London tales 1: the wrong way man
Walking to get my paper this morning, a car pulled up beside and asked for directions. Cheerfully (though completely unintentionally) I sent them the wrong way. They were long gone before I realized my mistake, and as I continued to the shop I pondered their fate with mounting concern. Where would they go? How long would it be before they realised? Would they have enough food to see them through the night?
To cut to the chase, I wished I could put things right and moments later I got just the chance. Like lightening striking twice, another car pulled over – in exactly the same place as the first – and wound down its window.
“Alright Pal, do you know the way to the hospital…”
Of course I did, and cheerfully again, I sent them the wrong way too. Yet again, I only realized as they sped away, and this double whammy froze me to the spot. Any minute now, I figured, someone else would need directions, and by the law of averages I’d get it right sooner or later. With that I stayed at the crime scene – just on the off chance someone else pulled over; I had a paper to read anyway, and no other pressing engagements.
And then, halfway through the Lifestyle Section, I thought – what if I never got it right? What if I just gave in to my wrong way impulses and always upon always sent people the wrong way, accidentally on purpose. My way, or the highway. Maybe then – by being constantly wrong – I’d become a landmark for the lost. Predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent – a point of certainty in a directionless world!
“That’s easy. Turn left at the wrong way man, and it’s on your right after the lights.”
Anyway, can you send a search party. I think I’m lost.