August 7, 2013
OK so a car called the Ferrari 599-GTB was making a lap across North America, stopping at Ferrari clubs along the way, with a driver from each club being it’s master for a few days. This way, the car meandered, much like a (very fast) homeless pet, all the way across both Canada and America, accepting a foster home for a few days with each Ferrari club that it found along the way.
As the 599 entered the central South Carolina region, someone from the local Ferrari club “had” to assume responsibility for the car for the weekend, pursuant to the rules of it’s meanderings.
I would like to say that I got to be the steward of this stunning machine by drawing the long straw or jumping up and down going “OOH! OOH! ME! ME! PICK ME!” the loudest, but in fact the truth is just so much more embarrassing: I was the one in the club with the cleanest driving record! My DEARTH OF SPEEDING TICKETS in the last two years was what fooled the powers that be into thinking that I would be the safest person to leave the car with! Now, here is just a perfect example of error in measuring by choosing the WRONG VARIABLE to measure! The powers that be THOUGHT that I was the safest driver because I had the fewest recent tickets, but what they did NOT seem to get is:
1: This is comparing me to the other member of the local FERRARI CLUB, and
2: I only have few tickets because I WORK OUT OF MY HOME! Any time I have to go somewhere far I FLY, and the application to chaperone the car did NOT ask anything about my run-ins with the FAA or secret service, which include being intercept by an FA-18 hornet over Washington!
Had the powers that be more accurately assessed the risk of each potential Keeper Of The Ferrari, they would have seen that the RIGHT way to asses risk is NOT to simply look at the number of tickets, but at the number of tickets PER MILE DRIVEN, and the number of FAA and secret-service run-ins PER MILE TRAVELED by alternate means, such as airplane.
Had they done this, there is no freaking way in hell they would have given me the keys to this thing.
But, luckily for me, their research into risk-assessment was WOEFULLY INADEQUATE, so I scored the keys. Big time.
The fearless leader of our Ferrari club, Dave Scott, was NOT allowed to drive this beast due to the PLETHORA of speeding tickets he has, so my initial mission was to go pick up the car at his house where it had been stashed, and start the next step in it’s lap across North America by taking it to a Ronald McDonald house on our city to attract some media attention and hopefully some funding for the Ronald McDonald house that might come with it. (This 599 stops at Ronald McDonald houses on it’s journey across the Nation to try to draw media attention and funding, so this stop was typical). (On a serious note, the Ronald McDonald house is a stunningly worthy charity. They give families a place to stay for free or nearly free while their children are in a nearby hospital. Does this sound un-important? Well, think on this: There are plenty of people that are barely making ends meet, and when they have an infant born with a severe health problem, they might not have the money to stay in a hotel near the hospital… when the local Ronald McDonald house is full, they wind up sleeping in their cars in the hospital parking lot. Now, STOP whatever you are doing and THINK about thous for a second: You and your wife just had an infant son or daughter that is missing a limb or part of a heart or some other un-thinkable tragedy, and you are so stretched thin that you and your wife wind up spending your days in the hospital with your child and YOUR NIGHTS SLEEPING IN YOUR CAR IN THE HOSPITAL PARKING LOT, WONDERING IF YOUR CHILD WILL DIE THAT NIGHT. No family. No friends. Nobody to talk to but an over-worked doctor. About how your child might die. If there IS a Hell on Earth, then I think that is just exactly it. NOW, imagine an alternative: You have a place to stay. A place that is just about like a HOME. The room and board is taken care of, so you are not feeling pulled to bankruptcy at every second, and there are OTHER FAMILIES THERE that are in a similar situation. There are bedrooms for you to sleep, and a kitchen to make home-cooked meals with other families in the same boat as you. Rides to the hospital to share. Meals to share. Stories to share. Compassion to share. The Ronald McDonald house takes what could be the most horrible situation I can imagine… NO. A situation MORE HORRIBLE than I can imagine, and turns it into a shared human experience with companionship that makes it bearable. Think about THAT when considering what the Ronald McDonald house does. And think about something else: They are about 95% PRIVATELY funded.. McDonalds only gives them a LITTLE BIT of what they need to operate. They depend on US for the rest. If you are in a position to do, then seek out your nearest Ronald McDonald house and GIVE! This is money that will NOT disappear into the black hole of a lawyers’ or hospitals’ bank account, but will instead be guaranteed to do more good than you can imagine.)
It is hard to keep up high spirits when faced with this little segment of our reality, and being made aware of this reality was my un-intended pit-stop.. and since this car was stopping at Ronald McDonald houses all over the Country, I doubt that I was the first to have this realization dumped into my head without warning.
All right. Back to the story. Go give to YOUR local Ronald McDonald house and THEN let’s get back to reading the story.
Actually hang on.
In a different browser window, go find your local Ronald McDonald house and give them a call and give them a contribution. It is tax deductible, and if you just pick up the phone and call them they will give you an address that you can send a check of any amount you like. It will only take you 5 minutes and will do more good than you can imagine. Do that NOW, and THEN continue with my silly little story.
Click here AFTER you have made a contribution.