Those wacky arbiters of right and wrong have struck again. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People (catchy, isn’t it?) have published Christian Principles for Summer driving.
Among their bon mots are:
– ‘perform the sign of the cross before pulling out’ (adjusting the mirrors and fastening the seatbelt might also help)
– ‘pray vocally’ (I just did so on the Garden State Parkway when some maniac swerved from the far right lane to the left in order to make it to a rest stop)
– ‘feel responsible toward others’ Yeah, sure. Try doing that as you battle fellow motorists squeezing from six lanes into one before entering the Lincoln Tunnel.
Ordinarily, I’d let pass Pope Benedict’s attempt at pre-empting the AAA. But, when an organization is battling a perception that it is both irrelevant and out-of-touch, stuff like this doesn’t help.
Like any good marketer, the Pope should have first conducted some field research before publishing his tips. If he had, he’d know that road rage is rampant and swearing, rather than praying, is the M.O. of most angry motorists.
In short, rather than issue a list of unrealistic tips, the Pope should get with the times and instead suggest a new Beatitude: ‘Blessed is the car with overdrive, for it shall help the sluggish driver accelerate and pass with ease.’ Quick acceleration might forestall ‘passer’ or ‘passee’ from flipping one another the bird and keep everyone happy, even the Vatican.