This time on Friday Five Rob writes:
Ok here you go, not too profound but it might get a laugh:
What are the five most irredeemably stupid things you have done, so far.
I mean things that had you change your name to Mr/Mrs/Miss Thick Astwoshortplanks, no face saving possibilities, no head in the sand denial helped and no ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ solutions.
Come on, cough up. Rich description is required.
Ha. It’s hard to keep it down to just five events. Here are some of the more definitive ones.
The Experiment. This one probably comes to mind because of my recent bike accident. I’m aged thirteen. Lying on my front on the ground beside a car, my bicycle on top of me. I hit the car, though I didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t moving: it was a parked car, you see. I just wanted to see how far down the street I could ride my bike with my eyes closed, and perhaps whether I’d be able to estimate distance and know when to open them again. I was not always very smart in childhood.
The car was scratched, by the way. But I was clever enough to flee the scene…
- The Final Release. I’m seeing an image of myself on the day I signed my divorce papers; I looked relieved, pen in hand, and the divorce wasn’t a mistake. It was about the best way to undo that mistake, but I (almost) wish I’d never made it… except that without it I would never have ended up where and who I am today.
The Lost Wallet. I’m standing in the rain by the side of a road in Thailand, and it’s just sinking in that nothing will help. Not praying to a god I don’t believe in, though I’ve just done that anyway; not running through the bush looking for it in the muddy roadside. Not a hope in hell of finding it. There’s a girl back in the bungalow I’m traveling with who now thinks I’m a moron for having put all my travelers’ cheques into the wallet, and all my cash, and then having promptly lost it all… especially two days before we fly out, and one day before New Year’s, and ina foreign country, and I have to agree with her, that’s exactly what I am, or that’s how I feel… like a moron. I know we won’t be a couple much longer, somewhere deep inside. And I look up into the rainy night sky and wonder if anything this stressful can technically be called a vacation.
As a side note: like I demonstrated in India, I am a far more careful traveler now.
- The Computer. I bought a Macintosh in 1995. It was a bad, bad year, and a bad, bad, bad model. And I still owe most of the money I paid for it back then. Ugh! (Luckily that debt should be paid off by the end of summer, though…)
- The Fridge. A little one, to finish off. A long time ago, my dad ran a pizza restaurant in a little business building, catering mostly to the office workers from upstairs. But when the downtown chamber of commerce organized a street festival, he rented a huge fridge and filled it pop, and sold pizza on the street. He needed some people to man the street stand while he and my sister worked at the indoor counter, so my friend Jim and I agreed to work the street stand in exchange for pizza for lunch and dinner. Well, the first damned day, we forgot to lock the fridge. I was embarrassed the next day to arrive with my dad, see pop cans on the ground, and then find the locked fridge empty. I think for a few seconds, I was in denial that I could have been the cause of the loss of so much money, and when he asked me if I locked the fridge that night previous I told him I was sure I had… except I couldn’t remember actually doing it. I told him a few minutes later that I couldn’t remember locking it and offered to make up the loss but he insisted that I’d probably locked it, I wasn’t that stupid after all, and that someone much have found his way into the fridge at night. I felt awful, him defending me from my own stupidity, but he never admitted it was my fault, and never accepted any money from me over it. So that Christmas I got my parents a more expensive present than usual, much more soan African all-hangingand though my dad retaliated by giving me a big present my next birthday, I felt a little less guilty… but not less stupid.
Wow, only a couple of those are so deeply regrettable that I felt a pang while writing them. Things could be, I am certain, so much worse…