Monday, November 9, 2009

Call me superstitious...

I failed the knowledge portion of the Oregon driving test this week. I mean, who knew passing a person on horseback who’s raising his hand means the horse is nervous? And how many horses use Interstate 5 anyway? Add on top of that a $60 ticket for accidentally parking in a loading zone, then finish out the week with a flat tire after running over a nail, and there you have my unlucky week. Why all this misfortune? Simple: A black cat had crossed my path as the week began.  

Mind you, I have nothing against black cats as pets. It’s just when they cross my path, I get a little unnerved. 

Normally I would have turned the car around to avoid the situation altogether. But I had a friend with me and the last time I did that with a friend in the car I had to listen to him call me “crazy” all the way home.  

Well crazy is as crazy does and I’m not crazy. I just try to protect myself. It’s sort of like self-insurance, really. I knock on wood, avoid walking under ladders, and tend not to pick up pennies that are tail side up. But I wouldn’t describe myself as extremely-fundamental-superstitious. After all, I no longer lift my legs when crossing railroad tracks.   

And the week wasn’t all doom and gloom. From the street sweeper cleaning up the leaves to my friend Sarah, a poised and pretty woman, replacing my upper radiator hose in just minutes, there was plenty of positive too. Other moments included hiking up Multnomah Falls, catching sight of a rainbow after days of rain, and walking to Mt. Tabor, a few blocks from my house, to check out Mount Hood and a gorgeous sunset. 

Wandering around the park, I reminisced about the week that was and realized there were some lessons to be learned. First, study the driver’s manual first because twenty-six years of driving just doesn’t cut it. Second, failure comes in all forms. Deal with it and prepare to give the state of Oregon another five bucks to re-take the test. And finally, black cats wandering the streets of my neighborhood need to stay out of my path. Really, it’s for their own good. After all, I still haven’t passed that driver’s test yet. 

Writer’s note: this week’s blog is dedicated to my late cat Fatboy Sly, a fun-loving mostly black cat.

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