Pet Peeves


Always on the Wrong Side

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

I love the trolleys. Seems like a lot of others do, too. It’s uplifting to see the smiling faces as they pass me by. I’ve come to realize that my place in Laguna is to step aside and allow younger folks, which means everyone else, to climb aboard before me. I’m the guy waiting for the next one. I don’t mind; I live here. Tourists and vacationers should be able to ride first. I just suck it up by ordering another round at my favorite watering holes, even if happy hour prices have passed me by, too. Recovery later is my motto. Ding-ding goes the trolleys and ding-a-ling orders another. Cheers.

But this past Fourth of July was different. My wife’s cousin, three children and Sherpa dad came to visit. It was all very last minute. They flew in from Ohio. It was the kids’ first plane ride. It was a big deal. To get any kind of reduced last minute fare the family flew from Cincinnati to Charlotte to Miami to Dallas to LAX. The kids are Ty, Tara and Seth. They are 13, 12 and 8. At initial take off the kids were 12, 11 and 7. They aged well in flight and still look like their Facebook pictures.

Then they rented a car at LAX. The kids were getting super excited. They were still innocents. No one had explained about the 405. But they hung tough. Finally, they arrived at the 133. The kids hit 14, 13, and 9. They still bear a striking resemblance to their Facebook pictures. Then the family hit the wildfire blockade. To pass the time in the traffic jam, their parents encouraged the children to look up from their mobile devices and take in the scenery before it was scorched from the face of the earth. Eventually, a nice police officer instructed them to turn around and look for relatives living east from there. The kids turned 15, 14 and 10 and will need to update their Facebook pictures.

Undaunted the family persevered and eventually arrived safe and sound at our house. Of course, the first thing they wanted to do was ride the trolleys. That surprised me. After all the travel that these kids had experienced, this desire to keep riding seemed obsessive. But they weren’t my kids, so I kept my mouth shut and off to dinner we went via the trolleys. As we waited at the Diamond Street stop to ride the trolley north, I noticed two things. All the trolleys going south, or the way we didn’t want to go, were empty. And all the trolleys going north, or the way we wanted to go, were full. I was hopeful, though. If we could wait it out, the children would turn 26, 25 and 21. And Mozambique was right there and perfect. Ding-ding goes the trolleys. And Ding-a-ling buys the rounds.

Seems like I’m always on the wrong side for the trolleys. Fortunately for me, the Ohio kids were transportation app savvy and told me to hold my horses and when the next trolley would arrive. And it did. Everybody got on, but me. I was still holding my horses and wasn’t allowed to board. Oh well, tourists and vacationers first. And, oh well drinks for me second. I wish everybody a fun ride. Ding-ding and cheers.

Mark splits his time between California and Michigan, but is always in the state of confusion and befuddlement. His wife told us so.    



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