly impressed media, and ushered into momentary media stardom.  All the while, the feisty young woman maintained her insistence that she couldn’t remember a thing about what happened.

For your bold, audacious inspiration, your resourceful and imaginative execution, and your soaringly unselfish-conscious denial, Ms. Rimer, Old Road Apples salutes you.

Handcuffed woman accused of leading police on chase in stolen cruiser

Handcuffed woman steals police car, leads 120 mph chase in Pennsylvania: report

Police: Handcuffed woman drives off in Center Township police car