Monday, August 29, 2011

John Moves Forward

John Josephson had an interesting ability. He could stop traffic any time, anywhere. All John had to do was decide to get going and all forward progress would get gone.

Now as far as John was concerned the roads were always a bear. He had to leave from his house 58 minutes early just to arrive 30 minutes late to work. If he wanted to be on time he would start out with two hours to kill in traffic. Some would go crazy but not John. He never lost his temper, he just endured.

John also knew for a fact that everyone else was a liar.

"Not bad out there John," said Ian McCastle. "Twenty minutes to town and back."

"Unless I go. Then it will be take an hour and forty."

"Naw, you just always hit the road at the wrong time," Ian countered. " The way you talk it's like the roads are out to get you."

In fact, Ian was right. The roads actually were out to get John. You see he was gifted. Special. He had a way with cars and they wanted nothing more than to bask in his presence. They longed to show him their affection. When John pulled out on the road, traffic signals turned red, cross walks blinked out of turn and traffic slowed down to encase him, to hold him, to love him. John never lost his temper, he just endured.

In fact if John had become a mechanic he would have been a millionaire a thousand times over by now. Automobiles would bend to his every whim and whimsy. No suck bolts or nuts. No whining fan belts or tedious alignments. Life would have been magical, near euphoric.

But cars had never interested John. He can't recall if he'd ever lifted the bonnet or even seen an engine. He wanted nothing to do with cars. John was a middle manager in the vast sea of the accounting department. He was happily working for a firm that sold industrial sink rooters. Cars where not something he cared about. In fact you could say that he despised them. Though he'd never voiced that opinion before.

To John, cars signified all that was tedious and wrong with modern life. They were the symbol of our overpowered and underused world. John filled up his tank more than the average man. Why own a vehicle that can travel 160 mph and yet the speedometer needle never crests over 30? Why have 8 cylinders when 2 would do fine for idling in traffic?

To John it was the same mentality as people who bought cheese in enormous blocks because of the great price but only ended up using 1/4 of it before the expiration date. Cars were gas guzzling nuisances that couldn't be avoided. John kept this all to himself. He never lost his temper-

That is until Monday morning, on March the 23rd. While sitting in his morning rut, staring out across the cow pasture he began to fume. He was thinking of the last 18 years of driving this route. He knew this entire pasture by heart. It was burned into his mind, from years of staring out his windshield. He could recall every detail, every fence post, ever spot on every cow. He'd even named them. Why not, he had nothing else to do?

"What is wrong with the world?!" John screamed at the top of his lungs to no one in particular. " I HATE traffic! I HATE DRIVING!" At this point John was crazed. He was pounding on his steering wheel and spit was being flung from the corners of his mouth. His face was as red as a beet and he looked like an angry lion caged in cheap business suit.

"I hate Cars! I hate trucks and buses and motorcycles. I hate mopeds and scooters. I HATE ALL AUTOMOBILES!!"

This was of course news to the cars. They always imagine John was their friend and returned their affection. The words spread like a shock wave from the epicenter near a cow pasture in the middle of a traffic jam. Johns message resounded through the universe and all understood that the love was not returned. There was no further point in throwing themselves at someone who did not love them back.

And then, something miraculous happened. The traffic began to move, and for the first time in his life, John moved forward.

2 comments:

Mr. M said...

Moral of the story: All you need to do to get where you need to go is hate. Am I right?

kludge said...

Hate is my only fuel in traffic. Hate and that spiddle that collects at the corners of my mouth while yelling at other drivers...