Hunches, 12-10-36

A few evenings ago I was driving along Broadway when suddenly two bicycles loomed up in front of my car. Two girls in their teens were riding toward me on the left side, but well toward the crown of the road. Evidently they were avoiding the loose stones at the side, and using pedestrian rules for highway travel. Their reasoning was good as far as it went. They could see my lights; so they headed single file for the two feet between the position of my lights and the loose stones. Thank the Lord I missed them, but my nerves were shattered for an hour. Parents--for the sake of your child's safety, even if you cannot picture yourself running over someone else's child--insist that your child carry a light when riding at night; and insist that they keep as far away from traffic as possible, when riding their unstable two-wheel steeds. Incidentally, we can feel proud of the foresight of the city planners who laid out commodious Broadway. But does not the two-car lane surrounded by rubble, beyond the business district, defeat the purpose of the boulevard, and constitute a hazard. I realize such improvements must take their turn in the gradual development of a community. But a little incident like this brings home the increasing responsibility of those in charge of public highways to make them adaptable to safe automobile traffic. Human error will always be the major cause of accident, and can only be reached through education; but the physical aspects of car and road must never be neglected.

 Last week I vented my spleen on the so-called Security Act. You know, I write this stuff just as though I were discussing it with some individual, and make no pretense of labelling it final judgment. Now I'm having a lot of fun, which ordinary mortals cannot enjoy. I whack out the column several days before publication, and proceed to forget all about it until a week afterwards. In other words, I am one of those rare mortals who regularly sees the words he has spoken flung back at him in cold type a week after the crime was committed. If you ever want to get your ears set back, try it. So I have just read what that "hunch" bird had to say about Social Security; and my reactions are that that bird is just another one of those clowns who dote on getting their pet theories in print, and who are forever ranting on "the principle of the thing". And how I detest these birds! Now, this particular bird will be perfectly willing to enjoy the benefits of old age security, and in all probability will need it. Don't you think he would have been a little more sportsmanlike if he had mentioned that?

 Just to continue the discussion, now that we have started it--I don't know what else to talk about anyway--why should folks earning over three thousand a year receive benefits from an Act designed to protect the needy? Well, I know of one gentleman in this vicinity whose income was probably ten thousand a year, five years ago. Today he is penniless and burden to his family. He is a good man, too, and there is no use saying he probably is getting what he deserves. Moreover, I expect Insull is wishing for something of the kind since the lady from Greece has returned home.

 As I write, the bulletins are coming in concerning a lonesome bachelor over in England. Regardless of the outcome, isn't it amazing how a slight defection from the dictates of custom can upset the apple cart of international diplomacy, and create a focus for gossip? The English have built up an enviable reputation for good taste and decency; but they are paying a fearful price for their inflexibility from prescribed traditions. Generation after generation submit to precedent, and revere something because it is old. There's something in that, too. But suddenly a rebel crops up (and rebels are not usually stupid either), and we question things which have not been questioned since Adam was a little boy. England is getting a jolt, but it is probably a healthy one.

 Are you hide-bound?

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