SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Have you ever felt, as George Gobel so aptly put it, that the whole world is a tuxedo and you’re a pair of brown shoes? That happens to me all the time but on rare occasions it seems that my vibes somehow harmonize so well with the universe it’s as if I enter a time warp and someone’s looking out for my welfare.
Most of the time when driving, there are certain intersections where the traffic lights stop me whenever I approach no matter the time of day or the direction in which I’m heading. It’s incredible, as though the signals can recognize my car, but every once in a while I not only make that light but every light during that particular trip and it’s nothing new, for I’ve encountered those rare occurrences throughout my life regardless of where I lived.
Another anomaly in timing occasionally happens when going out to eat, mainly when the economy is good and restaurants are jammed with happy diners. It’s nothing to have to wait an hour no matter where we go, but very intermittently as if by magic we’ll be immediately seated, somehow arriving in between the hungry throngs. Planning ahead has no bearing since 6 o’clock will be good one week while just hopeless the next. Perhaps the restaurants have the answer but if they do they’re not telling, at least not to me.
When it comes to good timing perhaps it’s never more important than when looking for a parking spot in a congested area. How much gasoline I’ve wasted just driving around in the vain hunt for a place to park, ever widening my search pattern until an empty space finally appears. One time however I not only found a good parking spot but the most incredible one of all time.
I had rented a small U-Haul trailer for the weekend and was to return it Monday morning, but of course had to find a parking spot Sunday night. This was in New York City where street parking was not only tight but made that much more difficult by alternate-side parking, and with a trailer… fuggetaboudit. I dropped my wife off in front of our apartment building and just as I fretfully started my search, a car “with a trailer” pulled out of a spot just around the corner. Who would believe it? What are the odds of something like that happening, maybe a billion to one? Things like that don’t occur in real life, not in mine at least, but it actually did.
Besides being rare, such lucky incidences hadn’t been happening for a while until a few weeks ago during a snow storm when good fortune smiled once again. I was home and my wife called to say she was stuck about ½ mile from our house, unable to get up the hill because the road was too slippery. I of course drove my own car down to the rescue, safely parking in a church parking lot nearby and then walking over to where her car was stranded, managing to drive her car safely home though with considerable effort. My plan was to then walk the half mile back to my own car and then hopefully drive home without incident. During the difficult ride my wife called 911 to tell them of our plight and to report the hazardous road condition.
When finally home I put on boots and started the trek to my vehicle, but after a short distance I encountered a police car and flagged it down, asking if the officer was responding to my wife’s call which he was. I explained that we managed to make it home safely but the road should really be sanded, and the cop said a truck was on its way. Continuing my walk, within a minute the cruiser passed again, and to my delight stopped and offered me a ride to where my car was parked. I gladly got in, even enjoying the odd sensation of sitting in the back of a squad car like a fugitive, something I had never before experienced.
When reaching my car the officer let me out and suggested that I wait for the sand truck to come, but of course I was too anxious to get home. However, just as I was about to start up the treacherous hill, what should pass by but, you guessed it, the sand truck making the road perfectly safe and passable.
Like Rocky Graziano, someone up there must have liked me that day, and I appreciated it. I only wish it would happen more often.