The Pull of the Ponies
This is a true story.
We were all in one car, driving to a faraway restaurant. We were behind another car, which was going the speed limit. At once, however, the car in front slowed and veered slightly.
Our driver slowed, griping about people using cell phones while driving. I, in the back seat, looked out the left window. “I don’t know – it’s probably that pasture ranch over there. The driver looks, says ‘Ooh, look – ponies!’, swerves and slows. Understandable.”
Our driver seemed shocked by this news, however. “There are ponies here?” She took her eyes off the road to look at the field. When she did, her driver’s reflexes took her foot off the gas. And as she focused her attention on the left, it generally caused the car to drift leftwards.
After two seconds, however, the driver realized exactly what my theory was about the car in front and then what she had just done herself.
And for a while, a catchphrase for our friends was born. One for a mindless follow-the-crowd mentality.
“Ooh, look – ponies!”