To Drive Or Not To Drive
After our excursion to a seaside last weekend, I thought a little fish drawing might be in order. Your guess is as good as mine. Is the worm offering the fish a way out or just leading him on? I wonder what a good caption might be. If you have any ideas, let me know.
The weather today has been unbelievable. The mercury topped 100 degrees this afternoon as the jet stream sucked up that Sub Saharan air and dumped it directly in our neck of the woods. It was blazin' hot for England.
We were sitting having a late lunch at a lovely cafe in Hitchin this afternoon. It was fascinating to watching folks walk past. Some people were going by at breakneck speed on their way to some appointment or other; some looked deathly afraid they would be late. Some sauntered by without a care in the world, having a grand old time.
Some were a little scary. I guess there's always some creepy people in the world. One of them sat down next to us at the cafe. He was dressed all in black (admirable given the temperature). He had one of those black pork pie hats and a pork pie face that could have come straight out of a Dickensian drama. I was surprised he wasn't drooling. He was a bit of a letch watching the women going to and fro. I guess old Charlie Dickens would have called him Mr. Letcher from Bosom Alley.
He was the least of our concerns as it would turn out.
One old fella walked up to his car. God, I felt sorry for him. He was skinny as a rail, and his mouth hung open like a cave awaiting the exodus of 10 million bats. He was in a permanent state of exhaling like Mr. John Coffee breathing out the bad stuff on the Green Mile or The Scream by Edvard Munch.
It was painful to watch him get into his car right in front of us.
I then saw an elderly Sikh couple approaching - a lovely older couple. The pair were hobbling along very nicely on the sidewalk (pavement for my English friends). I remember thinking, wow those two shouldn't be out on a day like today. They were clearly struggling.
To my amazement, after the first Rocky Horror Auto Show with gaping mouth man, this couple started to approach a car. They could hardly walk. I was sure calamity would present itself yet again, and I'd have to invoke incantations and beseech the Almighty for pedestrian protection again.
The man helped what I assume was his wife into the car. Once she settled in, the man went around to the driver's side to get in the car. It was clear he was struggling as well. He went through a similar checklist to gaping mouth man. Turn, sit, twist, insert leg, twist, maneuver leg two, and so on.
They drove off in there Merclette (small Mercedes - I think the term should catch on). I again said a little prayer.
As I was supplicating myself to the celestial overlord, Andrea said in her most posh English accent said, "Oh, good heavens. Don't these people know about Uber?" I went back to my third beer - no I wasn't driving!
One of the most significant challenges I had with dad, as he progressed through different stages of oldhood, was convincing him not to drive.
I had a conversation with him that lasted hours. He was having none of it. Nobody will tell him what he could and could not do. But, after that long conversation, and an accident that took off the wing mirror (no one was hurt, only a tree branch was damaged), he admitted that he shouldn't be driving and would not drive anymore. Of course, the next day, it was like the conversation never took place.
From then on, I was the pariah that kept him from driving. I had taken away his keys, and he was not a happy camper. Lucky for me, he quickly forgot who it was who told him not to drive. He said he had decided that it wasn't a good thing. In the end, it became random other people who had told him he shouldn't drive. There was always somebody to blame. I'm just glad it wasn't me all the time.
What I'm trying to say, and I hope I live up to it in the end.
I hope I can recognize when I can no longer safely drive from here to there.
I hope there are loved ones who will let me know.
I hope I realize that there is Uber.
I hope that time doesn't come too soon, but I know it will happen.
So, until next week, I wish you peace and please, if you drive, do drive safely.
T - 256 DAYS
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