’Tis the Season … to Be Careful

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Posted December 27, 2006 by Static in News

The funeral procession for Fort Worth Police Officer Dwayne Freeto made its way last week down streets near Fort Worth Weekly’s office, reminding Static and all of its colleagues about the wages of drunk driving, the suspected cause of the crash that killed the officer as he helped a stranded motorist on I-35 in the wee hours of Dec. 17. Freeto was 34, the father of two young daughters.

Few of Static’s fellow Weekleteers are teetotalers – which means that most of us, at some point, have seen or narrowly avoided, at first or second hand, the results of driving, biking, motorcycling, etc. while under the influence. Just last week, one of the Weekly’s freelance writers had pulled to the curb to try to save a pooch that was wandering in traffic. Dog safely in his arms (despite what the folks at City Hall think, we at the Weekly do not eat puppies or municipal officials for breakfast), he was heading back to his car – only to see a drunk driver plow into it. Freelancer escaped injury, the dog just escaped. The drunk was so out of it that, afterward, he couldn’t even figure out why the tow truck was carting his car away.

Over the years, Static has wrestled the car keys from more than one drunk friend, as stomach-churningly unpleasant as the chore seemed at the time. So, a no-holier-than-thou plea for this holiday: Stay sober if you’re driving. And don’t let your friends drive if they’re not sober. They’ll thank you in the morning.

Next: Armageddon

Static read with amazement an e-mail last week talking about the new “transition team” named by Dallas County Judge-elect Jim Foster. In Dallas, Texas, future home of the Bush Presidential Library (which must include more than just the books Dubya has personally read, otherwise, they’d have to build a Presidential Shoebox), the judge’s team will include the head of a shelter for battered women, a progressive former woman mayor and EPA official, and a Hispanic woman educational leader.

What can he be thinking? Sure, the Dems took over county government in November, and sure, the sheriff is a Hispanic lesbian, no less. But, c’mon – actual progressive ideas being considered in Dallas? The mind boggles. What next – will they stop writing tickets to jaywalkers? Will Dallasites’ opening conversational gambit no longer be, “Hi – how much money do you make?” We can but hope.

Of course, the new county judge wasn’t totally thinking outside the business-as-usual box when he named his team. It does include a couple of white businessman types and former Dallas mayor and Texas Secretary of State Ron Kirk, who, while somewhat progressive in his politics, hewed to Dallas tradition at city hall and acted like a dirt-bag to reporters.

I mean, it’s not like there was a revolution over there or anything.


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