Hit And Run

BC Mountie

I was recently accused of hit and run – me, the most careful and courteous driver in North America…. well, in Canada anyway.

On December 27th – the last Thursday of the month, when senior citizens get a 10% discount – I took the son along to carry, and went to a pet-food store in a nearby strip mall, to get bags of cat and dog kibble.  I entered off the side street, and eased along the driveway toward the store, fourth in the line.

Looking ahead to my left, I spotted a parking space right in front.  Hooray!  Even for the son, those bags weigh 40 pounds each.  Just as I started to turn my steering wheel, a young mother exited the store with two little daughters, one about 5, and the other 2, in hand, and a tiny dog on a leash.  With her head down, and concentrating on them, she dragged them off the sidewalk and into the empty parking space.

I came to a stop.  Still without looking up, she marched them out past the ends of the parked cars, and into the driveway.  It was a good thing that there was no oncoming traffic.  The spot I wanted was to my left, and they were now crossing the driveway to my right, so I started rolling forward.

As I got about a third of the way around, still without looking up, she changed directions by 45 degrees, and started dragging the kids toward me.  I came to a stop again.  When she got within 5 or 6 feet of the side of the car – about level with the passenger-side front wheel well – peripheral vision must have alerted her to danger.  She looked up, saw me in front of her, and took a quick step back.

I waited for her to safely walk around the car.  👿  Suddenly, she exploded into profanity.  “What the fuck!  Where the Hell do you think you’re going?  You assholes don’t need to be in such a fucking hurry!”  I’m at a stop!  And nice language for impressionable young daughters.  Now, in the middle of a parking lot, she let go of the 2-year-old, and used her right hand/fist to pound her way down the body panels and windows, still screaming imprecations.

Well, that was interesting.  There was obviously no chance for calm discussion.  I’m crossways in the driveway, holding up cars that want to get in off the street, and now some that want to get past and out.  I (finally) rolled into the empty spot, and headed for the store.  “That’s it.  Just walk away and ignore me.”  She’s only angry because we’re not treating her as special.  As I pulled the door open, “I’m five and a half months pregnant you know.”  So that’s what set this off.  “I’m gonna call the cops on you guys.”

When we came out she was gone, and I thought the fuss was over.  We drove home.  I did a few chores.  A couple of hours later, the son was having a nap, and I was just thinking of having one too, when the doorbell rang.  Keeping the puppies from leaking out, I opened up.  There stood tall, dark and uniformed.  That entitled, emotional little bitch – she did call the cops.

“I imagine that you know why I’m here.”  I did.  “I’m here to investigate a collision in the parking lot at the plaza.”  I stopped him right there.  “There was no ‘collision.’  The only time my car came into contact with her body was when she stepped forward and assaulted my vehicle.”

They must teach new police officers a particular method of interrogation.  No-one could be that obtuse without training.  I explained my version of what happened.  “If you didn’t bump into her, why was she so upset?”  I am not psychologically qualified to give reasons why the sanest of us do the things we do.  “I don’t know – seasonal stress??  Parking lot rage?”

“She says she took a step backward.  If you didn’t bump into her, why would she do that?”  “She was startled!  She was frightened?  She was embarrassed that she’d put herself and her kids into danger?”  “She drove herself to the hospital.  If you didn’t bump into her, why would she do that?”  Really??!  With two little kids and a dog, she drove herself to emergency?  “She may have honestly thought that I’d bumped her, when she remembered striking my car.  Why would she make that claim?  My best guess is that she’s a drama queen.”  When I mentioned that she attacked my car, he asked, “She actually struck your vehicle?”  Yes officer, several times, quite hard!

The son had heard me talking to him, and came downstairs.  While I’d gone out to the car to get proof of insurance, he gave a corroborating statement.  When I stated that she might be a drama queen, he mentioned how she had screamed about being 5-1/2 months pregnant, and was going to call the cops on us.  He thought the incident might have been triggered by hormones.  There was a momentary hesitation in note-taking, as if she had also failed to mention these things in her statement.

