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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, February 27, 2015

Are We There Yet?




Jay Edwards

Confidence is always overconfidence. – Robert Byrne

I’m a confident person, for the most part. That includes nearly all aspects of day to day living, not the least of which is my ability to drive on snow and ice – although the snow part is irrelevant to this story.

So we had a presidential holiday on Monday, Feb. 16. During the early morning hours, it began to sleet, and what rain fell along with that only ended up white and hard like everything else. Monday was not really an issue; we’d prepared, thanks to Ned, Ed, and that other guy.

Cupboards were stocked, power and soup were on (thanks to sacrifices to the Entergy god), and all was pretty well right with the world.

Then Tuesday came, and it was time to get back to work. KM was given a reprieve by the APA commander in chief, and sat curled in her large leather chair as I prepared myself for battle – I mean driving to the office.

Outside, the hill we live on (and it is a hill) wasn’t showing any signs of concrete. But as I might have mentioned, I’m a confident man, and have driven the icy hills of Fayetteville, the twisting crowded streets of San Francisco, and the underworld boroughs of New York. (OK, that was in a cab, but horrific nonetheless.)

“I wish you weren’t doing this,” KM said, peeking at me wisely above her readers. “At least take my car,” which was a suggestion of practicality and economy, if by chance the unthinkable did happen and I was in an accident, which surely would be through no fault of my own but rather some less skilled, texting, unconfident sort of commuter. KM has an older car than mine. But they’re both Honda Accords, made to scale Himalayan heights if so needed.

“OK, I’ll take your car,” I told her.

What should have been a pretty good clue to what lie in store came early on as I came out of my driveway and slid down our hill, totally out of control, and onto Pebble Beach. I stopped there a moment and looked around for witnesses so I could look back confidently at them as if to say, “I totally meant to do it that way.”

But there was no one I could see. It had been an adrenaline rush and had my attention. Now, pointed in the right direction, I decided to press on, because that’s what confident men do.

Two blocks later, I began coming down on a section of Pebble Beach, just before Montvale, where a red sign about 50 feet away said “STOP.” I pumped my brakes and was suddenly sideways and headed toward the sign, which still said “STOP.”

In the end, the sign got its way. It gave a little but got me to stop, and was now tilted in front of me at a 45-degree angle, in the front yard where I found myself lodged.

Reverse got me nowhere; forward, the same. But after some twisting and rocking and cursing, the sign was released from KM’s front bumper and I was back on the frozen street. From there, I pulled onto the side street and parked.

I decided to leave the car and walk the 500 or so yards back to our house. I slung my laptop bag over my shoulder and began the trek. It was nigh impossible to walk in the street, and I moved from yard to yard, falling only once before making it to the bottom of my hill. When you’re at the bottom, you can only go up, right? Well, that was the plan, and I was confident.

To be continued.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.