This Blog is Brought To You By The Number 31

Monday, November 2, 2009 | 2 Comment(s)

So with my Birth-o-ween having past, i started to think of what milestone 31 could stand for.  Let's face it, on some level im really lucky to have my golden birthday (31 on the 31rst) this late in life.  There really are very few interesting or important milestones post-30 except 40.  I think that's why people end up dreading 40 so much, because they haven't REALLY had cause to celebrate a birthday in 10 years.  I lucked out and got a perfectly good rationalization for 31 to be a milestone.  Could i dress as Larry Bird for my 33rd, sure.  But i am man enough to admit that i have 9 years of pretty unspectacular birthday numerals coming up.

Sooooo.  Let's really make this one count.  This chai (not the tea) anniversary of my bar mitzvah.   And, for this blog entry, the 15th anniversary of me being a driver.

I began thinking of my driving record.  Parking tickets. Check check and check.  I will never learn.  Speeding tickets.  Yes, I have gotten one or two.  Nothing serious.  I even got a ticket for running a red light in CT, and the officer actually hit on my female friend in the passenger seat while giving it to me.  Pig.  Double pig.  Accidents?   Well, that is a tricky question.

As far as the United States of America is concerned, my driving record, impact-wise, is flawless.  The reality is that I jsut had the good sense to get in my only major accident while out of the country.  My question, could the government ever find out?

Let me start by saying this.  My big accident was hilarious.  And in Japan (where a lot of things can be hilarious).  I was driving about a mile from my home and decided to take the shortcut, through the residential (rice paddy) neighborhood, up to my house.  This shortcut, which i literally drove on everyday, came out about 10 yards from a 4-way intersection and was kinda a blind driveway.  I always thought that this was a bit dangerous, but i also figured that all good "locals" know a somewhat questionable shortcut in their town.  As I'm pulling out into the intersection, a car come speeding through the intersection and i end up sideswiping them just hard enough (i was cautiously pulling out) for my black Subaru to put a racing stripe down their white car's side.  Tip to tail.  Now I'm thinking, "I was pulling out slowly and carefully and they were going pretty fast, this can't be all my fault."  Long story short, the people i hit actually knew the other "white guy" from town, were a young couple, and were extremely good sports about the whole, loosely translated, situation.  When i went to work the next day, my boss pulled me aside and told me that, unfortunately, the accident was almost all my fault.  I explained to him (extremely respectfully and carefully) that I didn't think i was driving recklessly and was a bit surprised that the police had decided i was at fault.  He told me I was driving on a walkway.  Let me repeat that.  I was driving on a clearly marked (in kanji japanese characters) walkway.  For school children.  Which i drove on everyday.  On my way to teach those school children.  In my meek defense, the road starts off at a road.  And then at some point gets only slightly more narrow but no less paved.  It still looks like a road.  And then there's the sign.  The walkway sign.  Can I buy a vowel here?  Or a stick figure illustration?  Bueller?

So, the question remains.  Is this on "my permanent record."  Here's what I think.  Had it occured anywhere else, I would think i was good to go.  But Japan is SO organized.  I had to get about 60 pages of forms stamped with my official "hanko" signature stampy thing, that i have to believe that with enough digging, my walkway joy ride could be unearthed.

Or they could just read my blog I guess.

Happy 15th anniversary, driver's license.


  1. You're 36th is a milestone, in that you move out of the "cool" (18-35) marketing demographic into the "old fogey" one.

  2. Great, another thing to worry about.