My cognitive state is still pretty good for “over the hump” status. Reflexes have waned a bit but I’m able to dodge most potholes. That says a lot to me. I was riding with a friend the other day, and without blinking an eye, he drove straight into a small crater on Lake Havasu Avenue. Quickly looking at him the man’s response was,
“I’m old and out of control!”
I know the feeling. Some days, things never seem to go right no matter how hard I try.
Being a responsible driver in this town can be tough. I’m generally very observant of the speed limit. Doing so can oftentimes result in a car or truck trying to mate with my vehicle from behind. I chalk this up to the “Havasu Hustle.”
I assume those folks doing the dance are late for work or an appointment. Retired seniors like myself shouldn’t be in a hurry. We have no pressing places to go other than the post office, medical appointments, and grocery store.
When I was younger, and got caught behind someone going slow, I instantly figured it was, Ma & Pa Kettle, holding up the line. My mother called these drivers “Hicks from the Sticks.” Such crusty terminology is still used in the South and rural Kansas.
Back in the day, if an opportunity allowed me to see who was behind the wheel of a pokey vehicle, I took a glance. Nine out of ten times the turtle was a senior citizen. When I say they were going too slow, I mean those folks were generally doing the speed limit. I’ve now joined their ranks.
I did the “Havasu Hustle” when we first came to town. It wasn’t that I needed to get anywhere right away, I performed this dance mainly to avoid being run over. I buzzed around city streets like a hornet until finally being caught. Cruising to Walmart early one morning, a motorcycle cop pulled me over. He asked if I knew how fast I was going.
“Fifty-five, officer.” was my reply.
“The speed limit here is forty-five and you were leader of the pack!”
Back in time when I rode motorcycles, this would’ve been a compliment of sorts. There’s even a 1960s song about being leader of the pack. Unfortunately, in this tune, the ending wasn’t so great. The guy ultimately crashed and burned.
Thankfully, for my wallet, I was given a stern warning that day and told to slow down. I’ve since heeded his advice and joined ranks of the hindering herd. Yes, that vehicle you’re following as you attempt to get to work while fifteen minutes late is probably me.
I was headed to McDonalds last Monday while holding up a group of dancers. At a red light on Hwy 95, I noticed a gal sternly looking over to see who was piloting my car. Knowing what she was thinking, I gave her the perfect picture.
Cocking my head back and tilting it sideways, I opened my mouth as wide as it’d go. Things were kept that way until the light changed. She instantly hit the gas and whipped in front of me. I’m sure “my look” was a topic of conversation at the office that morning. Undoubtedly, I was the one making her tardy.
One thing I’d like to do is slap one of those fluorescent orange, slow moving vehicle placards on my rear bumper. The wife vetoed that idea saying it’d be antagonistic, besides illegal. She did let me order a tee-shirt with the same sign printed on back. I’ll use it for for trips to the grocery store.
If folks in this city want us law-obeying-seniors to hustle these days, they’ll have to pay any speeding fines we incur plus our increased insurance premiums. I doubt that’ll ever happen.
My advice to those doing the hustling: Leave a few minutes early for your job and appointment. You’d be surprised how well this works. Since I’m on a roll, one additional piece of useful information.
Alarm clocks are superb helpmates for getting to work on time and they’re cheap. Buy one. For most of us retired folks though, we no longer have need for such!