Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Going South to Go North

This afternoon I related a story to the Postal Inspector who was walking with me all day, something that had happened to me on the route years ago. I thought it was a little funny, so here it is.

The man pulled to the big car to the curb. He was calling out to me before his window had even begun to motor down.

"Excuse me! Excuse me! Could you tell us how to get to Route 128 from here?"

I leaned down to peer in through the passenger's side window. His wife, small and dark-haired, sat straight in the seat, firmly belted in and staring straight ahead, as if oblivious to the conversation being shouted across her face.

"Well sir, I can get you started. What you want to do is go back this way," I pointed back the way he had come, keeping my arm low so as to be visible to him through the windows.
"You follow this street here until it reaches a five-way intersection. Straight across from you will be a Do Not Enter sign. Don't go that way." I smiled. "Take the street to the right of that one and go all the way to the end, then take a left. You'll be on Pleasant street. Take that until it forks, and take the right fork. That's Lafayette street, and you'll follow that all the way down the hill and into the next town. Once you're in the next town, keep an eye out for an intersection that has a Fire Station on the far corner from you. There should be a sign there saying Rt. 107. If you follow Rt. 107 you'll start seeing signs directing you to Rt. 128"

He didn't write any of this down, or even look at me as I spoke, merely looked straight ahead, much as his wife did. He, though, made hand gestures as I spoke as if he were mentally reviewing my directions in his head, curving and moving his hand in the air in front of him to simulate lefts and rights. When I had finished he looked away from me, out his window for a moment, then finally turned toward me.
"I want to go north, but I can see by the sun you are sending me south. Why are you doing this? Is it just to mess with me? Why would you mess with me like that?"
I was surprised, but his tone was belligerent, and he really was demanding an answer.
I thought about it for a moment, then sighed.
"Well, sir, the fact that you're on a peninsula kind of limits your options. I was sending you south to get you to the mainland, where you could go north to find 128. If you'd rather just go straight north from here, go ahead, you're pointed in the right direction. You're going to get a little wet, though. Might want to roll 'em up."
I gave a small wave to the silent woman who sat not two feet from my face and still had never even glanced my way, straightened up and continued on my way.

I wonder which way he chose to go?
Oh, well. I'll never know for sure.

... what a dink.

Talk to you later!

No comments:

Post a Comment