Pet Peeves

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Show Us the Way

by Mark D. Crantz

How much do I like the Indy? I’ll tell you. I hired a neighbor kid to read the entire Indy into a cassette recorder. Now I can listen in my car about what’s going on around town while I’m driving hands-free around town. I feel like a detective following clues. The one down side of this forward thinking is that the neighbor kid is missing his two front teeth, so instead of, “The Indy said so and so,” it comes out, “The Blindy said so and so.” I feel like I’m being directed around town by a happy hour drink.

Imagine my surprise when I’m driving down Ocean Avenue and I’m listening to the Blindy story, “City Explores One-way Ocean Avenue.” What? I slammed on the brakes. Was I going the right way? Geez, I don’t possess the genetic DNA to be a leader, so I looked to see if someone was blazing the way ahead of me. Please be a leader ahead of me, so I can tell the nice policeman who stops me that I was just going with traffic. Of course, this excuse is heard the most by law enforcement. If they had a nickel for every time they heard it, they would collect their pensions at 30. I bet I have a nickel to get them that early retirement. Yes, a nickel for my thoughts should get me out of a ticket.  Now I felt a bit calmer, so I eased up on the “ten-and-two” hand position and tried to think logically for a way out of this one way. Oh no, I thought, the “ten-and-two” position is yesterday’s rule. The airbag can’t deploy at “ten-and-two.” What’s the right time? Think. Think. Deploy. Deploy.

Then it hit me. The car behind rear-ended me just as I got my hands to the new “nine and three” position. The airbag saved my life. That was a close call. Too close. I really have to get the neighbor kid to read the “Rules of the Road,” into the cassette recorder. Then I heard an old lady say, “Sir, are you alright? You must be a leader. Do you have a nickel I can borrow for the nice policeman?”

As we waited for the nice policeman to show up on Ocean Avenue, I thought about becoming a new leader. Maybe it wasn’t necessary to be born a leader. Maybe the right environment or the right moment in time could bestow leadership qualities. This old lady hitting me did me a favor. I am a leader and maybe I can see things before others do. I can visualize the right way. I’ll give the nice policeman a nickel right after I give nickels to the new city council to decide the right way is the way I’m going. Yes, I have faith that everyone will be on the same page of the new “Rules of the Road.” My newfound leadership ability predicts a new city council making bipartisan rules that everyone will be happy to follow.

Then I turn to bestow my first new leadership advice to the old lady who hit me from behind. “So sorry, I’m all out of change.”

Crantz tells the Indy that on Visitors Day he plans to bring a cake with a hacksaw in it to the old lady who got 30 days in the pokey for not following the new rules of the road

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