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A new job in a new neighborhood means new places to go for daily necessities. One of the basic necessities in my line of work is caffeine, so I run out the the Circle-K for the biggest tub of it I can find.

Today's cheerful woman behind the counter, who I'd encountered for what is likely to be the first time of many, offered me a parting thought that I'm not likely to respond to very cheerfully if she keeps it up. "Have a safe day."

Let's see. What should I do if I want to take her advice? I suppose the best thing would be to go straight home and curl up in bed. Surely that offers the best chance of safe passage through the remaining hours. I won't starve, at least.

But then, I'd have to drive home. That's about ten miles of pretty unsafe streets out there. Perhaps I should just curl up in the seat of my truck in her parking lot? No, there's a lot of unsavory types there who might decide I'm easy prey. Or worse, she, or her relief sometime after dark, could suspect me of vagrancy and dial up some even more unsavory types to roust me.

Maybe it'd be best to leave my truck there and walk, very carefully, the few blocks back to work and stay there all day? My boss might go along with it if I promised to work all night.

Instead, I might think of taking the long view. "Have a safe week" might be what she really meant. I'll go home, a little danger there, but then I can remain snug and safe under my blanket for a whole week. I'd lose my job, but I'd survive the week, and most importantly, do it safely.

But then the next week would be a problem. I'd start running out of food, and my joints would be prety stiff from a week of being curled up in a nice safe ball. So maybe I should widen the context further. Have a safe month? A safe quarter? I'd need to find some kind of home-based job - one with no physical risks. No stuffing envelopes, that might get me a paper cut.

But that might not bring in enough money. What if I couldn't pay my mortgage? I'd lose my house and be out on the street. That's not very safe. And I'd still have to go to the grocery store at some point. Assuming I even had enough money to stock up, I could go to Sam's Club and by months' worth of groceries (and to Home Depot for a really big freezer for all that food). It's a big risk going out in traffic, and it's more likely I'd be mugged in the grocery store parking lot than at home, but if I limited the trips...

Since we're widening the context, lets go all the way. Look at it in the widest possible context - full context, if you will. "Have a safe life"? That has a nice ring to it. Ooops, there's a flaw there, too. The final measure of succeeding at having a safe life would only be known when it is over, when I'm dead. I'd be on my death bed thinking how grateful I was that I had a safe life... well, up until this point anyway. Still, I could die in the peaceful knowledge that I didn't die sometime prior to this. Yes, that's the goal of a safe life, the point where I could look back on my life and know that I survived it... Well, not really survived, but survived this much of it...

No, if I go back there tomorrow and she offers the same wish, I'll politely decline. Maybe I'll even wish her a good day. I'll leave it up to her to decide what that means.


<i>"Thank you, dear, but I think I might have other plans."</i>

Keeps 'em guessing.

Posted by Billy Beck at Thursday, March 09, 2006 06:39 AM

Andy Rooney you old crumudgeon, so now you are writing under the psuedanim
of kylben

Posted by preacher at Thursday, March 09, 2006 01:13 PM

Wow! Cool Site! I love your site!!

Posted by Mr.Twister at Sunday, March 12, 2006 05:22 AM

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