By Erin Mitchell
I was wracked with indecision in considering what to write about this week…I mean, it’s the end of the year, and so it should be something insightful and incredibly helpful, right? Something that authors, readers, booksellers, and librarians will find impossible to ignore, right?
So here’s my best shot at it:
As you head out to celebrate 2011 and ring in 2012, have a great time. Drink heavily, if you’re so inclined. But please, please, please give your car keys to someone else before you start to imbibe. If you’re reading this, you care about stories, and that means I’d very much like to see each of you back here in 2012.
My mom was killed by a drunk driver, and so this has been a soapbox for me since I was three years old. And here’s the thing: The woman who killed my mom didn’t mean to do so, I’m sure. She didn’t set out to wipe a young mother and wife, beloved sister, and successful reporter off the face of the earth. She thought she’d get home safely, just as she had many times before.
Here’s what I’m asking each of you to do: Right now, check to see whether AAA’s Tow to Go program is available in your area. You don’t need to be a member of AAA to use it, but it’s not available in all states. If it is, program the phone number into your mobile phone right now.
If Tow to Go isn’t an option, get a copy of your local newspaper and find the story listing which taxi companies are offering free rides on New Year’s Eve. Find the number, and program it into your phone.
I’m asking that you do this now because we all know, if we’re honest, that with even the very best of intentions, sometimes, in an intoxicated state, we talk ourselves into doing what would normally be unthinkable, and we get behind the wheel.
This is also why it’s much safer to give your keys to a designated driver when you arrive at your par-tay HQ.
So that’s it. Please don’t drink and drive. There’s no need to.
Thank you for an incredible 2011. Have a safe and happy New Year!