Warning: this entire narrative, while true, is also a metaphor.
In our house we know from years of experience that when the Pacific Highway is closed to the south of us, any trip north will be a dream. No trucks, hardly any cars & no speed traps. So yesterday, overcome by cabin fever, we decided to go to the big town to bother our friends there, and see a movie.
We left in a blaze of sunshine, after kicking the beast into four-wheel drive. Ten minutes later, this:
After another twenty minutes of blinding rain slowing us to an unseemly crawl, ruining the anticipated experience of free ranging the highway from hell, we started to fight about whether we should keep going, or turn back. If we kept going, the high tide together with excessive rain would later in the day likely prevent us crossing the bridge that leads into our town and we wouldn’t get home. If we didn’t keep going, we’d all fight a whole lot more when we did get home, as frustration and disappointment would be added to the already raging group aggravation. An aporia in our narrative if ever I encountered one!
It’s stupid to keep going, one of us said. When is the last time we did something stupid, another (me) demanded. Nobody could remember the last time we’d (deliberately) done something stupid and that determined our choice: we would keep going.
This didn’t stop us:
But when we got to this:
people I always thought loved me turned. I didn’t make you keep going, I pointed out to them. I’m not even driving. The driver is in charge, isn’t she? I asked, but very nicely. Anyway its too late to turn round and go home, I told them, we’re almost there, we’ll just have to make a detour. Let’s sing. Let’s sing “Solidarity forever!” Its ages since we last sang that!
A great deal of time later, there’s no need to say how much, we arrived at the movies with seconds to spare. See! I cried, triumphant (and relieved, imagine how they’d have gone for me if we’d missed the movie as well) I told you! The apparently stupid choice can often be the best one! You just have to be brave enough to take a calculated risk!
We still have to get home, a spoil sport darkly muttered, and your risk wasn’t exactly calculated. But I had only good feelings about getting home and guess what? I was right again! The highway home was dry as a bone, and we went wild, I tell you, wild! Driving at amazing speeds on the apocalyptically empty road! Shrieking with unrestrained joy: we did it we did it and, because I am generous and wise, I let them share the credit that was strictly speaking, all mine.
There’s a lesson in this for all of us, don’t you think? You just have to be wise enough know how and when to be calculatedly stupid. That’s all, and you’re most welcome.
Disclosure: this narrative is narrated in the first person by an unreliable narrator.