Friday, June 4, 2010

Safe Cracker

When you're driving to the Buy-Sum-Mor at 3 o'clock in the morning for some Diet Sprites and Marlboro Lights, it might not make too much difference how you dress. Shirts and shoes are required, but it doesn't matter if you pad in there wearing slippers, pajama bottoms, and a baseball cap to cover your disheveled tresses.

At 3 o'clock the next afternoon, when you're giving your daughter away in marriage, it would be nice if you could arrange to wear matching socks and a nice belt. A tie, for sure.

If you're driving along some two-laner in rural Montana and you haven't seen another vehicle since half-past Billings, it is probably ok if you exceed the posted speed limit and if you make a left turn onto Old Post Road without your blinker blinking.

If you're zooming up I-95, heavily laden with contraband cigarettes in a car with anti-police slogans around the fuzzy back-ledge cat whose eyes light up when the brakes are depressed (or even when they're happy!), it might be good idea to stick to your lane, within the speed limit, and not do anything too conspicuous to avoid arousing the attention of the state trooper in the unmarked Ford right over there.

If you're a major league umpire and you make a bad call in a game in which the Orioles are getting their hats handed to them and there are two outs in the ninth inning and you miss the play because you are trying to plan what sauce to have Henri pour on your tilapia after the game, none of the remaining 2,347 fans, nor any of the doomed legion of Orange and Black, will give a tinker's damn.

If you're a major league umpire and you make a bad call for what should have been the last out of a perfect game, well, then, your name is Jim Joyce and you ought to concentrate on your job a little more. That's the point here: there are times when it's ok to be 1/2-fast, and there are times when it's time to pay attention to the task at hand.

On the other hand, no one is perfect; we all make mistakes. But cheese Louise, son!

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