This was a weird week. Here’s why

By Chuck Woodbury
ROADSIDE JOURNAL
I have been working too hard. No, I’m not looking for sympathy. I have been living/existing in my right brain, which is the creative part of the brain. It’s where I write. You know when you are in your right brain when time flies so fast you don’t even notice it passing.

brainWhen I am in my right brain, I love to write and and I write well. I could write all day long, and all night long if I could stay awake. When I am in my left brain, however, I write like an eighth grader. No kidding! But in the last year, traveling around the USA, I have been in my right brain most of the time. I sit down at my little desk in the motorhome at 8 a.m. and then I look up and six hours have passed! Where did they go?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that when I’m in my right brain, story ideas pop into my head one after another. It’s crazy. It’s maddening. I need two or three clones. But that won’t work, because they would need to be born, then grow up before they could write. So forget that. I’ll be dead.

I’m not sure why I told you all that. Anyway, I did, so I hope you enjoyed yourself or learned something.

NEXT, Gail and I went to a play the other night in a town called Fairmont, Minnesota. What a beautiful place. Honestly, it looks like Mayberry. The play was “Guys and Dolls,” presented by the local community theater group at the Fairmont Opera House. Gail and I arrived 20 minutes early. Everybody was milling about in the lobby, talking, laughing. But we didn’t know anybody, so we just took our seats.

Soon, it was almost showtime. Do you know what I did? Keep in mind I was still in my right brain, about halfway oblivious to the world around me. What I did is I reached down to fasten my seat belt! Is that crazy?!! Talk about scatter-brained.

The minute I realized what I was doing, I started laughing. Gail asked me what I was laughing about, and I told her, and then she started laughing. People were looking at us. “Who are these strangers and why are they laughing?” Now, three days later, I’m still laughing. My brain neutrons are still firing so fast I can’t keep up. I think it might pop. I try to slow down. But I can’t. Sometimes I sit on the couch, stare out in the distance and write entire stories in my head. I wish I had a tape recorder in there so I wouldn’t have to try to write the stories down again on a computer. I forget at least 90 percent of the stories before I can even sit down to start writing them.

Again, not complaining. I would rather have too many things I wanted to write about than none or hardly any. I think I would be depressed if I didn’t have ideas.

THEN YESTERDAY, Gail and I were driving west along I-90. We were in the right lane, and there was barely any traffic. Then, I spotted a construction crew, maybe a mile ahead. Its truck was occupying half of the right lane. I would soon need to move over. But there was a little white car in the left lane almost beside me, going about the same speed. So I couldn’t just merge into the left lane. The truck ahead was getting closer. So I slowed down to let the car pass. It didn’t. So I slowed some more. It still didn’t pass. Now, I was about a tenth of a mile away from the truck that was parked dangerously in my lane.

So I just put the pedal to the metal, which on my gas motorhome is like doing practically nothing. But with plenty of room to spare, we passed the construction crew. But do you know what happened? One of the workers flipped the bird at me as I passed! He made a huge gesture! And I thought “Huh!” Like, what did I do?

I wanted to go back and say something to him, and it would not have been nice. Of course, I couldn’t, so I just went on and immediately calmed down as I always do because I am by nature a guy who much prefers to be calm than angry. Anger is a waste of energy. I don’t like wasting anything including anger. I don’t like angry people. So I just avoid them as much as possible. They’re energy vampires.

For the next ten miles Gail and I talked about that guy. I said to her that what he did just proved again that no matter what you do, even when it’s good — in my case being careful to swing very wide of the crew’s truck — you will piss someone off.

I figured the guy in this case was just an angry person. Why are people like that? I don’t get it. Why can’t we be nice? Sometimes I want to move to Mars, where I assume angry people will not be allowed, at least not at first.

 

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15 Thoughts to “This was a weird week. Here’s why”

  1. Vanessa A Simmons

    Chuck…I know exactly how you feel. I’m always writing stories in my head. Even got a recorder and Dragon software to type it from the recording but I forget to use it. Plus I have my best stories when I’m in the pool doing laps or water aerobics and it won’t work there.

    I’ve driven through several states that have the left lane camping laws and have yet to see anyone pulled over for it. It amazes me that they will have cars, RVs, double/triple semi’s whiz past them and they don’t get a clue.

