A few days ago I criticized the San Francisco homosexuals who rioted to express their disagreement with a jury's verdict.
I have been deluged with critical letters, some perhaps from homosexuals and some perhaps not. Just about every letter of criticism has contained some variation on the theme, "You don't know what it's like to be discriminated against."
They're right, of course. Never having encountered discrimination, I had to look up the word in my dictionary.
I have also been catching hell from truckers who think I was unfair to them. I published a reader's report that truck drivers openly defy the national 55-mile-an-hour speed limit and tailgate passenger cars that obey it.
However, on this topic there is a better balance to my mail. Many readers think it's high time somebody got after truckers who "drive like maniacs."
I have also been hearing from people who took down license numbers and company names, and who reported instances of reckless driving to employers. In three cases, the company wrote back to say the driver had a bad record and this was the last straw; he was fired. These readers suggested that more motorists ought to tell employers about their bad drivers.
They are probably right, but this is not a suggestion I can endorse with good conscience because I have not yet been able to mail such a letter myself. On several occasions I have written strong letters of protest about reckless drivers, but I have never mailed one. I am always afraid the miscreant might lose his job.
This confession will probably move several readers to tell me I ought to be ashamed of myself for being such a namby-pamby, but I won't mind. It's been a bad week anyhow. Call me anything but early in the morning.
In the abstract, a reckless driver should be grounded. His conduct jeopardizes the lives of others.
But when you get beyond abstract concepts, I wilt. I have known the terror of being out of work, and I do not want to inflict it on anybody else.
For the sake of the record, let me mention that truck drivers have no monopoly on bad driving habits.
About half the drivers one encounters these days are either undisciplined or inept, whether the driver is in a truck, bus, private car, police car, taxi, recreational vehicle or whatever.
A delightful letter from Jack Linthicum of Arlington describes a driver of this kind who almost forced Jack into the wall of the E Street Expressway this week I can't print the letter because it describes a driver guilty of outrageous conduct and identifies him by nationality and DPL tag number. Some readers would be sure to infer that Jack and I meant to malign all persons of this nationality.
One sentence from Jack's letter will, however, convey the intensity of his reaction to the diplomat's driving: "This thing, whose mother obviously knew his father for only a few minutes, decided that the place my car occupied was his by destiny."
Jack, I'll try to get somebody in the State Department to do something constructive about this DPL nut, but don't hold your breath waiting for results. If I fail, you can join the throngs and write me a letter of criticism. That's what I need this week - one more bawling out.
IT'S CHEAPER TO EAT MONEY
The newsletter published by the White Oak Federal Credit Union says there is a food item that costs $1,362 a pound.
The reference is to saffron, a spice used in gourmet cooking.
The newsletter says, "The last time we checked, it was available at $3.99 for 3/64 ounce." Figure it out. That's $85.12 for a full ounce, or $1,361.92 for a pound.
Heavenly days, McGee! Does the Mafia smuggle in saffron during the off-season for cocaine?
Many of my readers resent the threats included in the "prayer" chain letter that is so popular now. The letter says that you send out 20 copies and keep the chain alive, all sorts of good things will happen to you. But if you break the chain, you'll get sick or die, you'll lose your job, or a great fortune will slip through your fingers.
Knowing that I have broken hundreds of these chains for superstitious readers, Gordon R. Angell of McLean writes:
"All right, so you have no fear of what will happen if you break a prayer chain. How about this threat? It's from the back of an envelope containing a land offer solicitation."
Enclosed was the red-lettered warning: "DANGER!" Do not throw in trash. If you do, a tiny vial of water will break open and activate a dehydrated boa ccnstrictor that will jump out and squeeze you to death."