Dear Ann Landers: I would like your help in improving some of our nation’s driving habits. I just read an article that said the top concern of most drivers is the angry motorist. The article described some aggressive driving behavior, such as weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, blowing the horn, running red lights, making obscene gestures, passing on the right, flashing headlights and screaming at other drivers.
The article said we should be slow to react to such behavior and urged us to be calm and cautious when other drivers behave aggressively. I would like to add one more suggestion. Please tell the driving public to use their turn signals properly. Signaling one’s intention to turn allows the driver behind you to slow down or move to another lane so traffic can flow smoothly.
Simple, everyday courtesy on the city streets and highways would help reduce driver aggression and prevent accidents. It would also allow everyone to return home feeling less stressed and in a better mood. - Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. in California.
Dear Lt. Col.: It seems to me if someone is screaming, honking, flashing lights and tailgating, the best thing to do is move over and let the other guy pass. If I were driving, that’s what I’d do.
Dear Ann Landers: I read this letter to the editor in my local paper. I know it’s too long, so please condense it. - Rochester, N.H.
Dear Rochester: Here’s the edited version. Thanks for sending it:
“On Saturday night, I went to visit my elderly mother in West Lebanon, Maine. She told me a neighbor’s dog had been stuck by porcupine quills and was in a lot of pain all day. When I saw the dog outside, I got sick to my stomach. The children who owned him were very upset. Their father is disabled, and their mother works overtime to help the struggling family survive. They didn’t have the money to take the dog to the vet.
“I took the phone book out and called several area vets. I finally found one who was open. The doctor on duty said, ‘Sure. I’ll pull the quills out, but the family will have to be here in 20 minutes.’ I told him I’d be the one paying and asked if he’d give me a break since I was being a good Samaritan in trying to help this dog. The vet said, ‘Lady, I have my expenses, and depending on how many quills he has, that’s what I’m charging.’ He wanted my credit card number over the phone.
“The family took the dog to the vet, and nothing prepared me for the phone call I got back from him. It seems the owners of the dog owed him money, and he wouldn’t touch the dog until I agreed to pay him what they owed! He was actually going to send that suffering dog back home if I did not pay to have the quills pulled out plus the family’s past-due bill. What choice did I have but to say OK?
“Monday morning, I talked to the nurse at the clinic and asked her to plead on my behalf to the doctor. She talked to the vet, and his answer was ‘She took it on herself to do what she did and should be willing to pay the consequences.’
“Now, who would you say is cruel to animals? In the future, should I ride by an injured animal or stop to help? I think I’ll always choose to help and pray to God I never run into another vet like the one at that animal clinic.” - J.B., Rochester, N.H.
Dear Readers: I would like to hear from other vets in the United States and Canada. Tell me, please, how you would have handled this.
Gem of the Day: The two biggest problems in corporate America today are making ends meet and making meetings end.
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