Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You Never Can Tell

I stopped smoking almost twenty years ago (don’t worry I’ll let you know when we get there) and I miss it every day and perhaps, if I thought about it, I should be honest and concede I miss it every (waking) minute. It's why I should be a little easier on those with other substance abuse issues, because of the nicotine monkey I have on my back. But, I'm a world-class hypocrite and two-faced phony so I'm smugly righteous in my indignation and opprobrium.

One of the nice things about smoking (there's a sentence you don't read all the time) is the chance to be outside and gather your thoughts before heading back to work, or in my case just stand outside until someone yells out the window to come in. It's like a short vacation with less to pack and to store in the car.

Even though I no longer smoke, I still make it a point to take a break at some point in the morning, when I've reached a logical halt in whatever I'm working on, to get outside and walk around the block. Any place I would walk has sidewalks and folks driving respect the rules of the road so it's not like they chase me across the street when whey find me in a crosswalk while I scream 'catch and release!' at the top of my lungs (and boy, does that get old in a hurry).
The other day I watched someone in one of those EXTREMELY large pick-up trucks (its size reminded me of a house, with rubber wheels), seeking a parking place. We all do it the same way; where ever you're going, you aim at the building, drive around it to see if today is the day where that 'reserved for (your name here)' sign has finally been erected and when that fails to happen, we slowly work our way back from the building in ever widening circles in search of a space.

Many of us are very attached to our vehicles and if only someone was willing to hold both doors open at the building entrance, we'd take them in with us. I'm never sure what we'd make of the stairs, but, I for one, have an all-wheel drive vehicle and no fear of angular computations or challenges. Turn the radio up, that's my motto for Happy Motoring.

The hugely large pick-up trucks, large enough to have their own zip code, are an American invention, sort of like clogged arteries and less than universal affordable health care. Yeah, maybe other nations have something similar, but we got here 
fustest with the mostest (if a tree falls on a different Forrest, does it make a Gump?) and this is how we roll, like it or not. They all sound the same, like a Cris-Craft outboard engine idling in honey and their owners will NEVER have careers as getaway car drivers because you can hear them coming three blocks away.

I watched the large pickup truck approach a parking space suitable for a 
Smart car, or one who had done really well on its SAT's, and go through the motions of attempting to work its way into a spot far too small for it. It filled up the time and made the morning go fast, but didn't do squat for the driver who now had to contend with what looked like a somewhat confused mailman attempting to deliver a package but who was unable to find the mailbox (on the truck). Eventually, the driver conceded the obvious and actually moved to the adjoining parking lot where with only a small amount of maneuvering, the truck was parked.

As I walked by, the vehicle door opened and out and down (way down) dropped a woman of perhaps five feet in height, perhaps weighing ninety pounds. She was so incongruously tiny in comparison to her vehicle I at first thought she was a child, but I was mistaken. She made eye contact with me as she hit her key fob to electronically lock her behemoth and smiled. "I end up over here, every day," she sighed, "it's just too hard to find a big enough space any closer." I asked her why she didn't just head to the far lot in the first place and save herself the time. "Because you never can tell," she said, "
you just never can tell."
-bill kenny

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