Monday, May 30, 2011

Life lesson #17,643: Some people are oblivious.

During a portion of my corporate career, I commuted to work as part of a four-person car pool. Every morning each of us would drive a mile or so from our homes to the local Target parking lot, arriving from four different directions. Then three of us would park our cars and pile into the fourth car for the rest of the 26-mile trip. Each week, we rotated the lucky car and driver for “the rest of the trip” so as a group we managed to cut gas consumption by 75%.

The members of the car pool were George, John, Diane, and moi (not Paul and Ringo). Although we all worked on the same floor of the same building for the same company, basically we discovered that we couldn’t stand each other. We disagreed and argued from the time we entered the car until we reached our destination -- Diane began referring to our little group as “the killer car pool” to the amusement of the rest of the floor -- until we reached a truce of sorts when someone suggested that instead of talking we listen to music on the way to work so that we would arrive calm, cool, and collected instead of stressed out before the workday even started.

We no longer argued as much, but we had completely different tastes in music, and it was always driver’s choice. But a deal was a deal, so it worked after a fashion. We even began to like each other a little.

One day, George (who was Japanese-Hawaiian and a graduate of the University of Oregon, had a wife and two children, attended church every Sunday, sang in the choir, and saw no conflict in the fact that he was also the proud owner of a large collection of porn-video) had the radio turned on to a Golden Oldies station. The following song filled George’s Volkswagen Beetle:

“Turn, Turn, Turn” by The Byrds (3:22)

We all listened in silence, remembering the days of our own youth. When the selection ended, I said, “That’s in the Bible.”

George said, “What’s in the Bible?”

“That song,” I said. “Except for the title, the lyrics are from the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament.”

“Really?” said George. “I never listened to the words. I just thought it was good to dance to.”

Thus the education of Rhymeswithplague continued long after school days were finished.

Perhaps if George had driven a Lincoln Town Car instead of a Volkswagen Beetle our car pool would have lasted longer. Proximity does strange things to people.


Pat - Arkansas said...

I tried car-pooling for a very short time (1 week). It was drive myself or go to jail for assault and battery, if not homicide. I never tried it again.

Glenda Manus said...

Carpooling is awkward - especially when the only thing you have in common is going in the same general direction. I suffered through it for a couple of years in the '70's when gas price went up. I found out quickly that 6:30 am brings out the most unpleasant nature of people. I always seemed to get stuck with those who claimed they "were not a morning person".

rhymeswithplague said...

Happy Memorial Day, Pat(of Arkansas) and Glenda (of South Carolina). I agree completely with your assessments of carpooling as a remedy for high gasoline prices: the medicine is worse than the disease.

Snowbrush said...

It's appalling how ignorant some people are about the Bible--and Ecclesiastes is one of the best books in the Bible too.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snowbrush! Glad to see you back again in my little corner of Blogland!

Putz said...

volkswagons are in the bible

rhymeswithplague said...

Putz, Volkswagens are NOT in the Bible, but a Honda definitely is. Several places in the book of Acts it says the disciples were in one Accord.