Thursday, June 25, 2015

"What a way to fuck up!"


I decided to exit and check out the town.  Not only because of the small town atmosphere where I wanted to get myself a cup of coffee.  There was more.  I wanted to get an idea of why this part of the world was once home to the notorious Jim Jones.

I have hazy recollections of the news report of the cult-suicide in The Hindu, back when I was a teenager curious to understand the world.  I am pretty sure that it was thanks to that cult and the suicide that I came to know about two things: Kool-Aid and Guyana.  Years later, I had a classmate in graduate school who was from Guyana--she was of Indian descent, and I always found it interesting when she introduced herself as an East Indian.  Little did I know about the history behind that usage!

I parked across the courthouse along the main street.  Perhaps because of the background curiosity about Jim Jones, I worried that it was a bad idea.  But, I ventured.  When I saw a building with an interesting cupola, I got excited about the stories that I might discover for myself.  I clicked.

A marker on the side noted that the building is from 1889.  Unlike the long history of the old country, here even a building from 1889 has historic value.  After walking a couple of blocks, I decided to drive around.  Which is when all my troubles began.

A couple of blocks away, a driver reversing the car out of the angled parking space on the street almost rammed into my vehicle.  Phew!

Another couple of blocks later, I came to a stop at the intersection, and then proceeded along.  I heard somebody yelling.  "Hey, asshole!"  Really?  Me an asshole? I merely blog about them ;)

I noticed a man on a bicycle furiously pedaling behind me and yelling at the same time.  I wondered whether I should flee or stop to listen to him.  Stupid me I chose the latter.

I lowered the window.

"You didn't stop at the stop sign, asshole.  You could have hit me or somebody."  He seemed about a decade older than me.

I did stop.  There was another vehicle that came to a stop at the intersection 90 degrees to my right.  I then slowly entered the intersection.  My guess is that this cyclist was hidden from my view by the larger vehicle.

But, I didn't bother explaining all these to him. "Sorry" is all I said as I released my foot off the brake pedal.

"What a way to fuck up" was his parting comment.

Two incidents within a couple of blocks was enough for me.  I decided to leave town before anything really ugly happened.

Maybe Jim Jones' crazy spirit is alive and well in Ukiah!  Make sure you don't drink the Kool-Aid there ;)


Ramesh said...

Who is Jim Jones ??

I wonder how you ever complete a road trip. You stop for Ukiah. You stop for goslings ........

Sriram Khé said...

Stop and smell the roses, they said and I faithfully carry out that guideline ;)
The older I get, the more I appreciate the notion that the journey is far more exciting than merely getting to the destination. Literally too.

Anne in Salem said...

Too bad the rich and varied country described yesterday has to have people like this in it. How awful. Would be nice to be like those men and never make a mistake.

Sriram Khé said...

Yep, it takes all kinds ... thanks to people like that bicyclist, well, we appreciate the good ones that much more ...

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