Ocean City Today

Hope you get my drift

The Public Eye
By Stewart Dobson | Jan 11, 2018



printed 01/12/2018


I’ve always believed that if you can’t make fun of yourself, you have no business making fun of others, unless, of course, you wish to end an association of some sort on an amusing note.

“I’ve been wondering, boss, did you get free air miles with those ears?”

That belief is why we posted to Facebook last week a picture of me standing by my truck after I stuck it in a snow drift on a side street.

Predictably, many experts commented on what I had done wrong: bad tires (true), no four-wheel drive (false), I was an idiot (occasionally true), I should have been driving a Jeep (like the one I saw sliding sideways down the highway?) and my redneck card had expired (just suspended, but I’m taking remedial classes).

The truth is, after having spent a year in Alaska, gone above the Arctic Circle there and elsewhere a couple of times, and having driven in snow and ice on twisty roads in the Colorado Rockies for three years, I know snow well enough to say that it’s only redeeming quality is that it’s better than 12 inches of frogs and locusts.

This would be unless it presents me with the opportunity to be juvenile and irresponsible, as in plunging headlong into a snowdrift with my pickup, when the responsible thing to have done would have been to drive around it.

And where would be the fun in that?

Had I done the reasonable thing, I would have arrived home, walked in, stomped my boots on the mat to free them from the cursed snow, exchanged the usual “Hi, I’m home” pleasantries and then complained about the weather.

Ho-hum. Finding a new sponge on the kitchen sink is more exciting.

“Whoa! What is this? A new sponge? Wow! You never know what’s going to happen next around here, do you?”

Anyone can do what common sense dictates and have an uneventful day, when it’s much more fulfilling to arrive home a half-hour late, walk in the door, stomp your feet on the mat and proceed with a surefire conversation starter.

“Hahahahaha! I was stuck in a snowdrift because I was being stupid — hahahahahaha!”

“I’m shocked,” she says.

OK, some conversation starters are better than others.

Anyway, and this is a major point here, it was just snow, not the Fifth Circle of Hell, the Bay of Fundy on an incoming tide, or a wall of fire.

Snow is fluffy; a wall of fire is not. It’s not as if I was driving home, saw one lane of the road blocked by pillars of flame swirling up into the sky and said, “I’m going to drive through that wall of fire and see what happens.”

No, what I said was, “This could be fun, and if I get stuck, they’ll probably find my body by spring.”

Just kidding. I figured no later than February. That would be unless, polar traveler that I am, I braved the arctic conditions and trekked, chest heaving in the rarified air of sea level, the entire two — that’s TWO — blocks to my house.

All that while trying to avoid being entombed in an ice canyon concealed beneath the deceptive crust in the wild and desolate no man’s land of 15th Street.

“Ohhhh noooo. I’m trapped. I’ll have to chew my leg off … What’s that, officer? I’m just up against the curb? It’s a miracle, a miracle, I say!”

As it was, I was dug/towed out of the predicament by friends and acquaintances, who left the scene thinking, “Why didn’t he just drive around it?”

The answer to that would be the same reason I tied strips of wall paneling to my feet when I was a kid and attempted to ski down the heavily wooded slope behind the house, because maybe it would be fun (Note: don’t do it).

In addition, the question might be raised that if I knew I was doing something dumb, why would I subject myself to ridicule by posting that picture on our Facebook page?

That’s easy — because Worcester County Clerk of Court Susan Braniecki took the photo and then said, “I bet you won’t put this in the paper.”

The reasonable thing to do in that case would have been to agree with her. Then again, what would have been the fun in that?

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