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July 10th, 2009 - a fait unaccompli

"For amber waves of..." um, fungus.
I don't believe in fate, or pre-destiny. I used to, and I was very superstitious. Only recently did I put together that being superstitious and and believing in pre-destiny are the same thing. You attempt to change the destined outcome of something bad happening if you walk under a ladder, by NOT walking under it. Lucky charms are a similar gambit.
I almost ended a kid's already short life yesterday. I was driving to the library on the neighborhood side-streets on a bright, sunny day. I had turned right onto 51st, and there was a very large black SUV parked on the right side of the street. Unbeknownst to me, because he was riding on the wrong side of the street, in the gutter, in front of the SUV was about a 1o year old kid on a black bicycle, wearing black shorts, carrying a black tennis racket in a black case, driving his black bike with one hand, because he was carrying his tennis racket in the other.
It just so happened the SUV shielded the sight of both of us from each other as I made my turn, and as I drew alongside the vehicle he swerved out around it, directly in the path of oncoming traffic: me.
I jerked the wheel left and towards the middle of the street, something I usually think about when avoiding something in the road, but this all happened too quickly. No one was coming in the other lane. Good thing.
I braked and yelled some expletives at him as he rode past my open passenger window, followed by, "Geez watch what you're doing!" which was all I could come up with I was so flustered. He looked at me like I was in the wrong movie and why was I yelling? I was dumbfounded. I had stopped my car in the middle of the street was watching him in my rear-view mirror as he continued on down the wrong side of the street, headed for the next intersection and more parked cars, oblivious to any impending disaster.
I continued to the library, and started to get irritated. I should have gone back and said something to him and asked him if he knew how close he came to getting killed right then, and that he could avoid another incident by riding on the right side of the road.
What I really wanted to get across to him was that I didn't want to be the guy that creamed him into the pavement. I didn't want to have to be the guy that had to call 911, watch him suffer, try to stop his bleeding, maybe have to try and save his life, explain what happened to the cops, his parents, and have the memory of the whole thing imprinted on my consciousness for the rest of my life.
I felt it would be unfair that something that had sprouted from his total stupidity and carelessness would be my burden.
I wish I would have gone back and tried to explain some of this to him when evidently somewhere along the line, it never got though.
Never happened though. Non-incident. Home for dinner.
This again reminds me of my last post about how things just "happen."

Meanwhile back at the nature center, the quick king snake gets in a little exercise and scouts the perimeter of the classroom. He is nice, but always manages to defecate on me at some point in handling. Such is life.

This time of year at the nature center is infamous for "Animal Distress Calls." People call with what they perceive are, or might actually be, orphaned or abandoned young animals. They want us to come and pick them up. Or they don't call and they bring them in cardboard boxes, milk crates, yogurt containers, and say they gotta go pick up the kids at soccer now, you guys "do this sort of thing" so deal with it, I gotta go.
Or they just leave them at our doorstep. Phew, I'm helping small animals, I got that off of my consciousness, I feel better. Well, it's your worry now.
Or like the other night as I was leaving, they pull up to the parking lot and open live traps and let their woodchucks, squirrels, and raccoons out by the woods at 10 PM. Then as they drive by me staring at them blankly, they roll down their window and say, "I brought you a woodchuck!" Ugh. I shake my head and go through my usual monologue:
"No, no, no... wildlife balance... invasive species... natural protected area..."
Blank stare. Moment of guilt...
"Oops. Sorry, won't do it again, gotta go...."
Meanwhile I'm standing there with my camera wondering if I should take a picture of their license plate. Ugh. They mean well. Well, some do.
Education is the key to our future. PLEASE don't cut our school budgets...
This week, beside the woodchucks it was two bird nests full of baby birds and a kid with a baby bird in his shirt pocket.
Teach your children well...
Teach them to be responsible for their own "fate" and not burden the outcome of another's life with your stupidity. They probably already have enough to worry about.

Addendum: July 11th, 1:43 PM ~
I just realized that I meant to include one of my favorite quotes about 'luck' in with this story. I know I've used it before, but I feel it's again warranted, as it's a great quote, it really makes you think:
"A visitor to physicist Neils Bohr's cottage noticed a "good-luck" horseshoe nailed over the entrance. The visitor commented, "Surely a great scientist such as yourself doesn't believe a horseshoe nailed over a doorway brings you luck...?"
"Of course not," Bohr answered, "but they say it works whether you believe in it or not..."
I wanted to say that I'm not against people having totems or lucky charms. Quite the opposite; I personally feel there is something needful about "keeping" special objects. Whether they bring you luck or not, is another matter. If you believe they are lucky, have special powers or at least special meaning then that's worth something. When it gets to the point that you loose your freedom of choice because of a superstition... maybe THAT is your fate...

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