The Old Coot has a near miss

I backed over my neighbors the other night. ALMOST! I’d just” high fived” myself for spotting a jogger running along on the sidewalk and stopping before I hit him. I waited a minute for the adrenalin rush to subside and started backing up again, first checking and rechecking my rearview and side mirrors. I planned to stop at the edge of the sidewalk to make sure no one else was coming down the sidewalk. I guess I pulled slightly into the sidewalk space when I stopped. 

I heard a loud yell, “Watch out old man! You almost ran us over,” and then saw an arm raise in the air in an arc. I’d seen that curved extended arm gesture before, and immediately knew it was my neighbor Daren (who also answers to Daryl) and his wife Cindy. They were laughing; my heart was pounding. 

They waved, laughed again and moved on. I got my heart under control and continued into the street and on my way, rehearsing the alibi I would have used if I actually did run them over. 

“Officer, I saw a guy running like crazy down the sidewalk when I was backing out of my driveway. He came by so fast, I almost ran over him. After he passed by, I sped my car toward the street to see who was chasing him, accidently backing over the two thugs he was fleeing. It turned out they were my neighbors, taking a late-night stroll.” 

Fortunately, I didn’t need the alibi. I hadn’t hit them, but I impressed myself how quick the lie came to me. I still had it! That split second mental process to explain a foible. It’s an essential skill for old coots. We stumble into awkward situations all the time – trying to get into the wrong car in a parking lot and kicking the door because it won’t open – spending the day with our shirt on inside out, claiming it’s the new style – accusing people of hiding our glasses while walking around with them perched on top our heads. Not to mention (why do we use that phrase, just before we go on to mention what we’re not going to mention).

Not to mention our habit of driving with one of our turn signals blinking endlessly. Which, had I been doing so, would have given Daren and Cindy plenty of warning to stay back. It easy to see now; the whole incident was their fault. 

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