Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fun With Lunacy

If one lives long enough, very little surprises one . . . or, at least, so they say. 

As mentioned in previous blogs, virtually every day I bike to the post office.  It’s a twelve mile round-tripper and given the beastly heat lately, I am pretty much just blowing sweat out of every sweat blow hole and pore by the time I get there. 

Anyway, today I forgot to fill out the custom form before I left home.  Since one of my books was going to China, the form is mandatory.  And I knew it.  I even have a dozen blank forms here in this word mine I call my office to fill out at my leisure thus sparing the need to do it at the P.O. So, why then did this big bad bald blogger forget to fill one out before he got all the way to the post office counter today?  There’s the rub, there’s the riddle, there too is the reason one should never take one’s self too seriously.   Stupidity keeps the humility in all of us and helps us stay humble.

And so, I grab a pen, leave the line I had been waiting patiently in for ten minutes, and go fill out the custom form in a quiet corner—maybe two minutes of filling--then jump back at the end of the line--maybe ten people ahead of me.  Ten minutes more--once again it’s my turn—“Next,” says the lady.  I proceed promptly, if a bit shamefully.  Then came the unmistakable sound of plastic hitting the floor followed by the thump that a size eleven flip-flop makes when it kicks a credit card plunk under a counter. 

Holy crapoly!  After a scurry and a scramble on the floor to retrieve it, it became obvious that said card had flown with uncanny perfection straight under the counter in a space a razor blade would be hard pressed to pass.  Clearly, it was a million in one slap shot.

Anyway, the lady at the counter stopped what she was doing to look for it on her side; nothing.  A gal behind me in line kept insisting that from her high vantage point—she was a bit too “ample” to bend over—that she could see the card poking out; but from my eye-level view on the floor itself I was just as insistent that it was not the card she saw, but a small white cord.  “Rita,” the post office manager came over and looked for it (since she is on the "ample" side herself, that was no minor event).  Nothing.  Meanwhile, I am still crawling on the floor like an amphibian and still pouring sweat (I must have looked to those in the increasingly long line behind me like some desperate drug addict looking for his meth pipe or maybe a drenched drunk looking for his “lost shaker of salt.”).  Finally, Ken the custodian came and with calm mien, patient confidence and a flashlight he plucked the effing thing from the dirt, dust and crud where it was lying.  

I again went all the way to the back of the line, maybe 20 geezers deep.  The good ladies behind the counter, feeling pity on me, tried to get me to jump the line but as I told them, “Thanks, but this is my punishment . . . this is my penance for being so stupid today.” 

All in all, it took half an hour from the time I entered the P.O. until the time I left.  As I told the laughing crowd upon finally leaving, “It is well that man takes not life too seriously.  If man did, man might just go home today and blow man's brains out.”


Canal Walker--Michelle came in last night from walking Diz and whispered,
“There’s someone sitting in the truck.”  Sooooo, we both go out to check on it.  Michelle,  ex-cop, takes up proper position at the left rear of said vehicle; Michael, current “Cops” rerun watcher and occasional cop “ride-alonger”, approaches said vehicle from right rear; Michael cautiously looks inside said vehicle, Michael then taps on right front window. 

Turns out that a quite crazy old woman was seated in the driver’s seat; when I opened the door and when the light came on she seemed relieved to see me.  Seems she was looking for her husband, “Ron.”  The poor old thing looked like something from a horror movie, of course, clad in pajama bottoms and some sort of oriental top; hair thin and sticking straight out; babbling on and on in a calm voice as if sitting in our truck and waiting for Ron was the most normal of things. 

Anyway, when I offered to take her home she accepted; when I asked how far it was and she said only two blocks, I suggested we walk, which she seemed to much prefer.  And so, hand-in-hand we walked down Beach Road together in the warm night.  At one point I did think of turning back since I asked myself how could this totally batz person be expected to find her way home.  But, after a few blocks—and a jumbled life history--we did indeed walk down a long lane lined with coconut palms to a home.  “Betty” did mention that her hub was a doctor and the place would seem to bear this out.  Right above the water, this pagoda-style home is truly an expensive one.  She mentioned that they had been offered six mill for the home and the acre or two it sits on.  After some searching Betty did find a light to the house and my job, as I saw it, was done.

In the meantime, Michelle had called a cop—and when he saw us back up on the road, we gave him the info.  

It now occurs to me that finally I have met a true potential canal victim.  I really do believe that when one is as far gone as Betty they might walk right into a canal and if they think anything at all, it is that the canal is just a big bath tub or a canal is just another room of the house--if a somewhat wet and muddy one—and they just walk in and think nothing of it.