The Corner

You Can’t Help but Wonder

My remote ancestors, stumbling around in the great forests of northern Europe, believed that powerful spirits dwelt in trees.  Were they on to something?

Walking my dog every morning, we pass a huge, gnarled old tree.  Every time we pass this tree, I have to pat it with the flat palm of my right hand.  I don’t know why, I have just made it a habit.  Every morning for 15 years I have patted this tree.  It’s my lucky tree.  (I actually have to cross a road to get to it, so there is a nonzero probability I’ll get killed on the way to my lucky tree, but never mind that.)

Well, coming up to my lucky tree yesterday, I saw a crabby old lady from the next street with her even more disagreeable dog, hanging round quite unnecessarily by the tree.  We’ve had words with this woman and her husband about issues related to children’s pranks, and we now avoid them.  I also didn’t want Boris to get into a fight with the woman’s ugly, stupid, belligerent, no doubt flea-infested dog.  So just for once I passed up on patting my lucky tree.

Later my wife took her car in for a tune-up.  They did something wrong to it, and after she’d picked up the car & was driving away, it emitted a terrible noise.  We got it back to the service station & they said they’d call us next day ( i.e. today).  So we were a one-car family last evening.

Took Danny to football practice, which is from 6pm to 8pm.  Around 7:15 it started to pour, so practice was truncated.  Took Danny back to car.  I had locked my keys inside–a thing I don’t think I have ever done before.  Stood in the rain with cell phone borrowed from coach, calling wife, under withering scorn from son.  Wife reminded me that we have only one car.  Begged ride home from coach, hurled self on mercy of neighbor, who drove me the 4 miles to the field with spare car key.  (God bless you, Pat.)

When I got home I found my computer had crashed.

I’ve pretty much recovered now, car in driveway, computer up and running.  Touch wood.