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It’s not easy being perfect, being a God, being as marvelous as I am. The accolades, the attention — it’s not as easy as one might think, being as good as I am. But I can put up with it; I can live with it, if the rest of you (the “little people”) will leave me alone to do just about everything as well as it can be done. Consider cell phones, for instance. I need my cell phone. When senators and governors and probate judges and wives need me — they really, really need me. I’m not at my desk. I’m on the road, being perfect and all that. I do much of my work in the car. With my cell phone clutched in my paw. So, I don’t appreciate Connecticut’s Johnny-come-lately ban on handheld cell phone use in cars — just because some other states do it and just because some of you aren’t competent enough to talk and drive at the same time. You see, the point is, I’m perfect. Like everything else I do, the act of holding my phone, talking into my phone and driving are performed flawlessly. It’s a slap at those of us who are perfect that we must be punished for the sins of mere mortals, who can’t stay in their lane when they’re ordering Chinese takeout for dinner. The affront is compounded by the fact the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as a similar group in Australia, has found that the inept are equally inept, whether they drive and hold and talk — or merely drive and talk with a hands-free phone. No, this kind of lawmaking is feel-good stuff; some states have banned kids from driving and gabbing; some have banned any car phones other than handsfree; others have restricted phone usage by school bus drivers; others have limited phone use by novice drivers. What is remarkable about this anti-cell phone crusade is that most of us (especially the perfect ones) don’t have accidents while talking on our cell phones, be they hands-free or otherwise. The numbers suggest that the phone talkers are more likely to have a car accident, but, at the end of the day, most of us have made it home without bloodshed. The criminalizing of every activity that we find irritating is an affront to the perfect among us, and it is a terrible distraction to law enforcement officers, who should be fighting real crime, like arresting people who play loud rap music with the car windows open. The cell phone-ban legislating is lazy lawmaking, because it responds to a presumption that, in many cases, may not be true. Even if, in the aggregate, cell phone gabbers have more car accidents, the particulars of any accident are a bit more complex. The cell phone gabber may have had a bee fly up his nose, or perhaps the road was icy, or maybe he is simply a lousy driver, on the phone or not. Especially for those of us who are perfect, we’d rather take our chances in court, fighting about negligence and due care and proximate cause rather than standing around in the traffic court cattle call waiting to contest a fine for talking on the cell phone, after having no accident at all. The psychology of the matter suggests that we are in the process of creating a nation of criminals, secretly mumbling into their cell phones when no one is looking. This is not drinking and driving, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving making us all feel guilty about that last pop before we drive home. Even with that, some academics have suggested that the personality flaws of drunk drivers would often lead them to reckless driving, whether or not they were drinking. In any case, we (the perfect ones) don’t feel guilty enough about this cell phone thing. The proximate cause of the theoretical accident is too fuzzy. Take us to court, after the fact, and prove it to a jury. Cohen, the perfect one, was too distracted by his cellphone to stay out of harm’s way? Ha. Who’s going to believe it? The cell phone ban inspires disrespect for law and legislative process. If we wander across lanes — if we make a wide turn — then nab us for the actual traffic sin, not for a phone call, before the fact. And if we cause an accident, then make the case against the driver using the phone. Was the phone evidence of negligence? Prove it, big shot.

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