Monday, July 27, 2009


This has nothing to do with the current series, just a scene from my day today:

It’s lunchtime, so I head out the office door to my car. It’s warm out but not unpleasant, though I can tell it’s a prelude to steamy afternoon.

I wheel my car out of my parking lot and toward the divided, four-lane parkway that runs through my office park. I generally look upon the stop signs within the office park as optional, so it lightly irritates me when I look left and see two vehicles coming my direction. As I wait for them to pass, I notice that the first vehicle is a white motor scooter piloted by a college-age girl. She’s wearing a helmet (also white), which I note is unusual to see on Vespa-riders. I also comment to myself that she’s really making time, zipping past me in the right lane at, I estimate, 35mph. The speed limit on this road is 30 mph, but it isn’t unusual to see cars flying by at 40mph or more. It does feel strange to see someone on such a tiny vehicle move this fast.

The second vehicle, a Mustang convertible, is not far behind in the left lane. As I pull in behind them, I notice that ScooterGirl has signaled and moved into the left lane. The Mustang, presumably deciding it needs more room, moves over to the right lane. I assemble the limited number of facts in my head and come to the conclusion that ScooterGirl will regret her decision. I figure that she’s headed toward the junior college a couple of miles off and the right lane is more conducive to her journey than the left.

As the road curves and bends, I catch up a little and see that she has, indeed, moved back over to the right lane with the Mustang still trailing. As I cross the bridge, I look up to see her brake lights glowing as she approaches what can be a sharp left curve if you’re moving too quickly. Now she’s in the left lane again while the Mustang is in the right.

Suddenly, the scooter moves toward the left curb, hits it and sends the girl rolling into the grassy island. I let out an audible gasp and continue towards the accident. She pops up and dusts herself off as the Mustang stops next to her in the right lane. The balding, white-haired man in the sports car appears to be asking her if she is alright while she gathers her wits and her scooter. After receiving sufficient answers to his questions about her state of being he pulls off and heads on his way. I pull up just as he leaves and stop my car.

“You okay?” I say, a look of genuine concern on my face.

“Yeah,” she replies, an embarrassed grin on her face. She rights the scooter and keys the ignition.


I smile and decide that if she didn’t warrant enough concern for the other guy to offer further assistance then she’s probably fine. Plus, I don’t want to multiply her embarrassment by running her through another gauntlet of questioning. I’ve wiped out like that as a kid riding my bike and I always wished the folks that were (rightfully) concerned for my well-being would just move along and let me be. Of course, I wasn’t moving that fast. Or wearing a helmet, for that matter. If she was anything like me, I’m sure she had a shaky ride to her final destination.

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