The Heart Truth- Red Dress

Go deeper than the pink, go red. Go deeper than the breast, go to the heart.

Heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the USA. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and cultivate social relationships (make friends!); these will help save your heart. I know because I have CAD, coronary artery disease.

19 March 2010

Spring Break and skunks

Many years ago, while driving on Rt 173 to Slippery Rock University (I think it was still a state college then) my brother and I noticed daily additions to the roadkill on the trip. We decided spring must be ‘small animal suicide season.’

I was reminded of this on the 15th of March as I drove out to Highway 6 from Bremond. Dotting the four miles of road were five skunks and something brown. The poor critters, often quite young, must be trying to escape life in a small town only to have their lives, but not their scents, snuffed out in what an autopsy would call ‘blunt force trauma.’

In Texas roadkill is removed by self-serving vultures. In Pennsylvania I think removal was left to ‘certain politic worms’ as Hamlet would say. In other words, they rotted by the side or in the middle of the road. That wouldn’t be so bad if Pennsylvanians didn’t hit more deer with their cars than with their guns.

Anyway, why, since this week was Spring Break, was I out on the road on Monday morning? I had jury duty. One hundred or so of us reported, mostly on time, to the county courthouse. Two cases were scheduled for this week. Two juries would be picked. Long story short, after six hours (and no food- ok a Coke Zero and animal crackers) I was not chosen for the first jury. The second case resolved itself before we could meet with the lawyers.

Of great concern for this case was the possibility of awarding a great deal of money for a car accident that resulted in a death. This is a rural county but not a backwoods one. The Houston based lawyers tried explaining how money is all we have to offer the family of the deceased. We do understand. During the prosecution lawyer’s talk (which went on forever!) I wanted to yell “Don’t baffle us with b---s---; just talk to us.”I did not like him. I noticed the defendant’s lawyer making reaction faces. I thought I might like him. Nope. He did balance the information so I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another.

Today I read what happened with the jury. They awarded the plaintiffs (there were three) just under 22 million dollars!

Turns out the defendant had been on his cell phone, texting and making calls, in a construction zone in the evening in the mist. He killed a young woman (he was 20, she was 21 and her best friend was in a second car that got run off the road and now has flashbacks.) by hitting her car head on.

This road is Highway 6, still under construction (from two lanes to four lanes, divided), and the main road for people in my town to get anywhere like grocery shopping, the movies, or the mall. I’ll bet a month does not go by without a bad accident on this highway.

After non-jury duty I drove Highway 6 to Bryan-College Station; no accidents but a few skunks had ended their earthly travels in the middle of the road.

Glad I’m not a skunk and that I didn’t get on the jury. I got to sleep for most of Spring Break.

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