The job has been driving me nuts. So have the kids and grandkids. Nothing but bad news on tv. And my feet hurt. It’s been that kind of week. I was thinking…I need a change of scene…fast. It was definitely time to tell Scotty to beam me up. Come on Scotty, zap me. Get me out of here. That’s what I was thinking. And all of a sudden…Zap…I saw a quick window of opportunity. And I opened it, and I stuck my left arm out.
Here’s what happened. I was grousing around my office…working on a new Binder and Binder commercial that wasn’t working. It was a gorgeous day in the neighborhood, and I got this terrible urge to play hooky from work…right in the middle of the day. And I did it. I got in the car and started off for the airport. I haven’t been flying my little airplane very much lately, I miss that, and it was a day full of sunshine and blue skies. So I hit the highway. And without thinking, I did something I haven’t done in years. Only Louie-Louie Generation folks will understand this. I was zooming down the highway, and I popped all four windows, slid the sun roof back, turned up the bluesy Tom Jones CD to stun, and I stuck my left elbow out the window…and it must have been exactly the window of opportunity that I was looking for, because all of a sudden, my whole world went ZAP.
The Pimple People would never understand. They’ve always had air conditioning in their cars. They have no idea of what it’s like to stick your left arm out the window, and feel the wind slide up your sleeve and mess up your hair, while you let the sunlight, and the music, and the laughs tear away a lot of years. They haven’t been around for a lot of years. For a few magical minutes, I wasn’t worried about my job, or the kids, or the bad news on tv, or even my aching feet. When I stuck my arm out that window, for a few magic minutes, I was a happy, sun-tanned, Coney Island lifeguard hunk again…for just a little while.
I got to the airport…pulled my little airplane out of the hanger…strapped her on…fired her up, bounced down the runway, zoomed up into a lot of blue, took a few turns around the airport, wiggled my wings at a couple of girls riding horses, and came in for one of those landings when you’re not quite sure when the wheels actually touched down. Pretty perfect.
Good window of opportunity zaps like that usually happen in threes, and this one did too. Bill, our mail guy, arrived a few minutes after I got home. Along with the usual catalogs and bills, he had a business envelope, and a box from an address I didn’t recognize. The box was from Proud Podcast Participant “California Dennis,” the transplanted New Yorker. It seems I was talking about good kid things last week, and Dennis sent me a Duncan yo-yo. Zap…another window opened. I stuck my arm through that window too, and I tied the string around my third finger (that’s called your signal finger in Brooklyn) and I flipped my wrist…and the yo-yo went down and came up just like always. Thank you Dennis. I got so excited that I made the mistake of rushing upstairs to show my Lady Wonder Wench how I could make the yo-yo sleep. I flipped my wrist again, and pulled the string, just like I used to… but it just went to sleep and stayed there instead of climbing up again…while she was watching. The performance anxiety got to me I guess. But she didn’t slam the happy window closed. She just rolled her eyes, put her hands on her hips, and gave me that, “He’ll never grow up, but I love him anyway” Louie-Louie Lady smile. You know…like wives do…if you’re lucky.
The third window of opportunity zap was in the envelope. My lower reptilian brain went on maximum red overdrive when I opened it. It was our tickets to each of the last few New York Mets Spring Training games in Port St. Luice, Florida. I love the Mets. I don’t care that they play awful baseball. I love baseball. And I love Port St. Lucie, Florida. It’s God’s waiting room. I’m the youngest guy there every year when we go there for Spring Training. Downtown Port St. Lucie looks like Haloween every day. If you can cross the street without oxygen, during only one red light, everybody starts cheering. You can hear them…“All the Way, All the Way.” Then they bang their walkers on the pavement for you.
Dick’s Details Quiz. All details in the current podcast.
1- What makes most guys feel guilty ?
2- What’s the matter with the fancy water bottle labels ?
3- What do fruit flies like ?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
I am sitting here in my big, manly, comfortable, black leather poppa chair in my living room, with a slightly sun-tanned left arm, a sleeping yo-yo, and tickets for my Lady Wonder Wench and I to see a bunch of millionaires playing a kid’s game that I have loved for a long time. Life is good. Three quick window of opportunity zaps in a row. Something I’ve found out about quick zap windows of opportunity is that you’ve got to be ready to grab them pretty fast, because they sometimes don’t last very long. There’s a story about that in the Bedtime Stories personal audio cd. It’s called, “Got A Minute.”
When I wrote “Got A Minute,” I couldn’t promise my Lady Wonder Wench anything. Certainly I couldn’t promise her …forever. We both knew, being together might last only that one moment. And the only thing I had to give her was…being with me…for that one moment. That’s really all I had. She knew it. I could see it in her eyes. That was ok…a long time ago. And it was ok…again this morning. And with a little luck, it’ll still be ok tomorrow. “Got A Minute” is from the Bedtime Stories personal audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Bedtime Stories icon on the home page.
Sometimes the good stuff happens so fast…and it almost always comes when you least expect it. It sneaks up on you. The trick is you’ve got to roll down that window of opportunity as soon as you feel the zap. If you hesitate, you can get your fingers caught when the window goes up and closes again. Then all you’ve got left in your week is work that’s not working, kids and grandkids that are worrying the wheels off you, bad news on TV, and feet that hurt.
No podcast and no blog for the next couple of weeks. I am taking My Lady Wonder Wench and my ever so slightly tanned left elbow, and my trusty Tom Jones blues album for a quick trip to Florida. I’m not taking my computer. Because, no offence…but I feel a great big zap coming on.