Some people are getting smaller. I've been watching the phenomenon with interest because shrinkage always goes hand in hand with societal problems generally, which in turn indicates how many rungs might be left on the socioeconomic ladder we use to bake our daily bread. Not that you should ever put a ladder in the oven, because that's what yeast is for.
Still, it's no exaggeration to say that I needed a stepladder to see in the windows of the Cadillac SUV I flagged down this afternoon. I wanted to ask the driver if she had always been so small, but then I noticed the virtually microscopic passengers on the rear seat, which answered my question. Waving her on, I crossed the street to quiz the driver of the large diesel pickup waiting at the traffic light, but he didn't understand my question. Gathering my flags, I decided to take his advice and stop traffic with my body.
Stretching out in the street is a bad idea when you're groggy, because I think I missed a lot of opportunities while I was asleep. To make up for lost time, I abandoned the whole flag-and-stepladder scenario in favor of a quicker, more direct approach to polling. Launching myself onto the windshield of a passing sedan, I was able to size up its occupants without asking complicated questions.
With each pass of the wipers, three important truths lost streakiness, gained clarity, and became generally impossible to ignore.
1) The rungs of the socioeconomic ladder are paved with small people in large vehicles.
2) If the economy worsens, more people won't be able to get out of their cars.
3) Those who drive fuel-efficient vehicles should stop eating chocolate donuts.