15 October 2009

Random weirdness

Every once in a while we are bound to notice something odd, completely unexpected within the realm of humanity. Like the time I was driving home from work, stopped at a traffic light, and saw a bicycle pedaling toward me. The cyclist riding it was wearing an honest-to-goodness space helmet. No freaking kidding. Or the time that I saw a guy exiting a surfboard store with a really long stick threaded through his pierced nose. You just don't see that every day, do you? Those sights have a permanently reserved spot at the top of my unexpected sightings list. Perhaps a dubious honor.

Over the past 24 hours I have had the privilege to add to this list. Nothing so unusual as to rival the astronaut cyclist or the surfing nose piercing guy, but good enough for an honorable mention.

First, 6:55 am, driving to the house to meet the contractors. It is still dark outside. There is an SUV stopped in the middle of the road at precisely the location where I need to turn left to enter the subdivision. I slowly approach and determine that this car is not moving; the interior light is on. I decide to pass, and as I do, I catch a glimpse of the driver applying makeup. So weird, why not just do it at home in better light?

Second, shortly after noon, the same day. It has been raining lightly but steadily for hours. I am driving north on a busy city street and notice two pedestrians walking abreast of each other at the same pace and in the same direction but not side-by-side. There is a man with an umbrella walking in the grass at the edge of the street and a woman without an umbrella walking in the middle lane of this busy street. She seems immune to the cars whizzing by all around her.

Third, mid-afternoon, the same day. The rain has finally abated and it is now hot and humid. I am driving south on the same busy city street and notice yet another pedestrian in the middle lane. This time it is a young woman pushing a baby carriage. There are so many things wrong with this situation, including the fact that there is a controlled intersection not 200 yards away, that I just don’t know how to process the absurdity.

Fourth, approaching twilight on the same day. I am making my final trip over to the new house with a load of boxes and other belongings. The first turn from a major city street to a neighborhood street takes you along a fairway. If you follow the street it will eventually lead to the country club. There are no sidewalks along this road and the lighting is poor. As I made this first turn, I noticed a pedestrian walking on the street. A man wearing a suit and tie. Seemed like he should have been driving a BMW.

Maybe if I had seen only one of these sightings, it would have ranked insignificant and been lost among the minutiae of the day’s activities.

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