Friday, August 15, 2008
“Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A few years ago Spouse and I were motoring with Mater in her car. If memory serves rightly it was shortly after our wedding and we were on our way to a train station. All of a sudden another car overtook ours and rushed past from behind. It was an incompetent and illegal action as we were on the cusp of a bend in the road. When the car was level with us and we were running parallel to each other, it met an oncoming car. The impatient driver attempted to abruptly pull back onto his own side, which happened to have Mater, Spouse and I obstructing his path.
He succeeded in getting in front of us and out of the way half a second before the other car flew past, and in the end nobody was hurt.
Mater was seething and annoyed, and for once she thought she ought to flash her lights, if only to inform the erratic driver that he had behaved foolishly.
For one reason or another Mater hit not the lights but turned on her windshield wipers instead. The fellow turned off onto another road and was gone, and Mater lost her chance.
"That's it," said I, cackling. "You flash your wipers at him. He won't try that again!"
I think of that often, of Mater's wipers gently and meaninglessly waving back and forth in a poor attempt to express her dismay.
None but we three understood the intended message.
Last night Spouse and I glanced out our window and noted with horror and a strange awe that our neighbour, who is not on his best days likely to be a candidate for any Good Parking awards, had positioned his vehicle in the most disastrous way I had yet seen. He had reversed in at a curious angle so that both our cars made a 'V' shape, such was their proximity to one another. Despite Spouse having parked his own car two feet or more from the line- there is no assigned space on the other side so Spouse has ample room to park rather far over on his side without bothering anybody- our neighbour had still, somehow, inexplicably, managed to inch his car alarmingly close to ours.
It turned out that Spouse was sufficiently unsettled by the observation- not the first from that neighbour but certainly the worst yet- to take some photographs, examine the side of our car for possible dents- I still wonder at how anybody could have emerged from the car without hitting ours- and climb upstairs to request that the fellow move his poorly aligned car. Warily observing the camera around Spouse's neck, he did so, but did not quite seem to grasp the nature of the problem, nor the concept of brightly painted lines.
Spouse is not a confrontational sort of character, just as Mater is slow to enact her wrath. There are times when voicing concern is necessary, if uncomfortable- we would both have preferred that Spouse did not have to go to our neighbour and complain.
Oh, to have Mater here, flashing her wipers and causing a tremble among the less respectful drivers!
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 10:56 AM