Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Snow in August

Or: Where is Gary Larson when you need him?

So, on a recent Friday morning I'm riding along Route 1 South in Foxboro, right near Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, on my way to make a delivery with my bicycle and trailer. I'm minding my own business and am riding well out of traffic in the breakdown lane. I was lost in a reverie about dreams that do indeed come true when, from the passenger-side window of a speeding pickup truck, a skinny, shirtless tanned twenty-something hangs his head out, looks at me and yells "BLAAAAAAAH!" at the top of his lungs.

He was loud, but not very articulate, so I have no idea what his message might have been or what he was thinking. I'm pretty sure he didn't do that to every car they passed, so I'm assuming that my being there on bicycle somehow prompted his utterance. Was he trying to startle me? Did he think he was being funny? Was I annoying him? Was he feeling superior? I suppose trying to plumb the depths of a post-adolescent male mind is a pointless exercise, but I had to wonder.

One thing I'm quite sure of is that he wasn't upset because seeing a guy doing work on a bike suddenly made him realize that the power and joy he was feeling in a pickup today might be only a distant memory when he is an old man like me. He probably didn't suddenly understand that the world of his parents and grandparents would not much longer be his. He most likely didn't see that he had better get busy planning for a future world much different than the world of rock music, football and internal combustion that he now takes for granted.

A favorite old Gary Larson cartoon immediately came to mind.

Two long-necked dinosaurs are standing amid the prehistoric tropical plants. A small furry animal, looking something like a scruffy hedgehog, is passing by. One dinosaur is pointing at the proto-mammal with his dinosaur foot and laughing heartily at the silly little thing while the other dinosaur is looking at the sky with a puzzled and worried look on his face and is holding out his stubby foot to catch a snowflake.