The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Driving blind

I try not to think too much. When I do, I often end up in trouble. It's because my brain disengages from my mouth and I say something stupid or offensive.

I've pretty much always done this. From blabbing about the basement renovation my mother wanted to keep my father unaware of until it was done as a small child, to telling bosses what I really think of them. That even got me fired once. Oh, there was another reason the boss said it was about but it was really about insubordination.

It doesn't pay to be honest sometimes. It pays to be diplomatic, they tell me. Diplomacy is anything from not speaking at all to outright lying. I have a hard time with lying. That's not true, I have lied rather easily at times. Especially as a teenager. Honesty is not the best policy when a parent asks where you have been until 3 AM, is it? Or if you are asked how you got that flat tire on Mom's car.

That actually happened to me. I was 17, I think, and some friends and I were riding down the street. Somebody got the bright idea to try a "smoke-out". A smoke-out is when you roll up the windows, close the vents and everyone lights up a cigarette (yes, I smoked in my youth). The first one to open a door or roll down a window is mercilessly harassed. It is not usually done while the car is moving. It is most often done while the car is parked.

But this time, we were driving down NE 19th Ave in North Miami Beach. 19th Ave was a boulevard type street. 4 lanes with fairly large median islands each block. About 5 minutes into the smoke-out, I could no longer see anything. I presume I was weaving just a little bit. The median islands were marked by those concrete parking blocks. You know, the ones you pull up to in some parking lots? Well, they ringed the median islands, separated by 6-8 feet. I somehow managed to slip between the blocks about halfway along a median island. I could not see, after all. When I realized I was off the road and on the median, I hit the brakes. Hard. It was too late, I had come to the end of the median island and hit a parking block solidly. The tire blew. We got out and we put on the spare tire.

The next day, I told my mother about getting a flat... without revealing just how it happened. She took the car to the service station (back in the day, gas stations actually did repairs and didn't sell food) where the mechanic/owner suggested I had done something bad because the rim had a big dent in it.

I don't recall ever revealing the story of how that flat happened to my mother.

Was I diplomatic?

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