Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Courtesy photo) Mr. Peabody (right) and Sherman get ready to travel back through time.
Cannon: Help, Mr. Peabody. The light’s green but I’m still waiting to go

By Ann Cannon

| Tribune Columnist

First Published Apr 29 2014 08:05 am • Last Updated Apr 29 2014 07:38 pm

Good morning, Tribune readers! Peabody here. I’d like you to step into the WABAC machine with my boy, Sherman, and me so that you can see how automobiles used to respond at intersections with stoplights.

Ready? Excellent!

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Yes. Here we are! The year is 1972. Richard Nixon is in the White House calling the shots. Marlon Brando is on the big screen with cotton in his mouth, making people offers they can’t refuse. Steve McGarrett is on TV, keeping the streets of Honolulu safe. Jane Fonda is in Hanoi, bonding with the North Vietnamese. Michael Jackson is on the radio singing a song about someone named Ben, who’s a rat. Literally.

Meanwhile, Ann Cannon is in Utah County, learning how to drive a car and also making her father wish that teenage girls had never been invented!

In particular, Ann’s father objects to the way she responds whenever they approach an intersection. Just the other day she kept right on going, even though her father told her TO STOP because the light was yellow. Ann is like that sometimes — disinclined to listen to hysterical fathers in passenger seats. But on this occasion (Ann and her father were headed to Carson’s Market to collect the deposit on empty pop bottles) she could tell he really, really, really meant it.

So she slammed on the brakes. In the middle of the intersection. Thus pitching her father (and approximately 1,000 empty bottles) into the windshield. For as long as she lives, Ann will never forget what her father looked like with approximately 1,000 empty bottles sailing past his ears.

"WHY DID YOU STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION?" he asked her. Pointedly. Also loudly.

"Because you told me, too," she said. "Duh."

Dads! What’s their deal anyway?

But whatever.

story continues below
story continues below

The problem is that Ann hates to sit still, which is why she doesn’t usually stop for yellow lights. It’s also the reason she likes to gun the engine and race like a jackrabbit on Adderall out into the intersection as soon as the light turns green.

She’s not the only driver who does this. In 1972, everyone puts the pedal to the metal as soon as the light changes. It’s like the beginning of the Indy 500, right there at the intersection of Center Street and University Avenue.

Remember those days? When cars actually moved as soon as the light changed?

Now you have to wait at an intersection after a light changes. You have to wait, wait and also wait. Sometimes you even have to honk your horn to tell the driver in front of you to get a move on after the light turns green. Sometimes you even have to honk your horn at the same driver over and over as the two of you hit every intersection along Ninth East.

So what’s changed?

Thanks to my massive, supersmart dog brain I have discovered the answer, which is this: Back in 1972, drivers weren’t pulling out their cellphones to check for messages every time they stopped at a traffic light. Cellphones hadn’t been invented yet. So drivers just sat in their cars and listened to Michael Jackson sing love songs to his pet rat.

Ben, the two of us need look no more.

We both found what we were looking for. …

AAUGH! No wonder drivers were in a hurry to get moving again. But that’s not the point. The point is this: Absolutely NOBODY needs to check for email or text messages while driving a car. Please let them wait. So I don’t have to.


Mr. Peabody

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.