I figured something out! Remember those much-maligned Baby On Board signs? The bright yellow diamonds that adorn the back windows of mini-vans (as if that wasn’t a dead giveaway) that ostensibly warn other drivers that if they were planning to hit your car, they really shouldn’t, because unlike other cars yours has a baby on board?
They’ve been the target of hack comics (“Oh! I was planning to hit you, but now I won’t! I mean… who are these people?”) and the Simpsons (remember when Homer and his barbershop quartet won a Grammy?)
Yeah. Well, guess what, hack comics and Matt Groening. They aren’t there to protect me, the driver with the baby on board. That yellow diamond is there to protect everyone else by alerting them to the fact that I’m most likely sleep-deprived, aggravated, and distracted by either a screamer who needs soothing or a singer who needs backup.
A week or two after I brought P home from the hospital, I woozily Moby-ed her to my bod and stumbled down to a local café to meet a similarly-adorned friend. I started to cross Folsom street, which is a quiet little road in a quiet little neighborhood, not really realizing that the light wasn’t fully in my favor. A car screeched by me, and a woman yelled out the window, “Really, lady? With your baby?” as if I were hot-dogging on rollerblades while juggling chainsaws.
At the time, I was foggily mortified; upon reflection, it seems to me that anyone wearing a poorly-fastened Moby containing a bump about the size of pregnant belly should be assumed to be dangerously dotty, and given a wide and understanding berth.
So let me alert the general public: if you see a car driving erratically, check your road rage till you investigate the make and model of the car. If it’s a sporty two-door coupe, the driver’s doing blow. If it’s a bitchin’ Camaro, the driver’s getting a blow job. And if it’s any kind of family car, the driver is frantically looking for “De Doo Doo Doo, De Da Da Da” on the “Kid Playlist” CD. Pull over, let her pass, and pray for her.