Saturday, February 09, 2008

Small and sleek meets big and bulky

A brief window of decent weather inspired me to walk farther than usual this morning, which allowed me to witness an unusual encounter. I walked past the place where my road shifts from tar-and-chip to gravel and then on past the place where the two-lane gravel road narrows down to one lane to twist its way up a steep hill, and that's where I saw a sleek little FedEx delivery van come face-to-face with a big ugly township dumptruck lumbering up the hill with a full load of gravel. There's no room to pass, so one of the vehicles had to back up. In a showdown between the sleek and the substantial, who wins?

The dump truck backed down the hill and around the curve until it found a place to pull off, and the FedEx van went zipping on its merry way. In this case, small and sleek triumphed over big and bulky.

I thought of that encounter later in the day as I stood with a handful of lug-nuts next to my husband's small sleek Honda. I've tried for years to convince that car that I'm the boss, the driver, the powerful member of our partnership, but in a face-to-face contest between my will and the will of the car, the car wins every time. I say "Drive!" and the Honda says "I don't think so." First it was the starter, then the alternator, then the transmission, and today a nearly-new tire blew, leaving me pretty well stranded.

I may as well just back off and admit that I'm the powerless one here. All right, car, you win! I give up! You go on and do what you want to do and I'll just stand off to the side and yield the right of way!

If a dumptruck can do it, why can't I?

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