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The newest addiction: texting

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The newest addiction: texting

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 6, 2012


People have gotten hooked on alcohol and on drugs. They have problems. Sometimes they get help. Sometimes, the help doesn't help.

A drug addiction has got to be harder to break than one from alcohol. Say I, being not affected by either. I happen to think a person has more choice, when it comes to alcohol. It might be hard not to drink, but it can be done. The DTs can't be any fun, but they pass.

But addiction to drugs is something else. Marijuana, cocaine, heroic, crack. You get hooked and, as I understand it, you might have a craving that you just cannot overcome. So you do anything to get more of it. Those who aren't addicted (count me in this crowd) just don't understand the "craving". It's not like craving jellybeans or a good burger.

So people lie, cheat and steal to get the money for drugs. Many people will sell drugs, in order to get the money to pay for their own. So I hear.

You think the drug dealers don't know that? Have you heard the stories about the dealers who don't use?

But now comes the new addiction, and it's just as deadly. It's called texting. People do it; they do it all the time. I was almost hit head-on yesterday in front of the Woodstock Rec Center by a kid who was texting. I saw his car begin to move from near the curb toward the center line as it came toward me. I was already moving to the shoulder, when the kid looked up from whatever device he was using and steered back into the center of his lane.

Could I have made a fast u-turn and sicced the police on him? How long would it have taken for a Woodstock cop to respond? Would he have cited him? Then I'd have to go to court and cross my fingers that all my paperwork had gotten to the City Attorney's office and that the young traffic attorney who caught the case was interested enough to go for a conviction.

I say it this way, because the last time I had a drop-dead case against a traffic violator, I had a big stink with a Woodstock cop and his sergeant, and then my own two-page typewritten statement that I had given the officer (and which was mentioned in his own report) never made it to the Records Department. Or from there to the City Attorney's office. And the attorney couldn't have cared less. And I didn't find out about the missing statement until after the day in court.

The cops can't see everything so, when citizens complain and are willing to show up in court, the cops should write the tickets. Will they?

This morning a driver west of Kankakee ran into the back of a stopped schoolbus that was loading passengers, and the driver was killed. How do you run into the back of a large yellow vehicle with flashing lights hard enough to kill yourself? Was that 29-year-old driver distracted?



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