I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a ‘learning experience.’ Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a ‘learning experience.’ It makes me feel less stupid.
– P.J. O’Rourke –
Now and then I have momentary lapses in my attention to important details. Whether I feel stupid about these, or not, depends on timing.
For example, recently I put a key in the ignition of My Car, and it fit in just fine, but it wouldn’t turn. Curious. I wiggled the key a few times, turned the steering wheel a bit, got out and glared at the hood of the car, and then tried the key again. It still wouldn’t turn. So I phoned The Car Guy and asked him (because he had driven my car last) why the key wouldn’t work.
He couldn’t think of any reason why, and suggested I drive His Truck instead.
So I took the key out of My Car and went back to the key rack to get His Truck key. That is when I realized that My Car key was still on the key rack, and the key I was trying to start the car with was His Truck key.
Now, if I had NOT made that phone call to The Car Guy, I could have called this key fiasco a learning experience. But in my haste to ask The Car Guy to solve my problem, I had painted myself into the proverbial corner. I was going to have to confess to him that I was, in fact, guilty of doing something that was a bit stupid.
There was no glossing over the fact that I had mixed up similar and mostly congruent, but not identical keys. One key fob has a Ram head on it, the other doesn’t…
In the big scheme of things, however, this was a very minor oversight. I have committed many other such ones in my life. But to my credit, so far I have never tried to wash the dirty clothes in the dishwasher, cook pancakes on the scanner, or tried to make a phone call with the TV remote. Things could be a lot worse…