In Fontaine Fox’s Toonerville Trolley comics there is one old flivver-driving fool named Grandpa Futty. He is the slowest driver on the road. Rarely does he go over the breakneck speed of two miles per hour. He is so overly cautious, that if there are two lanes going his way, he takes the middle of the road and effectively moseys along in his putter-banger taking up both lanes. What is that you say, young whipper-snapper? You don’t know what a putter-banger is? Great galloping goat galoshes! It’s a car, dang it! You see them all over the metroplex. They are so ancient that when you start it up with the hand crank, the engine coughs and the muffler falls off in back. They were purchased as a used car two decades ago. The only thing more miraculous than the fact that the car still runs is the fact that the old goat driving it is still alive (though the local police routinely have to stop him to check and see if his heart is actually still beating. If it isn’t they have to fight with him about dropping him off at the nearest funeral home.)
So, if you haven’t guessed already, this post is about the generically named drivers I refer to as a Grampa Futty, and they are the exact opposite of the Texas Killer Grandmas I wrote about yesterday. Believe it or not, I think I have graduated into the Grandpa Futty class of driver. I can still see more than three feet in front of my car, but I do have a dumpy-lumpy body that hobbles around with a cane, and I do smell like Ben Gay Ointment and Vick’s Vapo-rub. (…And no, you can’t say Ben Queer Ointment and have it mean the same thing, young whipper-snapper! That joke is nearly as old as I am!) I am not entirely in that category of driver, though, because I still curse them with gusto and interjections like “dang it!” whenever I am behind one of that breed. And besides, the last time the cop stopped me to check my heartbeat, it was going strong.
Grandpa Futtys are a real road hazard in the obstacle-filled world of Texas city driving… if it were a video game like Super Mario Brothers, they would not be Bowser, but rather that annoying Koopa Troopa that you just can’t bounce on hard enough to get past. They are in the way, endearingly cute in an ugly-old-fart sort of manner, and potentially deadly as they put you in line for the easy kill by the nearest Texas Killer Granny. So I am seriously studying now how to avoid Grandpa Futty on the road next time I see him, and I am definitely studying how not to become him.