Darn that Men s Health magazine, anyway!
No, no, no.
This isn t another contribution to Sunday s story about the single urban professional Toledoan s lament, aka, Why Is It All My Dates Order Beer n Peanuts Instead of Chardonnay and Brie?
Phhhft. That s nothin. Well, not to me, anyway.
I ve been married for more than 20 years, which means not only do I no longer qualify as a Young Professional, but I ve had a date every Saturday night since Ronald Reagan was in office.
No, today I m lamenting yet another Men s Health magazine Best Of/Worst Of list.
(Question: Do the people who work at that magazine ever do anything else but rate the nation s cities according to arcane demographic data? List, list, list. That s all we ever hear from those people!
I m trying to imagine a world in which Men s Health fails to produce a list of national rankings, and all I m envisioning is a world without well-fed metro columnists.)
But I digress.
This most recent list and yes, Toledo is on it has to do with bad drivers.
The Capital of Crash, reads the headline, going on to conclude: Here s our ranking of the cities with the best and worst motorists.
America s worst? Columbia, S.C. Maybe that s what happens in places that continued to fly the Confederate flag until the year 2000.
Frankly, Columbia s No. 1 slot surprises me as it should anyone who s driven in, to name but a few other probabilities, the Tampa-St. Pete area (land of the Early Bird special), or Chicago (where it s the Dangerous Dan Ryan Expressway for a reason), or, say, L.A. (where, I confess, I ve never driven but have lost several good friends who did and promised to call me once they reached their destination, which by my calculation should have happened years ago).
America s safest drivers? They re in Des Moines, Iowa. Maybe it s all those grids criss-crossing the cornfields in such a comfortingly familiar pattern.
As for Toledo, we slide in at No. 61, between Atlanta and Lexington, Ky.
Personally, this offends me (as does our ranking on almost every Men s Health list) because oh, you know it s true! we here in Toledo can drive just as crappy as anywhere else.
I do not care what all the national traffic safety data say. Anyone who lives here knows Toledo, Ohio, is a veritable MAGNET for b-a-d drivers.
And Toledo police Sgt. Richard Murphy agrees. So there.
Oh, I think we re terrible [drivers]. Toledo has a lot of bad drivers, he said after I goaded him into saying it.
Possibly the lamest driving he can remember seeing is something he actually sees rather often:
I saw one who was driving while they were talking on the phone with a dog sitting on their lap!
Yeah, the sergeant said, here in Toledo we are always in a hurry, cutting from one lane to another with no place to go. Or to go to a bar.
Well, all I m saying is, they better be ordering the chardonnay