He offered me once last chance to admit my guilt.  He said, “I guess if you thought that you’d actually bumped her, you wouldn’t have just driven off and left her?”  But I didn’t ‘just drive off and leave her,’ I went into the store and spent 5 to 10 minutes conducting business.  At no time did she follow me in, and in the presence of witnesses, claim that I had bumped into her, and what was I going to do about it.  When I came back out, she was gone.  “Uh, okay.”

Finally, he stated that he had to do an investigation into this occurrence, because there had been a formal complaint issued.  Since it had happened on private property, and no-one had been injured, (Then, why was there such a fuss raised??) no charges would be laid.

This is the third false accusation that has been made against me in just over ten years.  The son likes to watch dash-cam videos of accidents, often from Russia, ‘cause those drivers are CRAZY.  Perhaps it’s time to think about having one installed in my car.

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’18 A To Z Challenge – V

surrounded

So, there I was, surrounded by my adoring fans/all the daughter’s pets, when I thought that I should start another A To Z Challenge blog-post when I got home.

glasses

When I got there, I couldn’t see my way clear to actually compose anything, because….  Forget about the dog(s) eating my homework.  The two little #*$@ darlings ate my glasses.  Fortunately, I’ve got an old pair that would suffice, at least until the Optical Surgeon gouged one of my eyes out.

meetings

I finally decided to do a little research on words that begin with the letter V, and found

Velleity

noun, plural vel·le·i·ties.

  1. volition in its weakest form.
  2. a mere wish, unaccompanied by an effort to obtain it.

Well, I’ve already lost the chance to claim it, because I’ve researched and downloaded it.  At least the definition doesn’t say anything about procrastination or laziness.  Throw in a couple of cheap and easy graphics, and that’s all I have to say about the letter V.  If you don’t like it, tough luck.

no fucks

I ordered a big shipment of motivation from Amazon, but it was delayed by the Christmas rush.  It just arrived, so I’ll do much better in a couple of weeks, for the letter W.  See you then.  😀

WOW #42

abyss

I gazed into the abyss Rochelle’s weekly photo prompt, and the abyss stared back. I couldn’t get Frederick Nietzsche to help me with a Flash Fiction, so this week’s back-patting, ego-driven Word Of the Week is the all-about-me

Linguaphile

a language and word lover.
Origin of Linguaphile
Linguist has existed in English since the 16th century. It means “one who is adept at learning and using foreign languages; one who is a student of language or linguistics; a translator or interpreter.” Linguaphile has a somewhat different meaning: “one who loves words or languages.” The originally Greek suffix -phile (“lover of”) is completely naturalized in English.

I thought a Linguaphile might be something that smoothed my speech out.  My son doesn’t understand my fascination with foreign names.  They can tell me where someone, or their ancestors, came from.  I’ve studied the origin and meaning of many English names.  While some of them are – interesting, some foreign names just have me shaking my head.

A candidate in a recent, local election was named Estoesta.  I quickly determined that this was a Portuguese name.  From my limited knowledge of Romance languages, I thought that it might mean East/West, perhaps originating when Portuguese sailors reached Malaysia.  Google Translate told me that it actually just means ‘this is.’  😕

 A young Spanish-Canadian co-worker was named Soto.  I asked him the meaning of it one day, but he said he didn’t know, and would have to ask his father.  He might forget or ignore, so I looked it up that evening.  The next day, I told him that it translated to a copse, a thicket, or a brake.  “No, No!” he replied, “My Dad says that it’s a bunch of trees.”  The worker from Newfoundland, who many thought could barely write his own name, piped up.  “What does he think a copse, a brake or a thicket is?”

