The Norman Transcript

October 4, 2013

We are always in a hurry


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Another unscheduled accident messed up the perfectly sluggish flow of rush hour traffic today.

However, is there ever a good time for an accident? Whether scheduled or unscheduled, if people are involved, such unpleasant incidents seem to be the norm rather than the exception. After all, they are only human.

For those who endure the daily snail slither of rush hour, such spontaneous moments of carnage are greeted with well-practiced linguistic exercises known as venting. After all, what else is there to do while waiting for someone to unclog the drain and get traffic chugging once more? Twiddle our thumbs?

Even if you are not a betting person, you might be tempted to make a small wager on a sure thing. The answer to one simple question that should be asked of people involved in accidents.

“Were you in a hurry?”

In most cases, the involved parties will reply with a sheepish or aggravated, “Yes.” Some might be outright angry, blaming the “other guy” rather than admitting to their own culpability, which is a separate tale for another time.

The hard part will be subtly butting into the conversation between the officer taking down information for his report and the people involved in the accident. Never mind that it may not be the most opportune moment to chat them up, particularly if one or more of the people involved are being strapped on a stretcher.

Do not be offended if they tell you to, “Bug off!” or some other phrase meant to deter you from your purpose. In fact, expect them to do so. People just do not focus well under stressful situations. They also have no way of knowing that your purpose is to learn from their mistakes and avoid such events of vehicular and/or human damage or destruction.

We can take “being in a hurry” and the sometimes almost predictable accident and apply them to situations other than driving.

For example, when Hubby was just a lad, he admired Superman. Consequently, it was a natural leap in the young lad’s mind to emulate his hero. How? He tied one of his mother’s dish towels around his neck. Viola! It became superman’s cape and that meant that he too could fly. So, the young version of Hubby climbed on the roof of their house and jumped, fully expecting to fly. Was he surprised. He was also lucky that no bones were broken during this childhood experiment. Of course, he was more concerned and disappointed to learn that he could not fly. Did we mention that his mother was upset.

Needless to say, we can excuse or at least explain this mishap as the normal behavior of a young and imaginative child. But that does not explain similar unthinking behavior on the part of adults.

Almost anything we do in haste can and often does result in a little or a lot of blood flow, pain and perhaps even an unplanned trip to the emergency room.

When someone uses a box cutter or knife and cuts the box or food toward his or her hand or stomach, more often than not, blood will flow. What about someone slicing vegetables on a food slicer without the protective barrier used to push the food along? Unfortunately, as our adult son discovered, careless slicing can result in a shortened fingertip.

Acting impulsively (another word for hastily) can result in unforeseen consequences as did Alice of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” fame. She saw a large, flustered white rabbit looking at his watch saying, “Oh dear. Oh dear. I shall be too late.” What does little Alice do? She follows the rabbit and falls down a hole.

Lewis Carroll’s apropos quotation could also be taken as a warning.

“The hurrier I go the behinder I get.”

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on amazon.com. Visit her website, www.elizabethcowan.com.