Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Not a word that follows is anything I wrote - it is completely from a column written by Robert Kirby, appearing the Salt Lake City Tribune on September 20th.

But it bears repeating... especially when I'm in a dry spell.


Church is all well and good, but the place where you learn the most about why you're here and where you're going is out in the world. Church has to consider your feelings. The world doesn't.

It's out in the mean old world - and usually when you least expect it - where you painfully learn what God really wants you to understand about yourself. Basically, that you're an idiot.

You're not supposed to stay that way, of course. Not entirely. The idea is to experience life in such a way that you learn stuff and end up a better person for having been through it.

But let's be honest. You can't fix what's wrong with you if you're oblivious to the problem, or, worse, have come to regard it as a personal virtue.

Life handed me one of those lessons on the way home.

Blasting along a Nevada two-lane, I had the stereo cranked so that the windows in my van bulged like Saran Wrap. …

Suddenly, a pickup wandered onto the highway several hundred yards ahead. I put on the brakes.

It wasn't even close to an accident, but I had to kill the cruise and slow down while the driver took his time meandering up to the speed limit.

I could have forgiven this inconvenience but that would have made the lesson I was about to receive moot. I was still really smart, you see.

Still, the guy had pulled out in front of me when he could have waited to let me go by instead. Worse, he now insisted on traveling only slightly over the speed limit, which is no way to appreciate the scenery of northern Nevada.

We had gone about a mile when his left turn signal came on. Then it went off. Then it was on again. Off again for half a minute, then back on. It stayed on.

The guy drove like that for a mile with no indication that he planned on turning. We blinkered along passing crossroads, driveways and lanes without even slowing down.

If I could have passed him, I would have. But traffic and topography prevented it.

Stuck behind him for miles, I had time to ponder just how stupid a person would have to be to tool along with his turn indicator going. Clearly, it was the sort of person with no regard for anyone else on the road, perhaps even an escaped mental patient.

More likely it was the sort of person with no brain at all. Maybe in Nevada, all you needed for a driver's license was just a cerebral cortex, something rudimentary that allowed you to breathe and turn an ignition key.

I worked myself into a rage. Hey, all it takes is a glance at your dashboard to...

That's when I noticed the blinking light on my dash, specifically my left turn indicator. Exactly how long it had been going was anyone's guess. An hour? Hell, maybe days.

Carefully, hoping no one would notice, I reached down and shut it off. A moment later, the turn signal on the pickup ahead of me stopped as well. The driver waved in his rearview mirror.

There might be a life lesson here, but I'm not sure. Apparently, I'm only smart enough to have a driver's license.

Robert Kirby can be reached at