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Clyde: Some just slow us down; others bring to stop

By Clyde

Some things just slow you down.

A hang nail, a fly in your soup, an ink cartridge being out of ink. You have to stop and fix it or, worse, blame somebody; talk about what’s wrong; draw a plan; order parts; stop to eat or go to the bathroom before anything gets done about it.

Some things you can fix in a New York minute, which was invented in piney wood Texas. A cracked glass, pitchit ink pens or magic markers with no lid. Pitch ‘em. Straight pins when you need a safety pin. Or, a Phillips screwdriver when you need a slot-headed screwdriver. Just bite the bullet and go get the right one.

Nicely sharpened pencils are extinct. Drop cords that don’t fit three-way plugs.

Who needs two-sided tape? Finding the end on a roll of masking tape can do you in. Untied shoes while jogging. No Kleenex in your pocket.

Other things you can’t fix on the spot — no clean underwear, waiting on someone who’s late and people on a committee who want to begin with “why we are here.”

Talking on the phone can waste a lot of your day, unless you are a telemarketer. Then, it wastes our entire day trying to guess whether to answer or not. Don’t bother to call the no-call hotline.

We will build a wall before that happens.

Who puts those little stickers on each and every piece of fruit?

The proposed two-way traffic pattern for downtown will definitely slow down customers coming to empty storefronts.

There are other things you can’t fix and will slow you down to a dead stop — a dead battery, a dead tree on a wire, dead pets, holey socks, dropping your key in the bushes right outside the back door in the rain, band-aids too small to cover the cut, a bent key and a bucket with a hole in it, unless you are watering transplants.

Maybe it’s what you think to be a short in a lamp when it turns out to be the bulb. All staple guns — they are either empty or the staples don’t fit. Toothpaste or soap that end with no warning. Socks worn through on the heel but you already put them on.

Chain saw blades put on backwards or lawn mower blades put on upside down. Admit it, you’ve done it.

A deer in the headlights should slow you down.

What do you call a reindeer with no eyes, just antlers? “I have no idear.” We all know to slow down for a tractor, trailer combine creeping along a “public” road. Stop sticks are about the only thing to slow those bad boys down nowadays.

A broken tooth makes you eat slowly, but you can make up for it in volume.

It definitely slows you down if you get in line behind some ol’ codger who wants to count out pennies and looks at each one to be sure it’s not a nickel.

They dig around in those change purses that open when you squeeze on them.

Wouldn’t you like to do that to them?

Then there are things you can’t fix no matter how hard you try — damp salt, no slaw and mayo at Hap’s, burnt toast, provocateurs who get by with it, preservationists who know everything, predators who have always done it, presidents who get elected and pretenders who know better.

How can you handle it, or do you fly off the handle. Can you get a handle on it? Is it too hot to handle like the No. 12 Wagner cast iron skillet on the Fisher wood stove? If we didn’t have handles, we would all be groping around in the dark. No jokes please, setzer.

In your patience possess ye your souls,” says Luke 21:19. Patience from the 14th century Greek for suffering means bearing pains or trials calmly, manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain. That’s a lot to put up with, something most of us do poorly.

We have lots of practice, but the faster the world goes, the more impetuous we become. The teacher always prescribed three choices — go sit on a tack, hold your potato or something that always seemed harder, hold your horses.

At home, we could always count on a hot biscuit while you wait.

“Take one, pass ‘em around and butter ‘em while they’re hot.”

Clyde lives in Salisbury.

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