I LIKE TO
make at least someone’s day a little more surreal whenever I can. Sadly for her that someone is often The Spouse and sometimes it’s lucky for me that I still have excellent reflexes.
what does ‘twists’ mean for most of us? For me ‘twists in time‘ jumps immediately to mind. With it the urge to further my commentary on human folly, ’twas ever thus …
… like the time Spouse and I were in our Liteace van trying to get from here to there at a time of el mucho surface flooding (in Auckland it never rains— it monsoons) (a word I use, lacking more superior superlatives).
We traversed a wee floody bit—
—where the road was still open. So far, so good. God is in Their heaven and all is right with the World. The worlds. Whatever, but …
… having crossed this overture we then had to negotiate the main act which was much worse and required more concentration. We set the camera down and wound all windows up lest we get sploshed or worse. I mentioned to Spouse the bow-wave we were producing even at this low speed and kept our knots down to enough to cope with any unexpected muds. We plunged on … into a wee stretch that temporarily accommodated two opposing lanes.
COMING TOWARDS US was a wee trail of traffic in line astern, and hopefully on their bit of the road (all pure guesswork at this point). Behind the lead SUV and quite unbeknown to us was a Mini.
YOU DON’T OFTEN SEE A MINI. And this wee bugger was a nice bright red. With four people inside. With the driver’s window down. Right down. With the driver taking a moment to chirp cheerily to his good lady sitting demurely in the front passenger seat.
Snug in foreknowledge and my high vantage point, all I could do was yell as we passed like ships in the night.
HIS FACE when he flicked round in sudden shock-horror-dismay as possibly a gillion tons of water in a tsunami almost higher than his tiny car engulfed everything he held dear was a picture I bitterly regret not having captured on film (film in those pre-pixels days). I remember yelling—for all the good it would do—as we passed: “Up periscope!” and copping an indignant poke through the ribs from my Beloved.
I still hadn’t stopped laughing at even the thought of it next morning—and when I saw this snap in the local paper I just had to albumise it, now copied and posted here from my ancient album—
—and let me tell you: our own twisting bow wave was bigger than that …
in time these observations: every so often the Human race is overtaken by ideas bigger than itself. For whatever reason rational beings set commonsense aside and go with the (current) flow, which very quickly reaches tidal-wave proportions. Right now it’s all this ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ rubbish, not so very long ago it was the ol’ Millennium Bug.
You know, that ‘Y2K’ thing. Everything electronic was going to implode, burst into flames or otherwise turn upon and savage us. There was even serious talk of grounding every aircraft in the world for the duration of the transition.
The firm I was working for at the time spent many tens of thousands of dollars future-proofing for the Big Day, and worked it into their publicity “We are Y2K compliant!” (nyah nyah nah naaaaah nah!). No-one listened when I told them that I’d gone home, dialled my computer forward to Crunch Hour of D-Day and watched as—just as I expected—it quietly ticked on into a new year, decade, century, millennium … but then of course, mine was a Mac. So I was confident and took no further actions beyond a quiet giggle as the hysteria passed through fever pitch. Anyway, the NZG went to great lengths to blast through gods alone know hom many (disposable) millions of taxpayer dollars. Quite needlessly, as it turned out. I’d have told them if I’d thought for even one moment anyone would listen, but you cannot stop an idea whose time has come. Hence our ‘Millennium Bug’ up on the right, there—someone would have been given a substantial bonus for that pun …
AND NOW, THINKING BACK
to my time in the navy. At a US base somewhere I scored a few decals from some hospitable person when I mentioned that my very favourite modern aircraft* was the American F-14 Tomcat. I still like to watch Top Gun sometimes (despite Meg Ryan).
Image courtesy of Wikipedia, as is the next—look closely at the wee Cat’s tail. Tails. Whatever … and I can use it in this post ‘cos them tails is twisted (so there).
And my day was made when on a visit to the USS Intrepid I got not only to touch an SR-71 (Blackbird) but could go up a wee arched laddery thing and peer down into the cockpit of a Tomcat. I have lived~!
In fact I loved that all-expressive decal so much that when aged beyond redemption I clipped and glued to a picture of one of our kittens. Sue me … IT’S TWISTS in time that intrigue me. I was given much food for thought when a Maori guy I’d trust with my very life swore black and blue that his tale of a time-shift event was absolutely true. Old Mike is as sober, rational and real as they come; but his tale of twisted time is for another post … brrrrr.
* no other plane ever beat the Supermarine Spitfire for good looks, sheer elegance, and for all I know close-personal … intimacy … with the pilot. (Heck, even the sound of one is enough to break out bucket-loads of goosebumps.)