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The joys of risky joyriding - Curt Yeomans

I'm singing, "Grandma got run off to the jail house," right now.

It takes a gutsy grandmother to decide the roof of a car is the ideal place to give a 3-year-old child a joyride.

A grandmother in Marathon, Fla., was arrested on Tuesday by deputies from her local sheriff's office. She got the law's shiny silver chain and bracelets because she put her granddaughter, 3, on the roof of her car, and started driving around the parking lot of a Publix Grocery store.

The Little Ol' Lady from Marathon was clinging to the leg of her granddaughter the entire time.

She told deputies that it was just a "joyride" and she meant no harm to the child, according to a report published on Thursday by the Associated Press.

She also said she was just letting the kid get some good, clean, fresh air, and possibly a few bugs that probably flew in her mouth.

Naturally, the deputies disagreed with her interpretation of events, and she now faces child-abuse charges.

Anyone else notice that people often like to do stupid, daredevil things with cars? Like clinging to the back of a speeding truck, just to see how long you can hold on for dear life?

The details vary, from case to case, but we all know the story in which a couple of teenagers steal a car and wrap it around a tree. Sometimes, alcohol is involved, and it often has some form of disastrous ending.

But people sort of shrug it off and say, "Well, they were just going for a joyride ..."

Lets be honest, the Lindsay Lohan, demolition-derby style of driving is not a joyride.

It's certainly not the best way to have fun. I'm not trying to make fun of people who have died because of "joy riding," but the fact is, an educated driver would know better.

If that's your idea of fun, then you should hit up the bumper car rides at the amusement park more often. But keep it off the streets.

You're basically daring the Grim Reaper to come after you when you drive recklessly.

Is joyriding on the streets the best way to get sued into bankruptcy? Yes.

Is it an easy way to end up deader than Neidermeyer in "Animal House?" You betcha.

Is it the best way to have fun, though? No.

Of course, some people take it to the extreme in another direction. One man in Utah recently had a trio of former demolition-derby cars (no word on whether they formerly belonged to Lohan) planted -- nose first -- in the ground on his farm.

Apparently, it was a joke he came up with after his new neighbors said they liked living in a rural farming community, but they didn't like farms. Go figure.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.