Friday, December 09, 2011

In Which I Nearly Get Run Over on Memory Lane

'The Absent-Minded Professor' (1961)In his weekly updates regarding our football pool, our friend Dr. Pauly has started referring to me as “the absent-minded professor.” He doesn’t know it, but by alluding to the 1961 Disney film in which Double Indemnity star Fred MacMurray took a turn as the flubber-inventing title character, Pauly is in fact highlighting what is essentially my biggest fear in the pool -- to forget to submit my picks.

I’m actually quite organized, hardly the absent-minded type, although this week hasn’t been the greatest for me. I could blame it on the end of the semester -- always a very distracting time for teachers -- but now that I’m teaching just a single class that really isn’t much of an excuse.

There have been a couple of uncharacteristic slip-ups this week, I’m sorry to report. Small memory lapses serving to remind that perfection eludes us all. The most comical of these by far happened last night. Indeed, it was almost as slapsticky as some of the scenes in The Absent-Minded Professor.

Vera Valmore and I own a big Ford diesel truck which she sometimes uses to pull horse trailers. Not long ago I we were shuttling vehicles back and forth from the barn to our house and the truck wound up at home rather than the barn where it normally sits parked. So last night while Vera was at the barn riding I drove the truck out with the plan to leave it there, and she would drive us both back.

I had to transfer some stuff from another car to the truck while also remembering to take Vera her extra truck key and a few other items from the house. To summarize, there were a handful of things I needed to keep in mind in preparing for the trip, and somehow I managed to remember them all.

Except one, that is.

In transferring items to and from vehicles I occasionally set a few on the hood of the truck rather than on the seat. In retrospect, that was not a recommended choice.

I initially drove out, got halfway down the road heading toward the interstate, then realized I’d left the key for Vera on the counter. Drove back, secured the key, then left again, traveling about a mile or so to the interstate.

My wallet!I had just gotten onto the ramp downward to the highway when I noticed an item flying off the hood of the truck. My wallet! Don’t ask me why I had thought it needful to set my wallet there during all of my fiddling, because I have no idea myself. Incredibly it had remained put during that initial extra trip around the block as well as the mile that led up to my picking up speed to merge onto the interstate.

Luckily there was some shoulder available on the side of the ramp, and I pulled over quickly and got out. It was just about dusk, but there was still enough light for me to see my wallet sitting in the middle of the road a few dozen yards back. Cars were driving over it, and I had to wait for them to pass before dashing out into the road to retrieve the sucker.

I picked it up to see all of the cards had fallen out -- credit and debit cards, library cards, my health insurance card, my voting registration card, all of it. Even my Total Rewards card, haha. I looked around to see a few scattered on the pavement, and a few more among the fallen leaves that lined each side of the road.

The next ten minutes were spent dashing up and down and back and forth, grabbing cards and dodging cars, trying desperately to keep my head clear and not succumb entirely to the absurdity of the situation. It was getting darker, and fast. I had recovered what seemed like all of my cards except one. Unfortunately it was a debit card, one of the few among the bunch I really didn’t want to leave lying somewhere on the road.

Finally I saw what looked like my debit card sitting among some leaves. But it was only an empty cigarette pack. Then I thought I saw it back in the road, but that was just my similarly-colored savings card from the grocery store.

At last I spotted the debit card back up the road where the wallet had first taken flight. I waited for a couple more cars to pass, ran out and grabbed it, jogged back down to the truck, and hopped back into the driver’s seat.

As I drove I thought briefly of that “data leak” of information regarding UltimateBet customers from last week (discussed here). If I hadn’t managed to recover all of my cards, I could’ve replaced them, sure. But I’d have still worried vaguely about some of my personal information getting literally spilled about.

Anyhow, everything seems to be back where it belongs today. As far as I can remember, anyway.

Meanwhile, I think I might just go ahead and make my Sunday NFL picks right now.

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Blogger Pauly said...

You're tied for first place with an Australian. This makes me giggle every time I mention it.

GL, sir.

12/09/2011 2:30 PM  

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