LESLIE CRISS: Cell addicts and thieves driving me to the brink

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“If you put a 20-year-old driver behind the wheel with a cell phone, his reaction times are the same as a 70-year-old driver.” – David Strayer

“A thief believes everybody steals.”
– Edgar Watson Howe

“I rant, therefore I am.”
– Dennis Miller

My parents are fond of telling folks that I was born with a telephone attached to my ear.
I’m not sure why they say that since I’ve never been much for extended phone conversations.
There is an old photo of me as a child holding a play telephone to one ear and smiling sweetly. Maybe that’s where my parents got the notion.
Truth is, I fought the idea of a cell phone for a long time. Then I realized it would be a good thing to have in an emergency. So, now I’ve owned a cell phone longer than I railed against having one. And I use it on occasion for brief calls when necessary while traveling.
Others, it seems, keep their cells attached to their ears at all times while driving. Besides being dangerous for the chatty drivers and others, it has raised the levels of noise pollution.
I’m talking about honking horns.
I’ve never been a honker. I owned a car in Vicksburg for several years before I realized the horn was not operational. It was not something I used.
These days, I honk often.
Here’s why: There are some folks, actually, many folks who cannot do two things at the same time. Like talk on a cell phone and drive a vehicle.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed someone stopped at a red light who simply sits and chats on a cell, oblivious to the fact the light has turned green. Or at a stop sign.
Seems a short toot of the horn is often needed to remind these cell-heads they are piloting a vehicle.
I won’t even mention the number of drivers – and not all are teens – I’ve seen texting while weaving all over the road.
There should be a law against it.
Oh, wait. There are laws in some states. Just not this one.
So, honk on.


Twice in the past few weeks, someone has stolen from me.
Just days before a garage sale at my house, I noticed a large coffee table was missing from the rest of my wares not yet priced under my carport. I’d have happily given it away to someone in need of it, but I’m not happy about the feeling of violation that accompanies such thievery.
Then at some point Wednesday evening, someone went through my car, taking a GPS and a lone one dollar bill.
That the car had inadvertently been left unlocked makes it partially my fault. But it’s my car and my property. That alone ought to be respected. But it’s not.
My neighbor’s car was gone through about a month ago and several things were stolen.
We are sick and tired of this criminal activity.
And we aren’t going to take it anymore.

Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@journalinc.com or (662) 678-1584.