A recent obituary was for another Portuguese, Eric Armand Cyril Cecil D’Silva.   I suspect that his mother was of English heritage.  While Eric and Armand may be Portuguese given names, Cyril and Cecil are very British.  My English-heritage Father was Cyril, and his half-brother was Cecil.  The word Silva is not the same as Sylva, and has nothing to do with trees.  Instead, it means hiss, whistle, swish, fizz.  How would you like to be named after a leaky steam-pipe?  😳

The four German names, Hefner, Heffner, Hafner and Haffner all come from Hőffner Originally, hoff meant wish or hope.  Medieval travelers often wished or hoped for a country inn, where they could rest and get warmth and food, so hoff came to mean an inn.  A Hőffner was an innkeeper.  Hugh Hefner sold Playboy magazines.  A local car dealership is Heffner Lexus/Toyota.  A small town, 15 miles out, has Haffner Motors, a Chrysler dealership.   This explains the annual Labor Day MoparFest, where dozens of 1970s Hemi-powered muscle cars from all over Southern Ontario show up.

Lastly, I want to talk about big fish in little ponds.  In Germany, if your ancestors came from the small town of Vetter, they might have adopted, or had that name assigned to them.  However, if your forebears owned the village of Vetter, an honorific von, meaning of or from, was prefixed, to indicate minor nobility, and your family name became von Vetter.  The same thing occurred in Dutch or Belgian, with the prefix van.

The equivalent word in French, is guy, although the last name of the French short-story writer, Guy de Maupassant, means something like hard luck, or tough times.  While not a hereditary name, English has the same concept in the honorary title, Squire.  This is the highest that a non-Nobility family may rise.  While the Earl may possess all the surrounding fields and pastures and woods, as his administrator, the Squire owns the land that the village or town sits on, and collects rent and respect from every business and home.

Come back again later when I discuss Lingua Franca, which is how to order a hot-dog from a street vendor food cart.  😉

Insecurity Blanket

security blanket

I was recently reassured that, as a person, I have value.  That’s not something that I usually worry or am in doubt about.  In my usual, humble way, I am normally pleased with who and what I am.  That did not hold entirely true before my recent trip to visit BrainRants.  Online, he seemed like a nice guy, but in person, he would be

 A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR
AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

Could I keep up?  Would I fit in?

He has two university degrees, and a small string of subsequent educational certificates.  He has more letters after his name than Noah Webster.

I have a Grade 12 education, and a few minor employment-related post-secondary courses.  Of course, over the course of a lifetime almost twice his, I am a continuing scholar of the English language, communication, amateur psychology, and the human condition.  Would that be enough?

Hero

He left the Army as an officer.  While I have respect for people in uniforms – police, fire, ambulance, etc. –I am not necessarily impressed with just the fact that someone is an officer.  Too often it merely indicates a slavish, unthinking addiction to rules and regulations, the established system, prevailing policy, and current convention.

He earns five times what the wife and I receive together, in our paltry retirement pensions.  I’ve met some monied ‘gentlemen’ – business owners, and captains of industry.  Some of them were nice.  Others had homes where commoners mowed the lawn, not sat on the furniture.  Would I be accepted?

I had concerns that I was travelling to meet a cultured, scholarly, conservative, socially-judgemental ‘Gentleman.’  I need not have been concerned.  All my petty fretting and worry was for naught.  The true mark of a gentleman is his ease with any company, in any situation.  True gentleman that he is, he immediately and completely put me at ease.  I kept up.  I fit in.  What I was, was accepted and enough.

We spent a glorious week, discussing a wide range of topics, unaffectedly bouncing erudite words off each other in normal conversation – and letting the other know that we’d noticed (Paucity – Ding!  There’s another.)

He was the stereotypical common man, who just happened to have more formal education and income than me.  He was the kind of guy that I might have been, without my learning disabilities.  I will never doubt myself again!  Thanx, Rants, for providing far more than just a great getaway vacation.  😀

