I am feeling quite cantankerous today. Angry, even. Like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli. Perhaps it's simply full moon fever. Something has gotten into me. But rather than let my hair-trigger temper fire off a spiteful spate of vitriol, I shall use this space to mourn the loss of innocence.
The Pony started it. As we were leaving Newmentia, we spied a friend of his walking home across the parking lot, down the gravel trail that the city fathers poured after one young daredevil was smited by an SUV mirror in a game of chicken on the edge of the roadway early one sundrenched morning. I would have used the word smitten, but that would sound like he was in love with the mirror, not beaten black-and-blue by it. Allegedly.
Accounts of the original incident vary. The smiter never even knew she smit him. And the smitee declared that the poor woman veered thirty feet off the road to hit him while he walked along a copse of trees. Poppycock! Many a morning, I saw him walking on the road-edge, refusing to yield to oncoming traffic, drivers squinting into the just-risen sun. Let's just say that no charges were filed in the incident, the smitee wore an arm sling for one day, and after he enrolled elsewhere the trail magically appeared.
The Pony's friend is a nice young fellow. But one who would probably rather ride than walk in the thirty-four-degree chill. In a simpler world, I would have called to him and offered a ride. The Pony and I were driving his direction. We could have dropped him off a mile or so away, in town. But that simple gesture is not possible in this day and age. I have no chauffeurs license. I could be subject to a lawsuit in an accident. I could be accused of hinky wrong-doing if some agenda-ed person saw Friend climb into my T-Hoe.
Welcome to present-day Hillmomba. Where Mrs. Hillbilly Mom cannot be Mrs. Nice Guy.