Three New Things

9 PM February 8, 2003

Life sure can be interesting. Here are three samples from the last few days.

One: Almost Getting Killed.

On Thursday morning I was almost killed on the way to work. I was stopped at a set of traffic lights. When the lights went green, I had a little trouble getting my car into first gear and it was an extra second or two before I started the car moving. A split second later something flashed in the corner of my eye and I slammed on the brakes with a screech. The thing that had flashed in the corner of my eye turned out to be a little white Mercedes zooming through the red light on the cross-street.

Now, if I had got the car into gear right away, the little white Mercedes and I would have arrived at the centre of the intersection at the same time. The geometry of the situation was such that I probably wouldn't have seen the other car out of the corner of my eye, too. Would the driver of the Mercedes have seen me? Maybe. But the evidence is that they weren't paying attention.

Two: Meeting Robbie

On Friday evening I met a guy on the train. His name was Robbie. He often travels to spend weekends with his mates. We talked about current affairs (Iraq, cloning) and more generally about relating to coworkers and friends. Robbie likes technology but is a little unsure if it is the right way for the human race to be going. He loves talking to people but is happy for others having fun without him.

Robbie wore sandals, board shorts, a t-shirt and cool sunglasses. He had a neat short haircut and closely-trimmed mutton-chop sideburns. All in all, he looked like a typical, relaxed, young country bloke. Keep that picture in your mind while I tell you how Robbie earns a living.

Robbie's is a funeral director. And I can see that he would be good at it because he combines gentleness and other-person centeredness in a really rare way. This guy knows how to listen. Wish I was like that naturally.

Go Robbie!

Three: A Food Fight at School

My son Connor started school on Tuesday. He is thoroughly enjoying it. Yesterday evening I what was the best thing about school that day.

Connor:The food fight.
Me: When was that?
Connor:At lunchtime.
Me: Were there any teachers around?
Connor:Yes. It was in the classroom.
Me: What did the teacher say?
Connor: She said that we could throw our food at each other instead of eating it, if we wanted to.

I then kissed him goodnight without seeking comment or clarification. Why spoil such a good story?

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