I’m back. Second verse, pretty much the same as the first. As you’ll notice, I’ve drifted away from the surfing pictures. But my slightly irreverent attitude remains. Hey, I am what I am. To quote W.C Fields (again), any man who hates dogs and kids can’t all bad.
So there you are. Cell phone in hand as your best friend gives you instructions on how to reach a new restaurant on the other side of town, or directions to a ballpark, or an obscure landmark that will be your way to get out of Dodge. You scribble a few notes on the palm of your hand, nod acceptance (which, of course, your friend can only assume), as your friend concludes with, “you can’t miss it!”
With me, that’s the grandest assumption of them all, because I can — and most probably will — miss it.
Now why is that? Is it pathological? Is it subconscious denial or disbelief? Is it resentment toward another person knowing something that I don’t? Or am I just brain-dead, or actually enjoy being lost?
Does it matter? Well, yeah…unless one has a dramatic aversion to getting from Point A to Point B in a prompt manner.
Hard to say. But here’s an example. Couple of weeks ago I had a notion to attend a Sierra Club meeting that was to be held over in Pasadena, some 20 or 30 miles from here. It was to be some big planing pow-wow, doubtless akin to the President’s state of the union last night, minus the mental spitballs (never mind what those are), with the grand scheme for 2012. I really wanted to attend, given my interest in the organization, along with their flattering invitation that I received via email. Hoo-hah.
But just where, in the wilds of Pasadena, was the “Nature Park” — sounds like a nudist colony, doesn’t it? So I wrote back to the Club for directions. You take the freeway to such and such street, proceed a number of blocks to the entrance and we’ll be right there (translation: You can’t miss it.) And of course, I did miss it.
Oh, I located “Nature Park” all right. The sign was the size of a barn, but the meeting place was nowhere to be seen, and I did give it the old college try. Trees and bushes and cops everywhere writing tickets for people who had parked in exactly the wrong places. A dirt road here, a rustic meadow there, but nothing that said, “John, baby, you’ve arrived!” And with the cops doing what they do, I had little interest in continuing my search on foot.
So I did miss it, thought about how good a nap would feel, did a one-eighty, and headed back south.
Later that afternoon I sent off an email to “the guy,” apologizing for not being on hand to add my thoughts to how the Sierra Club should spend their time for the balance of the year, due completely to their well-concealed meeting hall. And I suggested that some neon signage might be helpful. He wrote back — obviously missing my droll humor — and said that the appropriate building was right there behind some trees: i.e., “you can’t miss it.”
Yeah, right. Too bad he wasn’t in the passenger seat.
Anyhow, it’s like that with me, and has been over the years. When I was a kid, mom learned early on that I was a poor choice to send for towels (“They’re in the hall closet.” “Which one?”). Back then, I also learned early on that it was a usable ploy for deferring errands to one of my brothers.
And so it goes. So think of it this way: The next time you have to manuever through complicated directions from your garage to a new address downtown and turn on the GPS, you might forward a couple of bucks my way. I could be wrong, but I think the system was invented for guys like me.