On the Couch with Jasminda



Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of edit@mcnota.com.au and include your title, initials and suburb.

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Dear Jasminda,
Can you clear something up for me? Apparently it is illegal to eat and drink while driving a car. Is that true? I eat all the time when I am driving. Thanks, Mrs JM, Bulahdelah

Dear Mrs JM,

Sort of makes you wonder about the whole concept of drive-through takeaway doesn’t it. I mean, are you then supposed to sit in the car park and eat your double ribs burger with a hash brown on the side? Speaking of hash, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, as you well know, but there are other rather obscure road rules that you may not know about. Did you know, for example, that it is illegal to drive with a dog on your lap? My dog not only sits on my lap while I drive, but she frequently licks me on the face and under the armpits. Now that is illegal, and for quite obvious reasons. You should not drive while distracted. A dog should be firmly ensconced in her little doggie harness, where she will sit and howl for the entire trip. Apparently that’s not distracting enough to receive a fine. Eating in itself is not illegal, but it is illegal to do things that affect your concentration or control. Now I would imagine that trying to open a sweet and sour sauce sachet so you can dip your chips and unwrap a burger while negotiating a roundabout with a dog licking you under the arms and your daughter lip syncing to Gold Digger is pushing it. I’d probably ditch the meal deal, change to your Spotify Chilled-Out-Road-Trip mix, give the dog a pig’s ear (sans pig) and harness the fluffball into the passenger seat.

Did you know it is illegal to be more than three metres away from your car without removing the key and locking it? It’s also just downright stupid to leave a child or pet in the car, no matter how close you are – paying for fuel, dashing in to pick up takeaway and so on are not circumstances worth risking the safety of little Yolanda or Fido, no matter how annoying they can be. It is also illegal to tow a boat using a mobility scooter as a man recently found out while towing along the Pacific Highway at Belmont, but I say points for being innovative. Hopefully the courts offer him some leniency for thinking outside the square.

Another one that should be noted is keeping left unless overtaking, though I think there should be an exception to this one. Have you ever been in the right lane and some moron in a hotted-up car is tailgating you because you are actually doing the speed limit, but you can’t move across safely, and yet he keeps his bonnet just a hair’s breadth away from your bumper because he is not an Angry Bird, but an Angry Man, with Angry Man issues. In this case, you just have to stand your ground until it is safe to change lanes. You can’t let him intimidate you, because he is not really intimidating, he has just been watching too many episodes of Animal Kingdom and he thinks he’s Pope, but he’s not, he’s actually Nigel from the tax department.

Carpe diem,

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