February 18, 2008

Sometimes Occam is Wrong

Filed under: Ann the Columnist:Essays — Ann @ 3:37 pm

The other morning I was stopped at a traffic light heading out of town. It was a breezy day; as I watched, a gust of wind blew from its frame a large, handwritten advertising posterboard which a local merchant had placed in front of his shop. The posterboard landed in the right lane of Highway 12. I thought to myself, “In a little bit the owner will come out, see the ad, figure out that the wind dislodged it, and set it to rights.” However, just as a pickup truck approached from the other direction, another large gust of wind picked up the posterboard and plastered it against the large grille of the truck — just as the light turned green and the truck sped through the intersection and away into the distance.

This time I thought, “The poor shopkeeper is going to be convinced that someone made off with his carefully hand-lettered sign. That, after all, would be the simplest explanation: vandalism.” I almost wanted to park my car, find the poor guy, and explain what happened just so he could retain his faith in humankind. But my light was green: I had things to do. I could only hope that it didn’t ruin his day. Or that maybe the trucker would discover the sign and return it. As a friend of mine says, You never can tell.

February 15, 2008

Letter to the Editor

Filed under: Roadpeace USA — Ann @ 3:48 pm

This is a letter I submitted last month to the Editor of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. Unfortunately, he chose not to publish it. Too bad: I really wanted to apologize.


Editor: This is a letter to the blonde woman driving her white SUV down Fountaingrove Parkway this morning (Monday, 1/7/08). I was driving in the right lane and when I saw that it was coned off, I indicated and started to move left. You were in the left lane and I, perceiving — perhaps incorrectly — that you were speeding up to make it difficult for me to merge, raised my hand in an angry, frustrated (but not obscene) gesture of “What are you doing?” You gestured angrily back to me. We were then both stopped at a red light; I felt remorseful and wanted to connect with you. I considered giving you the “peace” sign but felt shy and uncertain. Before I could act, the light changed, we moved on, and you turned off at Round Barn. I felt bad and wished that I had at least tried with the corny but heartfelt “V.” I don’t want the sentiment of “peace on earth, goodwill towards others” to end with the holiday season, and I apologize for my angry gesture.

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