Thursday, December 08, 2005


I seem to live my life in a slow-witted haze. Information trickles in through my senses, then echoes about in the cavernous emptiness of my head, before some synapse decides to come off its coffee break and deal with it. It means that I have the reaction time of a hibernating bear, often failing to notice the significance of things around me until too late.

Friend: Hey, Blandwagon, I got you a present!

Blandwagon: What?

Friend: I got you a present!

Blandwagon: Oh.

Friend: ...

Blandwagon: ...

Friend: Well, if you don't...

Blandwagon: Hey! You got me a present!?

Yesterday I had to borrow my boss' car to drive some papers over to another office. A mechanic had obviously unplugged the battery recently, because all the presets on the radio were gone. As I crawled up to the exit boomgate, I used the seek function to scan across the dial and programmed in the stations I know my boss likes (Boomer hits 'n' memories stations and easy listening) and ones I like (college stations, kitsch merchants and classical).

In between punching buttons, I noticed a small delivery truck parked just inside the boomgate. It seemed a strange place for a truck to be parked, but I was busy with my radio buttons and I didn't think to analyse why. As I got closer, the driver rolled down his window. I didn't wonder why. I rolled by, flipped my card through the boomgate scanner, and pulled forward as the boom lifted.

I heard the truck behind me rev suddenly, and I noticed it lunge forward in my rear view mirror. Only then did I realise that he didn't have a card for the boom gates. He must have slipped in behind another car at the entry gate, which stays up for a good ten seconds after it's activated, and now wanted to slip out again.

Doesn't he know that the exit gate is a lot faster than the entry gate? I thought. Apparently not, as the boom came down again, and bounced a couple of times on the truck's roof before catching on the top of the tailgate and snapping off with a loud crack and an explosion of splintered wood.

Even then, it didn't occur to me to stop. As the truck stopped and the driver got out, I just pulled out onto the main road and continued on my somnambulent way.


Post a Comment

<< Home