  2. T

    Why are people angry? You never know what someone else is going through. What ever his issue you push his button and he reacted. I have gone through periods in my life where I over reacted. So I try to give others a little slack.

  3. Curtis McRee

    These are the kind of people that cause a lot of accidents. They stay in the fast lane and make
    traffic back up. I think they don’t know any better .or don’t care

  4. Will

    Last month we were headed up a grade on southbound on 1-15 approaching Las Vegas when a construction company’s semi merged onto the freeway. I moved into the #1 lane in my little underpowered 3L diesel motorhome and passed him. Later on the downhill he passed us, but out of the large back window of the truck, the driver clearly flipped us the bird. WTH? What did we do?

    The name of the construction company (a big one!) was plastered all over the truck, so being a former fleet manager myself, I rang up their local office and spoke with the GM. He was initially skeptical that one of his employees would flip me off for no reason until I told him I have a dash cam, and I’d be happy to wifi the video clip onto my cell phone and then email it to him in a few minutes.

    That quickly changed his attitude from skepticsm to acceptance. He declined to look at the video, but he did apologise and said he’d talk to the driver.

    If you don’t have a dash cam, I’d look into getting one. They’re great for recording the vista out your front window, but they’re also great for documenting road incidents.

  5. Jeannie

    The misbegotten moron that was staying close to you is what I call a pacer (when in polite company). I see a lot of them on the road. These mental midgets are too lazy, too stupid, and/or too incompetent to watch their own speedometers (or, heaven forbid, use their vehicle’s cruise control, if it has it) to maintain the correct speed so they pace themselves with another vehicle. Typically, they hang on the left or right rear corner of my vehicle, far enough forward to be unable to see my turn signals. The only way I’ve found to deal with the dimwits when I need to move into the lane they are in is to either floor the accelerator pedal to quickly get past the pacer or to stomp on the brake pedal so the pacer will shoot by me.

    As far as the construction worker informing you that he thought you were number one, I’m guessing you were still moving pretty fast after your maneuver to get past your pacer so you could change lanes. So many people zip by those workers too closely, they can become hyper sensitive to it when it happens. While it may not seem you are driving all that fast, to someone on the ground standing only a dozen feet away, it can seem like you are on your way to a fire. Also, the larger the vehicle, the faster it seems to be going to someone standing by.

    In this case, the construction worker had no way of knowing what you had to do to be able to move over. You probably would have been better off to just slow down very quickly to let the pacer pass you so you could change lanes than to speed up to pass him (or her; both sexes are guilty of pacing).

    1. Dennis

      I agree with Jeannie’s comment. The dipstick in the car was the number one culprit.

    2. Paul

      Totally agree with Jeannie’s comments. And to add to it, in many jurisdictions you are required by law to slow down while passing emergency workers and construction crews on the side of the road, whether or not is specifically signed as a reduced speed zone. My guess is that the worker was merely reacting to yet another driver blowing through a construction zone. No excuses for the driver of the car beside you; that was just ignorant behaviour.

      1. Chuck Woodbury

        Paul, I had slowed a bit, but was totally in the left lane when I passed. And, frankly, the construction vehicle occupied fully half the right lane with no warning sign for approaching motorists. How many other times had that worker flipped someone else off for what he perceived as their bad behavior? His gesture was totally out of line.

  6. Rich Hartman

    I know the feeling… In my left brain, there’s nothing right, and in my right brain, there’s nothing left !

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Rich, love that! Gotta think about it for awhile, though. . .

    2. RV Staff

      😀 Thanks, Rich! —Diane at RVtravel.com

      1. Rich Hartman

        You are most welcome !
        Did you also know that you can’t RUN through a primitive campground… you can only RAN, since it’s past tents !

        1. RV Staff

          Oh, you’re good, Rich! Thanks!! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

  7. rvgrandma

    with all the little gadgets for recording now, I would get one and stick in your pocket or hang around your neck. Then when a story comes, record it. You can go back later to finish it.

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      rvgrandma, I have taken notes that way, recorded ideas, but when you are writing a story in your head, you can’t stop to push a button to record what is only in your head. You can’t tape record your thoughts, which are going a lot faster than your mouth could ever go.

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