Keys Disease

Keys Disease
Battling Keys Disease at the Futura Yacht Club in Islamorada, Fla. three years ago.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Green-eyed Monster: Envy I Can Live With

Winter continues here in Greenville, SC. Evidently my front yard is an idiot magnet. For the second time in two days, some fool has slid off the road and wound up in the open run-off culvert along the front of my property. The most recent nominee for the Mensa society somehow lost control in broad daylight, slid off the road, narrowly missed the utility pole and AT&T junction box, and came to rest nearly on its side in the culvert. Like so many clowns streaming out of a circus car, at least six adults and a kid popped out of the two doors they could get open.

They took turns walking around the car trying to figure out what happened and how to best extract the machine. They must have decided that reinforcements were in order and promptly called one of their relatives with a 4WD truck. It's always the relative with the truck who has to crawl around under both vehicles hooking up the tow rope or chain. What sort of justice is that? In any event, after about an hour, the car was resting on all four wheels on the pavement and they were on their way. My front porch is the best seat in the house for the demolition derby that my street becomes whenever it snows.

Snow is also the culprit that kept some of the Wednesday-Night Irregulars away from their social responsibilities at the Peddler. This is the couple, who, with their three children, made the pilgrimage from Greenville to Phoenix to watch Auburn in the college championship game. They were to fly back home on Tuesday. It didn't happen thanks to the snow. They were able to get as far as Las Vegas and that was that. As of Thursday morning, they are still there. They may get out this afternoon.

I don't get jealous about material stuff. Sure, I'd like to have a nicer house, a plump IRA, more money to blow and all the other things that would make my life easier and more fun. But I don't really think much about it. I do, however, like experiences that create memories. Sounds sappy, I know; so shoot me. I've been lucky enough to accumulate a lot of experiences and the memories that go with them on someone else's dime. Journalism has been berry, berry good to me in that regard.

But today I am a bit jealous about my Vegas-trapped friends; not because they are in Vegas -- not my favorite place -- but because they are having an unscripted adventure as a family. Certainly it's an aggravating inconvenience, and no doubt the missed work and costs of housing and feeding five people are running up the expenses of an already expensive trip; however, they are stranded together. What an unexpected opportunity to create memories.

It's not as if they're two young parents (No one will accuse them of that!) being stuck on the road with small children. No, the children are grown. Two are over 21 and the third is in college. They have been known to take a drink now and again. They should have had no trouble occupying themselves for two extra days. In a the-glass-is-half-full way, no matter the inconvenience this delay is now, it is going to be a terrific "war" story for years to come. And no one appreciates having a good war story to tell more than I do. Yep, I'm just a little jealous.

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