On my Lucky Day half a million commuters had their morning drives, and much of their afternoon, detoured by an overturned tanker truck atop the High Five interchange of highways 75 and 635. Because I felt lucky about PRNDL, I had driven the sides streets viewing the lovely crepe myrtle trees in bloom and got to work early. The other half million got to work 1.5 to 2.5 hours late creeping on alternate routes.
In my euphoria I compared PRNDL, always pronounced "Prindle" in my family of origin, to other glittery good witch and fairy godmother names:
Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather
Endora (I was always rooting for Agnes Morehead against Samantha)
Not Rapunzel, but Aurora's spindle
Under the High Five are the "homes" of two persons without homes. One has been living there for over a year, a silent nag on my conscience most days as I drive by in my air-conditioned Buick. Once while I was stuck in traffic below the flying arch crossovers I heard a radio story about changing our thoughts by changing our language. Let "homeless people" become "persons without homes" in our vocabulary, and "refugees" become "persons seeking refuge." The word order shift is an instant adjustment in ugly times, an interchange to a new attitude.
The Buick PRNDL indicator did not hang around for long. A couple mornings later it had relocated to a magic hollow tree somewhere. I was not a person seriously seeking PRNDL enough to take the Buick to the dealership for a reset. I would just hang on as a person without PRNDL indications, a person having a few difficulties getting into the right gear sometimes. It should be a natural movement if I didn't think about it too much...
A driver seeking Neutral might want to go to the coin-op carwash instead of the drive-through. I was sure I had found the magic spot for Neutral after aligning the Buick on the blue line conveyor into the carwash according to the attendant's hand signals, but suddenly a really expensive new car was right in front of me, and the carwash attendant was pounding on my window pointing at my dash and demanding I get the Buick out of Drive. I tried again for the sweet spot, but Neutral eluded me. The exasperated attendant talked me into Reverse, and made me back up through the tunnel of suds to start over. I did not drive off with Prince Charming and live happily ever after. I did feel like a pumpkin coach driver minus my livery after midnight.
© 2013-2018 Nancy L. Ruder