February 28th -- The day drivers became lazy
On this day in 1932, the patent for the automatic gearshift was secured by a black man in San Francisco named Richard Spikes.
No one seems to know anything about Richard, but I damn sure know enough about automatic transmissions to know that they seemed to have stopped informing most new drivers how to changed their own damned gears.
What we DO know is that he is also the inventor of those turn signals for which none of us can now HAND signal our intentions when the lights fail. In all, 10 items were developed or directly patented by Spikes, but the most lastingly important is the one that allows lazy women a free hand to hold their cell phone as they run me off the road in their Expeditions.