It seems that human beings never fail to prove definitively to each other that there are no limits to sheer stupidity.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the car that was pulled over recently for going 150 km/h on Highway 2 near Ponoka?
No biggie, you might say, and then you hear the rest of this mind-boggling tale of ultimate idiocy.
Unsettlingly, it looked to several people in other cars — as well as the arresting officer — that no one was in the car at all.
Yes, friends, it appears that the driver and the passenger were both sound asleep at the time. On purpose. Both front seats were fully reclined.
And it still doesn’t make one iota of sense when you find out these morons were having a lovely little nap in a “self-driving” Tesla electric vehicle, hurling obliviously along one of the busiest highways in the nation, 40 kilometres over the speed limit.
It kind of makes you want to bang your head rhythmically and repeatedly against the nearest solid wall, you know, just because you are once again reminded, pathetically, that some people have the IQ of a piece of second-hand furniture.
First, you know and I know, and even Tesla genius-weirdo Elon Musk knows that there is no such thing as a “self-driving” car. Yet.
Sure, every nice, expensive vehicle these days is equipped with all kinds of futuristic digital electronic voodoo gadgets like cameras, things that beep when you get too close to a car in the other lane, or in front of you, or possibly behind you, and special liquid nitro engines that allow it to lift off and fly at 1,000 metres when you get tired of the traffic.
OK, so I made up that last part, but the point is, whilst there are many “driver assist” options, no commercial vehicle — none, nada, zilch — sold to the general public today is in any way, shape or form “self driving.”
This is general, irrefutable, universal knowledge that any normal, functioning, reasonably lucid person would understand, right?
Sure, I guess we can all be guilty of a little stupidity, bad judgment or brain freeze when it comes to driving. Like the time Ricky S and I attempted to “get big air” in his 1963 Volvo PV544 by going quite fast over the crest of a steep hill on a gravel road outside of town.
(I believe we were successful in getting the front wheels a foot or so off the ground, which we considered a big win.)
Or, when we decided to have a demolition derby with John L’s ’54 Hillman, and when we were done escaping serious injury in the process of wrecking the little car, we simply left it in the open field, approximately where part of Oriole Park is today.
And I’m sure DP wouldn’t want me to mention when we drove most of the way to Sylvan Lake in the ditch in his Morris – another British excuse for a car that luckily only went a maximum of 35 miles per hour, long before they invented kilometres.
OK, so we were young and admittedly stupid, but at least we didn’t endanger anyone else other than our motley gang of rampant ruffians with our brain-fart folly.
And not once did any of us willingly decide to have a bloody siesta whilst driving at excessive speeds in busy traffic.
Electric cars? Sure, bring ‘em on. Can’t wait.
Self-driving? Let me put it this way: When was the last time your computer crashed or your phone malfunctioned? At 150 km/h?
Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.