Wednesday, 14 May 2014

You Never Stop Learning


I drove past a fellow today on my way to pick up some fertilizer for my lawn. I’m not a big fan of fertilizing, but I understand the need. In my mind, fertilizing the lawn in the spring is like seeding the clouds in the winter so more snow will fall which will need me to shovel it. It means that I will be cutting the lawn every four days instead of once a week. It will look nicer though…I hope. When I got to the fertilizer store, I was stunned to find it was worth about $40. The last time I bought some, I am pretty sure I paid about $15 and the bag was bigger. That might explain why my lawn looks so shitty.

This guy I drove past was standing at the edge of a parking lot, holding the branch of a tree in his hand and he appeared to be studying it. He seemed to be sad, but it’s hard to tell with guys standing at the edge of a parking lot when you are driving by at 60 KPH. Perhaps he was trying to remember just when his life went off of the rails.

His life held such promise when he was in his teens. He was dating a beautiful girl, was on the football and basketball team and although not a star athlete, he was a good solid player. His grades were above average in most subjects, but he had conceptual problems with Math and ideological issues with French. No one ever needed Math or French after graduation anyways.

Well, that’s what he thought at the time. It turns out that the skills learned on the football field and the basketball court aren’t that important when applying for a job. Especially when you are applying for a job as a statistician at a large corporation based in France. Math and French don’t seem as stupid now, but they are still as confusing to him. The beautiful girl left him as girls often do and the woman he married became a wife and a mother. Who knows why he has a problem with that, she is after all in doing the shopping by herself.

I suppose it’s possible that he is studying the branch in his hand. I’ve done the same thing from time to time while I was waiting or just escaping from my life. You hold the branch in your hand and notice how the leaves grow out opposite from each other. This time of year in Calgary, the trees are just budding and he may be trying to see how far along they are in development. He may be stripping that particular branch and intends to return to see if new leaves will grow once the branch has been hurt.

He could be looking at an insect of some kind, but there aren’t a huge amount of bugs in Calgary yet. They will come and perhaps he is looking for a trace of larva…larvae…bug babies. Maybe he is just rubbing the small leaves together to see what kind of smell they have. Juniper smells like Gin and it is the Juniper berries that give gin the distinctive flavour. Perhaps it was the smell of gin that drew him to the trees in the first place. Perhaps he has already had too much Gin today and that is why he is staring at a branch.

I don’t think he was there for any of those reasons, and I will never know for sure why he was there. I can only make an educated guess. I think that just about thirty seconds before I turned the corner onto 56th Street, our friend had his finger in his nose and when he saw my car turn the corner he pulled it out and it had a booger on it. When I drove by, he was wiping his finger on the branch and pretending to be fascinated by the buds on the tree. It would have worked too, if anyone else had been driving the car, but I’m not fooled.


You never stop learning in this life and that guy learned today that he should always carry a tissue in his pocket or he should pick his nose in the privacy of his own home.

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