Friday, April 6, 2018

"Two For Two (If You Just Count Those Two)"

Short version, for people in a hurry…

I did it!

And then, I did it again!

I will now take a moment to admire my two glittering accomplishments.


Okay, I’m done.

Not really.  But I’ll kvell (proudly luxuriate) more later on my own time.

There’s this Passover song called “Dayenu”, meaning “It would have been enough for us.”  As in, “If we had been freed from bondage, but the Red Sea had not been parted,

… It would have been enough for us.”

“What, no hot chocolate and marshmallows on the other side?”

There is always one of those guys.  But they do not get to leave songs. 

Anyway, it is the same thing with me.

One – dare I say miraculous thing happened, in keeping with the motif?  I think I’ll dare – one miraculous thing happened as a result of my direct personal efforts, which would have, indeed been enough for me. 

Then – “Lawdy!  Lawdy!” –

There was another one!

The first of my towering achievements regular readers already know about:

I got them to put Hopalong Cassidy on The Westerns Channel.

I know, right?

I’m a national hero.

“Shortlisted”, possibly, for a postage stamp.

One thing that happens when you’re old is that you have more available opportunity to annoy people.  You write critical letters to corporate headquarters.  You pester people in India with malfunctioning Internet complaints.  I just spoke to a travel agent, conveying information whose content was worthy of five minutes but I effusively stretched it to twenty. 

What can I tell you? 

I’ve got spare time to burn!

So, as I wrote earlier – in a post entitled, “Making Your Mark” – I e-mailed The Westerns Channel suggesting improvements in their lackluster broadcasting service, one of which was to schedule specialized children’s programming on Saturday mornings.

And then, after a month or so of “Radio Silence” – or more accurately, “Television Silence”, lo and behold –

There, for the first time, was an hour of Hopalong Cassidy – the quintessential children’s cowboy show – on the Westerns Channel on Saturday mornings.  (I watched it myself last Saturday.  You don’t have to be “children” to like it.  You just have to have been “children” once.)

So “Yay for me.”  But it didn’t stop there.

Simultaneously, in a similar effort at improving the universe, I e-mailed Santa Monica Traffic Control with an ameliorating suggestion.  Having not heard back after a few weeks, I thought I had been summarily ignored.  Nobody likes being ignored.  Especially “Seniors.”  It’s like you’ve got this body, but it’s begun casting a rapidly fading shadow.

Here’s the problem I e-mailed “Traffic Control” about.

There is a Santa Monica Freeway entrance on Fourth Street where I live – “Appointments Necessary – No ‘Drop-Ins’” – at which drivers, heading northward, are required to turn right to get onto the freeway.  There is a stoplight at that intersection, as well as a posted ordinance saying, “NO RIGHT TURN ON RED.” 
When the light is “Green”, however, there are invariably hordes of crossing pedestrian street traffic.

The inevitable result is that drivers cannot turn right onto the Santa Monica Freeway on a “Red” light, and they are prevented by crossing pedestrians from turning right onto the Santa Monica Freeway on a “Green” light.

Are you sensing the difficulty here?   Drivers are effectively unable to turn right both on a “Red” light and on a “Green” light, leaving a long line of stalled traffic, waiting frustratingly to access the freeway.  (“Damn those dawdling pedestrians!  And why no right turn on a ‘Red?”)  Two, or at most, three cars get to turn on the “Green” light.  The rest simply sit there and curse.

So I wrote an e-mail, and looked up where to send it.  My ameliorating suggestion involved… it doesn’t matter what it involved, just that it would substantially alleviate the freeway-entrance logjam on Fourth Street.

Nothing happened. 

And I thought, “Oh well.  At least I got ‘Hoppy.’”

And then, after no action whatsoever since the freeway entrance's inception,


I get a call from Dr. M.

“Congratulations!  There is now a designated “Green” arrow at the freeway entrance, (allowing the northbound traffic to turn, unimpeded by crossing pedestrians.)  You did it!”

I did it!


First, “Hoppy.”

Then,  “The Arrow.”

“Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay

I changed the world today!”

I know.

I’m being silly, touting my “splendid accomplishments.”

But you know what?

Deep down, where little victories are the only victories available to me,

By Criminy,

I’m proud!


FFS said...

Kinda makes up for losing your cachet at the local coffee shop.

FFS said...

“Appointments Necessary – No ‘Drop-Ins’ “ Thanks for the warning but boycotting travel to your adopted country for the foreseeable future.

Ed, Sr. said...

Earl, if it's possible, all of us are even prouder of you today.