[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 52°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 41°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The dangers of multi-tasking

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Being reporters at The Brazil Times, all of us "newsies" spend part of our workday checking other news outlets for stories of interest in our particular beat areas. I'm not saying that we are a cynical bunch, but not much about the curious way humans interact surprises us.

However, just when we think we've heard and seen it all, something weird happens that shows there's more insanity to experience in this lifetime.

A story posted Wednesday by the Associated Press admittedly has me shaking my head in disbelief.

A man waiting in his car at a drive-through window of a Rapid City, South Dakota fast-food restaurant accidentally shot himself with a pistol Tuesday afternoon. Apparently trying to clean the weapon while waiting for his fast food order, the pistol went off and shot the unidentified 24-year-old man in the calf. (I can't help but wonder how the person working at the drive-through window reacted to shoots fired during the busy lunch service!)

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, but apparently he isn't in any trouble. Rapid City police officials reportedly said the man didn't need a permit because the gun wasn't concealed, so he didn't break any laws.

Life is hectic for everyone, but talk about taking multi-tasking to an extremely dangerous level.

Think the worst bit of potentially dangerous multi-tasking I've done was back some years ago. I'd guzzle my morning Pepsi and drive to college while putting on my face.

Hey, I had a few safety protocols in place. I would use powder and blush while driving, eyeliner and eye shadow at stoplights and put on lipstick when I arrived at school (I was usually still drinking the Pepsi).

But a pair of red flashing lights in my rear-view mirror one morning changed all that.

"I'm giving you a warning for the speeding," a very nice Indiana State Trooper said while handing me the paper and then nodded to my open make-up case lying on the passenger seat. "But, as a father of a daughter your age, I'm asking you, on behalf of your loved ones, to stop doing that. As the operator of a motor vehicle, it is your responsibility to pay attention at all times while driving. You, or someone else, could get hurt some day."

While I told the officer I would stop, I did it again the very next day.

Honestly, I was young, thought I had all the answers and believed I didn't have to listen to anyone tell me what to do. But the words stuck with me, and they still do.

After I had children, I finally understood that I was responsible for not only my life while driving, but those inside my vehicle and those around me.

Although life is still hectic, I don't wear make-up that often and I'm not usually in a hurry to get anywhere, so this isn't a problem for me.

I still drink my morning Pepsi or cup of tea and admit to eating a few meals in my car in between appointments, but not that often.

Guess what has me shaking my head in disbelief, is how does a person logically put driving somewhere, eating food and cleaning a handgun in the same equation?

I don't think anyone will ever be able to completely understand the mysteries of the human mind.