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Dear Santa: A few requests that will solve my driving woes

Dear Santa,

It's been a while since I last wrote. You may recall in 2011 I asked you to lower car insurance rates. Needless to say, it was a non-starter. You left a polite yet firm note by the chimney saying that, while you were an immortal super-saint who can circumnavigate the globe and deliver gifts to all deserving children over the course of a single December night, some feats were simply beyond your powers.

Well, I'm back and I have a list that I consider to be both reasonable and executable. Expectations have been dialled back. I'm keeping it real.

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According to your press, you keep watch for who is naughty and who is nice. Many children are familiar with "Santa's birds" – creatures that scrutinize kids' behaviour and then fly back to the North Pole to report. Any chance we could extend this to adult motorists?

Here are a few to consider for the naughty list:

The minivan moron. The guy driving the silver Grand Caravan that tailgated me on a residential street (and honked) and then sped past to blow through a red light. I'm not sure if it was the fact the guy was driving the same four-wheeled salute to lost hopes and broken dreams as me, but his careless and dangerous stunt ticked me off. I'm not asking you to do anything too extreme. Maybe you could arrange to have him buried alive in his minivan.

"Crotchers." Once upon a time, in a more innocent age, when you saw a guy sitting in his car with his face aimed at his lap and his arm at work, you pretty much knew what he was up to. It wasn't cool but at least it had an evolutionary purpose. Now we have millions of motorists checking e-mail and texting while sitting at red lights or speeding down the highway. Can you arrange it so that when people use mobile devices while driving they get warts?

Road Grinches. You know how that Dr. Seuss story starts with the Grinch hating Christmas but, by the end, his heart grows 10 sizes and he loves it? It's the opposite for drivers. Around Dec. 5, motorists start getting into the spirit – they love Christmas – but by Dec. 24, they're full of hate: cutting off other drivers in the parking lot and refusing to let folks merge. These are often the same people who decorate their cars with Santa hats and reindeer antlers. I'm not sure what to do. Maybe you could steal all their money.

So that's the naughty. Here's what would be nice:

Truth in Construction. In my neighbourhood, construction began on a major route in September. When workers broke ground, they erected a sign that read, "Construction Sept. 19 to Nov. 30." Well, it's mid-December and there is absolutely no sign of them being anywhere near finished. I consider that sign a form of mockery, a sign of contempt. My case is not unusual. I accept that there has to be construction – just be real with us. When you start, put up a sign that reads, "Construction Sept. 19 until you can't take it any more and then three more months after that."

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Left Lane Hogs. Let's be honest, Santa, you work one day a year. Why not put your sleigh to good use the other 364? Here's what I'm thinking: You arm your sleigh with cruise missiles and other laser-guided armaments and then patrol the highways from the sky. Whenever you see a driver going 70 km/h in the passing lane, causing jams and making other motorists execute dangerous right-lane passes, you press a button and – KA-BOOM! Instant autobahn.

Have Somebody Do Something. Santa, I'd trade all my wishes if you could just get somebody, somewhere, to do something about traffic. You know, spend money on better public transit, get creative about moving people around, bike lanes, cross-country ski trails, "canoe to work" days, come up with revolutionary solutions to cure the never-ending gridlock. I know, I know. I'm asking a lot.

Finally, I would like a '71 Chevelle but am willing to settle for a '64 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.

Santa, I've been better than most and not any better than others. Still, that doesn't mean I don't deserve a vintage automobile. It depends on what kind of a world you want to live in. Do you want to live in a world where a man can't dream of being given a car by Santa Claus? I know I don't.

Whatever happens – Merry Christmas. Remember to check your mirrors when merging into altostratus clouds. There are likely to be a few tardy geese heading south.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at

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About the Author
Road Sage columnist

Andrew Clark, an award-winning journalist, screenwriter and author, is Director of the Comedy Writing and Performance program at Humber College in Toronto. More


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