Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Pedestrian aid

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   One afternoon last week I was toodling down the highway. At this stage of my life a good toodle is about all I can decently expect. At any rate the traffic in front of me slowed and halted for no apparent reason. Naturally I stopped with the rest of the drivers.

   It seemed that the cause of the holdup was a mama black duck with two or three ducklings in tow had decided to cross the highway. A little known fact is that poultry has a fanatical and often fatal interpretation of the concept of, ‘the pedestrian has the right of way’ rule hence, regrettably, the origin of the phrase, ‘pressed duck’.

   At any rate, a fellow in the lead truck in line had stopped, got out and directed traffic around the feathered pedestrians and safely shepherded them across the road. This took a little time since ducks even at full waddle ahead are a bit slow.

   The purpose of this story is to point out that during the entire procedure all the drivers stopped, obeyed the directions of the duck wrangler and not a horn was sounded; no one leaned out of his car and chastised the man’s actions. Everyone patiently sat there and quite a few, when they passed the fellow, gave him a friendly wave.

   I saw a similar example on the approach ramp to the Atlanta Airport where in the right lane a fellow got disoriented and hailed a passing taxi in the left lane and asked the driver for directions. Once again everyone stopped and waited patiently. I can well imagine what would happen if the same incident occurred on an entry ramp to La Guardia Airport in NYC. The cops would have a riot on their hands.

   This type of southern courtesy can be carried too far. I saw a fellow in the lockeroom at a golf club who had just gotten out of the shower. As he sat down by his locker another player, who was on his way to tee off inadvertently stepped on his bare foot.

   The stepper said to the stepee, “I beg your pardon, sir. Is that your foot?” The response through grimaced, tear filled eyes was, “Why yes it is. Those are rather nice spikes. They look very comfortable.”

   Of course there is a considerable lack of cordiality in other places. I’m thinking of the divorce court where there is more lethal knife play than a territorial fight between two rival street gangs, truth being the first victim.

   By the way, the duck herder was a member of our town council. I can only hope that his actions will not start a trend among other politicians. Local poultry will not have a moment’s rest and will find themselves being shoved across the road whether they want to go or not. 

   The answer to the old, unanswered question, “Why did the chicken cross the road,” might end up being, “Because (Fill in any politico’s name of choice) was running for re-election.”© 2009, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

May 21, 2009 at 4:42 p05

Posted in Americana, Politics

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