I was not involved in this situation when it began. I was having a nice little conversation about nothing with a friend. While talking we were both watching this tiny woman fight with this twelve foot pole.
She was attempting to fit it into a vehicle that, to my estimation, was less than twelve feet long. But what really caught my attention was the trouble she was having balancing the pole. It was swinging and swaying like a stop sign in a hurricane. The problem there was she was working the pole from the end when the middle balance point would have been much easier.
After watching this impending doom for awhile we walk over.
“That’s not going to fit the way you want it,” I give her my years of packing experience. After saying that there are only two things you do not want to hear. One is bad,
And that usually causes me to disengage right then. They must know more than me. But, if, after that sentence, I haven’t already hightailed it to higher grounds, you can bet I do if I hear the follow-up sentence that is worse,
“I’ll make it fit.”
Hearing that, I pull the pin on my grinade and back away smiling because all hope is lost. As I backed away I felt bad because she was really struggling and, her arms not much larger in diameter than the pole, it was swinging wildly not only around her car but the cars of others and innocent passerby’s. I had visions of someone getting skewered. So I gave it one last shot before I beat feet and locked myself in my office.
“Would you like help with that?”
I figured if I took it out of her hands I could save a life.
And who says I don’t care? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Mainly I do.
Perspiration gathering on her face it seems she had no choice but to accept my offer. I take the pole from her, from the middle, and she tells me how she WANTS it to go into the vehicle.
If I didn’t think it was going in before I was dead certain there was no possibility now. She wanted it straight down the middle of the vehicle, making sure it didn’t touch the seats, only the towels, and the hatch much close.
I explained that, and it’s just a possibility, the only way to get it into the vehicle was to angle it (“No!” She cried.) or have it stick out the window (“No!” She wailed).
I tell her, to accomplish that, she will, in fact, need a larger vehicle. I tell her as she yanks the pole back because it is that obvious that I cannot be party to this. I pull the pin, toss, slather on a grin and slink away.
She, frustration bursting, lifts the pole, pulls it back, and thrusts the twelve foot pole straight down the middle of her ten foot vehicle.
“Now what are you going to do?” She says.
The man well over twelve feet away and still gathering ground eyes locked on the eighteen inches of pole sticking dead straight through the windshield.
I remind her that, from the start, I doubted her concept and she pulled the pole from me after that pronouncement. I didn’t bother mentioning that I wished I’d been walking away with a video camera. I think that would have just been mean.
She ranted for a while trying to implicate me in the impaling but saw that, mainly due to my now being fifty feet away, her words were falling on deaf ears.
I used my considerable skills at rage management to get her breathing down from it’s hummingbird wing speed. When she’s resigned herself to the fact that there is not much any of us standing there (some, I’ll admit, stiffing – some not very successfully – chuckles) could do.
“On the bright side,” I say not being able to leave well enough alone. “You’ll now be able to close the hatch.”