Life in the Slow Lane

The beaches and mild climate in Parksville continue to attract both vacationers and retirees year after year.  Qualicum Beach reportedly has the oldest per capita population in all of Canada, and it’s evident on our roads.

Jean and Peggy were both well into their eighties and still going strong.  One of their greatest pleasures in life was the freedom of driving and they frequently took Jean’s car out for little trips here and there.

Last week they were headed to one of their favourite restaurants for lunch.  Just minutes after leaving Peggy’s place they approached a stop sign and didn’t even slow down as they drove through the intersection.  Peggy flinched a little as they passed the sign, but afterwards thought she was mistaken, as she thought of Jean as an excellent driver.  Only a few more minutes had passed when they approached another intersection with a highly visible stop sign.  With her foot pressed down as hard as she could on the imaginary brake pedal that passengers use, Peggy watched the sign flash past as they continued on their way without even slowing down.

Again, Peggy said nothing, thinking that there must not have been a stop sign, feeling a little confused and seriously questioning her judgement.

As they approached a major intersection, Peggy could see that the light ahead was changing to red.  The huge car actually seemed to pick up a little speed as it approached the lights.  Peggy’s foot was slammed into the floorboards again as they drifted right through the intersection, which was thankfully clear of cross traffic.

Peggy was white as a sheet when she turned to Jean, who appeared to be calmly enjoying herself.   “Jean”, she shouted, “you just went through two stop signs and a red light without even slowing down”.

Jean looked at her, startled by her shouting.  “Oh crap, am I driving?”

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