Never Sleep With Your Sister….and other lessons I have learned.
The first lesson at hand is one I learned recently – never sleep with your sister – nothing good will come of it. Just as nothing good will come of trying to help a sibling (me) who feels so claustrophobic that she feels trapped in her own shoes if she must tie them (I wear sandals – even in winter). I also have autophobia (no I am not afraid of Chevys) so bad that I can never answer questions that begin with “If you were stranded on a desert island…” because I feint at the thought before the sentence is finished. So it is that partially in tribute to the band Three Dog Night, but mostly because I can’t sleep without it, each night the guard dog sleeps at the end of my bed when he is not making is rounds.
And so it is on a recent trip to Georgia I learned not to sleep with my sister unless the proper precautions are taken first: Even if she is trying to assist with my autophobia by substituting herself for the guard dog (who wasn’t allowed on the plane) by renting a hotel room with a king sized bed. Germs, I learned, have no trouble crossing the gulf of a king sized bed shared in a hotel room Our family physician puts it down to other environmental irritants causing my bronchial tubes to inflame and my voice to sound like Tom Waits but I know different. In the mean time our adoring fans (and few abhhoring detractors) will have to wait to hear my dulcet tones.
Never Assume that someone is leading just because you are following.
This lesson has got me lost more than a few times and almost killed once. In the late 1970s some friends and I were in London for a theater tour. You can no longer simpy say “70s” for fear someone will mistake it for the year 2070. This, of course, being a side effect of the “Y2K” scare where most employers thought civiliation as we know it would collapse once the numbers in the year column required four digits.
So it was that four friends where walking down the street in an era long before the invention of the I-phone when punch cards ran computers and dinosaurs ruled the earth. Instead of each person texting someone else we were all talking to each other – something that proved nearly as hazerdous. Just ahead of us was someone who looked as if he stepped right out of the movie Mary Poppins. My then as yet to be developed mind assumed that the individual was as indigenous to the area as all the cars which I assumed were on “the wrong side of the street.” Little did I know at the time that this probably meant he was a tourist such as myself.
So it was that I followed the individual as he stepped into the street not six inches in front of me he was swept off his feet as he was struck by a speeding London Cab.
It took a moment to recover from the shock of what could have been a near death experience. I ran down the street where I told a policeman that a man had just been run down by a car at the intersection. To this day I don’t understand his reaction. He simply said…
“Is that right?”
…and kept on walking.
This, as it so happens, is the exact same reaction I got from a South Korean Policeman at an intersection in Itaewon a decade later when I tried to enlist HIS aid. As I was walking back to Yongsan Military Reservation when I happened to look down an alley and saw one Korean Gentleman opening up the proverbial can of “whup-ass” on another. The second gentlemen in this case lay slumped at the bottom of the alley. I ran down the street to enlist the aid of a policeman. When I reported the Incident I received the same reaction. He followed this up with “I am sorry I am very busy” and kept pacing around his police car.
If all of the incidents above are somehow related I think it is to say that someone, somewhere is watching over me (and I am sure it isn’t George Gershwin).
See you online,