Dances With Words: What’s the rush?

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
Dances With Words: What’s the rush?
STAND UP – AND WAIT – First, the click, click, click of seatbelts being unclasped, crowd into the narrow aisle, undo the overhead luggage bins, then wait. What’s the rush! (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

Give some thought to the fable of ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. Slow but sure is the way to go. ‘Easy does it’ has probably prevented many injuries. ‘Haste makes waste’ sure applies to a cabinet maker taking measurements.
Think of the situations you’ve been in when taking it slowly would have been advisable. Nowadays we’re too focused on “Git ‘er done!”.

Ever been the victim of the tailgater with sprinter’s reflexes? He revs his engine behind you, hunched over his steering wheel, squinting at the traffic lights ahead. The peak of his ball cap doesn’t serve to keep the sun out of his eyes, it’s only there to make him look cool. All it does is keep the sun off the back of his neck.

Despite that, he’s quite likely to be a redneck. His impatience will get him back to Montreal about one minute ahead of you.

As soon as the jet engines stop whining, the captain announces, “Thank you for flying with us today…” At that very moment 239 seat belts go click, click, click, immediately followed by their now-freed captives crowding the aisle, soon followed by the clunk, clunk, clunk of 239 overhead bins popping open. Next: a chorus of exasperated sighs and pinging of cellphones. This line’s going nowhere.

Not to worry: you’ll eventually catch up with those same 239 folks staring at the still-motionless conveyor belt of the luggage carousel.

I remember a bookcase I had just completed. I carefully cleaned the paint brushes. After a hurried supper, my library of first editions and precious travel souvenirs were carefully put in place on the shelves. Yes, I ignored the prescribed drying time printed on the can. The next day…. (No need to tell you the rest of the story!)

Here’s an effective way of convincing students to carefully read all instructions on an exam paper before starting to answer any of the questions. At the very bottom end of the lengthy paper is, “Do not answer any of the questions.

Since you got this far, just turn your paper face down and start whistling your favourite tune. If you can’t whistle, tap the desk with your pen.”

The students who’ve read to the end are grinning, whistling and tapping Looks of scorn and irritated “Shhh!” mutters break the tense silence, until I call for order and remind the kids to follow the instructions.

The spring thaw comes ever so gradually in a densely-forested watershed. However, on large tracts of deforested agricultural land, flooding is quite often followed by drought.

Even more rapid changes take place in a paved urban environment. Sudden thaw brings immediate run-off and flash flood. Some day I’ll tell you about a nasty experience I had on Toronto’s Don River.

If you’re in a hurry, plant a willow or a poplar. If you’re thinking of your grandchildren, plant an oak.

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