Clyde: Hurry up and wait

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2022

Is it just me, or does everything seem to be faster coming out of the pandemic gate? It only leads to more traffic accidents, medical issues, overdoses and suicides. “He that hasteth with feet, sinneth” (Proverbs 19:2).


“Hurry” comes from the old Norse word like whir, the sound you hear is a whirlwind. The Anglo Saxon for haste, haest, meant violence. Maybe after WWII we wanted easier, cheaper, and quicker and the best part of waking up was a quick-fix.


The “Radarange” microwave didn’t come along until 1946. Speed Queen washers were all the rage. Speedy Alka-Seltzer gave us faster relief with a plop-plop, fizz-fizz. Uncle Ralph gave us five fast pennies instead of a slow nickel so we could buy instant potatoes.


Daylight savings time got us to work early, drugs kept us there. Interstates got us there in record time. We still count the hours. Speedy Gonzales taught us to do the jitterbug like a Mexican jumping bean. Crafts came in kits and paints by number. Everyman was an artist. Disposable magic markers made fast work of signs and posters and in rainbow colors, no less.


Aunt Sammy’s radio recipes of 1931 gave us quick turnip soup. It was milk and an onion in a double boiler, add 2 cups grated raw turnips, sprinkle parsley and serve. The 1927 Electric Refrigerator Recipes and Menus for “those fortunate enough to own one” gave hints on defrosting, frozen molds, ice cubes and twenty-seven flavors for frozen desserts, like “pineapple smash”, floats and coupes or frappé. Ice blocks were not delivered from the ice wagon.


Quality separated the haves from the have-nots. People over on Muskrat Slide off Newsome Road, or near Jump and Run Creek on the way to Woodleaf could have the same thing as folks in Shuffletown at Five Row, thanks to the supermarket. But we had to go get it before it was sold out or the price went up.


Wait (weight) broke the wagon and “hold your potato” kept us in line. How was the hurry-scurry hapless, hairless, hoppy hare held-out hope in his hasty habitat without a hanker for a hauberk or helmet?


Avoid the everyday hustle-bustle. If you want to go through town faster, avoid the Square with the new traffic patterns. There is no fast lane. Just get out and walk, more recently it seems, while eating, licking Fuller’s Ice Cream or social drinking.


One serving of Goldfish is 55 pieces, or potato chips is about 20. Who could eat just one? Don’t eat so fast. Watch out for bike racks in the middle of the sidewalk. The days fly by when we move too fast. Got to make the morning pass. As the sign says, “Look Busy, Jesus is coming soon.”


Can’t we just try to get along more slowly? We are never too busy for a good Southern passerby “hello”. “For you have need of patience. He that come shall come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37). What’s the big hurry?

Clyde is an artist who lives in Salisbury.