As a writer, I’ve had stories with touches of irony to them. As someone who reads books and sees movies and television shows, I see plenty of instances of irony. Yet, I could never say that I saw true irony take place before my eyes. That just changed the other night.
Jo Ann, my wife, and I had been at the Amway Arena to see the Orlando Solar Bears play. Yes, they won that night. Then it was time to head home.
As it happened, there were parties and events going on downtown; traffic was heavily congested. We thus decided to go an alternate route. We headed slightly north instead of south, caught Robinson Road, which cut across the city, and headed east for home.
As usually happens in such circumstances, other people had the same idea, Three of them were on motorcycles. Those on motorcycles were not at all pleased with my driving.
It appeared I was driving far too slow. Now, as a civil engineer, I know that one of the greatest dangers in traffic is not high-speed travel, but high differential speeds. When you have slow-moving vehicles mixed with others going very fast, it is a true recipe for disaster.
I could either speed up to match them or try to get out of their way. I decided the former was not advisable. After all, we were in the downtown area, it was late at night, there were many pedestrians around and, most importantly, the cops were out in force to insure people behaved. It was Saturday night, hence the boosted police presence.
Anyway, I made the decision to slow down a bit, get into the right lane and let them pass. They did and not at what I’d call a reasonable rate of speed. No, they tore past us and zipped off into the darkness before us. Jo Ann sighed and shook her head. “If they’re not careful, they’re going to get in an accident,” she said. I agreed. I also calmed down now that the trio was no longer riding my bumper.
As we moved from the heart of downtown to the more residential area, I did not speed up. I knew that many people would be getting back from the clubs and movies and there were plenty of “off the beaten path” nightclubs and lounges in the area. The chance for trouble still existed.
In fact, we reached a place we knew quite well, a nice old sports club that had been around for years and, as such, didn’t have the best in parking. It wasn’t unusual for cars to stop in front of the place, let people out and then the driver go off to park in whatever lot was most convenient. As I knew this, I made a point of moving to the left lane, and slowed down even more.
That’s when we saw it. Just as we past in front of the entrance, we saw a car sitting there and a motorcycle wedged under the back bumper! Yeah, one of the crazy speed demons hadn’t been paying attention. He’d slammed into a parked car.
His compatriots parked in front of the car, he was sitting on the sidewalk and someone was on their cell phone. We figured they were calling for an ambulance to come check him over. He didn’t look badly banged up, but some sort of leg injury was evident.
Jo and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh a little. They hadn’t been careful, they hadn’t watched where they were going and they had gotten into an accident. Folks, let this be a lesson to you all; that old line about “slow down, you move to fast” has very broad applications. If you truly want to make the “morning” last, whatever that morning might encompass, a real morning or a lifetime, you really do need to learn to slow down. Not only will you get to smell the roses, you just might stay safe.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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