Click It Or You’re a Dick

On a lark, Alf stepped into a tarot parlour, and emerged with a perplexing portent: heed the little messages of life for temporary pain followed by bounty, but to disregard is to invite extreme misfortune. Alf shrugged and hit the road.

“License and insurance, please, sir,” the police officer said as he approached the open driver’s side window where Alf Crozer, bent into the passenger seat, held up his license while his other hand fished deep in the glove compartment.

“Gee whiz, officer, what seems to be the problem?”Alf radiated a boyish innocence.

“We take seatbelt laws very seriously here,” the officer said over his notepad, grudgingly gruff in the face of Alf’s easy cooperation and friendly manners. Alf took his ticket and thanked the police officer.

On the way to work the next morning he was greeted by the heliographing lights of yet another police cruiser, the encounter culminating with a second ticket in his pocket. “Dadgummit,” Alf said to himself, “I really need to remember to use the seat belt.”

Pulling out of the parking lot after his shift, a SUV cut in front of Alf, prompting him to slam on the brakes and his nose on the steering wheel. He fumbled with the seat belt.

A few days later Alf was driving to the park with a pair of kites and from the back seat his niece piped, “Daddy says you should never forget to wear seatbelts.” Alf sighed and clicked in the belt. On the highway flashed by  signs with the legend SEATBELTS ARE THE LAW.

A few days later on the interstate exit of a neighboring city, Alf saw a derelict holding up a cardboard sign asking for food. As Alf waited for the light to change, the dirty man looked his way and said, “Don’t forget your seatbelt, pard.”

The following Monday morning slipping into the car Alf set his mug of piping coffee in the cupholder and looked at this seatbelt. Took it into hand, and shaking his head, pulled it across his shoulders, secured it. Smiling, Alf pulled out. He was early to work.

It was regarded as the most catastrophic vehicular collision in the small town’s history. Wreckage smoldered across the highway for a quarter of a mile. Its sole survivor remained in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital for several months, where he met a nurse who was to become his future wife. In his subsequent release from the hospital, exhausting physical therapy filled his months until he was almost as good as new. Because of the sheer impossibility of his remaining alive after a wreck of that magnitiude, Alf was offered the opportunity to tour the country and lecture on the dangers of driving without a seatbelt. He starred in automobile insurance television advertisements and became a household name. With a thumbs up and a glittering smile, “Click it or you’re a dick!” was his motto.


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