Thursday, June 25, 2015

"What a way to fuck up!"

Ukiah.

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 ;)

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