It just seemed like it would be a good day to spot a whole bunch of goslings while out on my usual five mile walk by the river. I made sure I grabbed my phone.
Even a few years ago, to grab a phone when one needed a camera could have been a setup for a comedy routine involving an absent-minded professor. Or, even something serious to think about like The man who mistook his wife for a hat. Now, the phone is seemingly for everything other than to talk with somebody. Life is surreal!
I was lost in thoughts when I heard a woman's voice saying "passing on the left." I wondered, yet again, why people prefer this approach to warn instead of ringing a bell like we did in the old country. Maybe bells are too loud?
I rounded the curve. The young woman who passed me had stopped pedaling. Her feet were planted on the ground and she was busily looking down at her screen. Young people and their screen-fixation! But then it is not only the young. The other day, when I passed a vehicle in the slow lane on the interstate, I looked to see why that car was moving a tad below the posted speed limit. The driver looked considerably older than me and he was staring down at a screen instead of focusing on the road ahead. Such is life in this electronic age.
The young woman's attention was on the screen as I approached her. As I neared her, I said, "passing on the right."
She turned towards me, away from the screen, and gave me a big smile. I nodded and continued on.
A couple of minutes later, I heard a loud female voice from behind me. "Passing on the left." I recognized the voice--the same young woman. She was having fun. As she passed me, she turned to smile at me and waved with her fingers forming a pistol shape as if to say "gotcha!" I chuckled and waved.back.
Life in America is punctuated with such spontaneous, unscripted humor. I don't imagine such things happening in the old country, or in Eastern Europe, or ...
I saw a tandem bike approaching. The guy in the front looked like he was in his late teens. Perhaps even a college student. As they neared me, I noticed that the guy in the rear was younger. Just as they were passing me, the guy in front yelled out "watch out, double trouble!" I laughed and replied with a "oooooooooh!"
More humor. No wonder the Readers Digest had that humor in daily life feature, which was one of my favorites in that magazine back when I was a kid.
Lots of humor.
And, yes, plenty of goslings.
Life ain't bad!