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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ordinarily Extraordinary

I drive to school very slowly because I am very early. I am very early in order to secure the one spot on the road that I have identified as being the perfect spot. I am a season ahead of myself because I am exceptionally clever person too. I know that the spot in the scorching sun in October, will transform itself into the perfect spot as soon as the weather changes. To park under a tree in the shade now, will be one that drips with rain, in the future. I don't want to sign my own death warrant.

I am tired after several nights of inadequate sleep. I am relaxed after having thrown many pounds of clay all around my garage. My eyes travel ahead watching the road with care. I slow down when my eyes recognize danger. The danger takes the form of a small boy, who sits a few inches from the curb in a bright orange T-shirt, always my first choice of colour for small boys.

I slow down to a snail’s pace. I identify an adult close by wearing a dun coloured outfit, so that she blends in with her surroundings. I assume she is not the mother, because as we all know, mothers must wear primary coloured clothes or neon, so that they can be more quickly identified by their offspring, should they ever be mis-fortunate enough to be in a crowd. Even without the crowd, indeed, on an arid landscape that is flat as a pancake, a neon coloured 5 foot 6 size mother, can often prove to be quite invisible.

I crawl along the curb to confirm that the extraordinary sight is real, rather than a figment of my imagination. A small boy plays with dump trucks in the dirt, a full 12 long paces from the adult. I know that the adult must be both a marathon runner and a superb sprinter to allow for such a vast chasm of space to have developed between her and the child. The woman plants the edge of her sidewalk. She is about half way through a whole box of plants. I am an efficient plantswoman myself. That much work would take approximately 15 to 20 minutes, if you assume that she prepared the ground beforehand. I look more closely because the woman has a cast on her leg, which means that she must have a leash around the child that is secured to a six foot stake with a 4 inch padlock. I fail to see any of the evidence that my mind needs to witness. I drive on past, confused and befuddled.

How does she do that? What is her secret? I glance in the rear view mirror to check if it was a mirage. It isn’t. They are still there. They are still static, probably for as long as 4 minutes. I rack my brain for the elusive answer? Is there a pocket of extra strong gravity along that stretch of sidewalk? Has she filled his pockets with rocks? Were his sneaker made of lead? Is there a hidden force field or electric fence that I missed?

Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before? I reach the only logical conclusion possible. Obviously the woman has attached a roller skate to the bottom of her cast and the elastic around the child is the invisible variety.

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