What A Buzz

coffee can

You Know You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee When…

  1. Juan Valdez names his donkey after you.
  2. You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
  3. The only time you’re standing still is during an earthquake.
  4. You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using
    the timer.
  5. You lick your coffeepot clean.
  6. You spend every vacation visiting “Maxwell House.”
  7. You’re the employee of the month at the local Starbucks and you
    don’t even work there.
  8. Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
  9. You’re so jittery that people use your hands to blend their
    margaritas.
  10. You can jump-start your car without cables.
  11. All your kids are named “Joe.”
  12. Your only source of nutrition comes from “Sweet & Low.”
  13. You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
  14. You’ve built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
  15. People get dizzy just watching you.
  16. When you find a penny, you say, “Find a penny, pick it up.
    Sixty-three more, I’ll have a cup.”
  17. The Taster’s Choice couple wants to adopt you.
  18. Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
  19. You’re so wired, you pick up FM radio.
  20. Your life’s goal is to “amount to a hill of beans.”
  21. Instant coffee takes too long.
  22. When someone says. “How are you?”, you say, “Good to the last drop.”
  23. You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity
    in a coffee can.
  24. You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
  25. You’re offended when people use the word “brew” to mean beer.
  26. You name your cats “Cream” and “Sugar.”
  27. You get drunk just so you can sober up.
  28. Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
  29. You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
  30. You don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.
  31. You think being called a “drip” is a compliment.
  32. You don’t tan, you roast.
  33. You can’t even remember your second cup.
  34. You introduce your spouse as your “Coffeemate.”
  35. You think CPR stands for “Coffee Provides Resuscitation.”
  36. You have too much blood in your caffeine system.
  37. The barista asks you how you take your coffee, and you reply, “Very, very seriously!”
  38. You find sleep a weak substitute for coffee.

’18 A To Z Challenge – U

uvula

I luv my Uvula.  It’s that dangly body part that women, as well as men, have.  I thought that it was about as useful as a ‘Best of Keeping Up With the Kardshians DVD, non-functional, merely a plaything for Ear, Nose and Throat doctors, good only for silly cartoons.

Then I desperately needed a word starting with U for the Challenge, and didn’t want to use one that was merely “un” something – unusual, uninspired, unmoving – and had to actually do some research.

Uvula Function:  The main function of uvula is to prevent food going through the breathing passage while you swallow. The uvula function also involves articulation of your voice to form sounds of speech. The uvula functions along with the back of the throat, palate, and air coming up from the lungs to produce a gruffy and other sounds.

Did you know that newborn babies have no need for a uvula??  When we are first born, our throats actually have two separate tubes – one to the lungs, and one to the stomach.  This is why babies can constantly nurse, yet continue breathing.  Only later does throat tissue shrivel to produce one, somewhat dangerous passage.

I’ve got to add that to the (rather large) list of things to mention to the next “Intelligent Design” idiot that I debate.  One of the most famous of them, over the course of a couple of years, gave a number of speeches and produced a few videos, using the banana to “Prove” the existence of God.

‘See how they just fit the curve of the hand, and are just the right size for our mouths, and they’re so nutritious and good for us – GOD must have designed them with us in mind.’

He recently ceased this silliness when an Atheist icon pointed out that the modern banana has only been in existence for several hundred years, and came into its current form through genetic manipulation by human beings.  😳

I Spy With My Little Eye

Pirate

I’m going to get my chance to pace the poop-deck, (Heh, Heh, I said poop 😆 ) and do my best pirate impersonation.

When eye wrote of having an impending eye operation, eye expected to be given a couple of weeks warning, so that we could adjust our sleep schedules.  We are unlike most retirees, staying up late partying reading, and sleeping in.

Eye got 93 hours – less than four days – notice.  A lovely tech named Olivia (Suddenly eye’m surrounded by Olivias.) called, at 11:30 AM, Thursday, January 3rd. to say that eye had surgery scheduled for 8:00 AM, Monday, Jan. 7th, and to be at the hospital by 6:00 AM to register.

It was bad enough getting the wife to a local hospital by 6 AM for her two knee surgeries, but this hospital is an extra hour and a half drive away.  We’ll have to be ready to leave by 4.  I might as well just stay up. I could peacefully sleep through the operation, but the wife would need sleep to drive me home.  Then I need to be back at the same hospital by 7:30 the following morning, for assessment and removal of my pirate eye-patch.

Eye’m posting this note a day ahead of my normal schedule, just to give you the heads-up that I threatened promised.  Just after midnight, eye’ll click publish on my regularly scheduled A To Z Challenge.  After that, eye may not post for a few days, or a week.

Eye’ll see you here soon…. I hope.   😎