IVP - Strangely Dim - Safety First

June 27, 2008

Safety First

Congratulate me. I'm sure I've earned it. Not just because I actually renewed my license early enough to do it by mail and therefore didn't have to drive through a torrential storm to the Secretary of State's Office the day before my license expired and arrive to find the power out at the Office (which is what happened when I renewed my license plate sticker). While I know that's impressive, there's an even bigger reason for you to send your cheers my way. Upon opening the envelope containing my license renewal sticker from the Secretary of State's Office, I found they had sent me an award as well! Imagine that! So friendly. Allow me to recount it for you:

[Seal of the State of Illinois goes here]



Jesse White
Secretary of State

Well. Touching, yes? I wonder what kind of conversation took place to arrive at this mode of  congratulations. In my mind I picture it going something like this:

Person A: The driving in Chicago is terrible! We need to do something to really reward our safe drivers.

Person B: Yeah! Something really big! Make them feel like their safe driving is contributing to world peace, cutting down gang violence, saving the geese--this is important stuff!

Person C: Okay, how about giving away cars? Put all the names of the safe drivers in a pot, draw a name out once a year and give that person a car. A hybrid, of course, to cut down on emissions.

Person B: Oh, everyone does that. Every time you turn around someone is winning a car. We need something more original.

Person A: Chocolate?

Person C: Well I think that's pretty insensitive to all the lactose-intolerant people out there who can't eat chocolate! Thanks for bringing it up.

Person B: Okay. I got it. And this is perfect.

(Pause for effect.)

Person B: We'll type up a one-sentence congratulatory remark, photocopy our state seal on it and type Jesse White's name on the bottom. What do you think?

Person A: Should we at least stamp his signature at the bottom?

Person B: Who do you think will have to do the stamping, huh?

Person A: Okay. Maybe we can just use a nice font. Like bold italics.


However it came about, now that I have the award I'm thinking of hanging it in my car window, or maybe getting it framed. Though it might be hard to find a 4 1/4" x 3 1/2" frame. Those are kind of specialized numbers.

To all of you other safe drivers, my congratulations to you. Some days, especially here in the Chicago suburbs, it feels like there aren't very many of us. Our numbers may be shrinking. But don't lose heart! Someone has noticed! Press on! Keep wearing your seatbelt! And for Pete's sake, honk if you love SAFETY CITATIONS!!

Posted by Lisa Rieck at June 27, 2008 1:47 PM Bookmark and Share


On behalf of the bad drivers who have gotten a ticket (or in my case, three tickets) in the past four years), let me be the first to say, "Show-off."

Comment by: Dave Zimmerman at June 27, 2008 4:04 PM

HA!!! OH, you crack me up, Lisa! That is SO funny! I want one!

Comment by: Danielle at June 28, 2008 9:15 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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