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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Rolling Down the Highway

Okay. How can we complicate this . . .
My Dad went to veterinarian college in Guelph, Ontario.
Some time during the Dark Ages.
Okay, yes, he tells me that my time periods are a little off.
But I'm writing this story.
Dark Ages, it is.
Moving on . . .
Sometime during his years there, he had occasion to hitch-hike to Toronto.
It was his first time.
And it was an adventure.
Let me explain . . .
A gentleman stopped to pick him up.
A pleasant fellow.
Travelling salesman.
They visited for a while.
Then the driver decided it was time for a smoke break.
Or at least for a smoke. Why bother to actually make it a 'break'.
Better to just keep on driving.
In today's world of pre-assembled cigarettes, this wouldn't have been a problem.
But in the Dark Ages, people 'rolled their own'.
Seriously.
They got out a little piece of speciality paper.
Carefully shook a tiny bit of loose tobacco onto said paper.
Spread out said tobacco.
Rolled everything up.
Licked the edge of the paper.
And stuck it down.
Voila!
Cigarette.
Now, imagine doing all of that while hurtling at sixty miles per hour down the highway.
Talk about distracted driving . . .
The driver could easily accomplish it, though, with a little help from his hitch-hiker/new buddy.
“Here, son, could you please take the wheel?”
Dad stared at him. Was he serious?
“Please?”
Apparently, he was.
Gingerly, Dad reached over and grabbed the steering wheel.
“Good.” The man let go and proceeded to roll himself a cigarette, without compromising speed at all.
Except when Dad started to weave a little.
Then he slowed . . . slightly.
Finally, the job was done.
“Thank you,” the man said, taking a drag from his new cigarette. He once more took control of the wheel.
Dad sat back, relieved in both body and spirit.
A short time later, he was duly delivered at his destination.
Slightly smokier and a tiny bit wiser than normal, but safe.
Dad never took up smoking.
He said it was too dangerous.
Now you know why.

24 comments:

  1. Entertaining story! Not what I expected, of course. Thanks for the smile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your daddy's smart. And your momma was good lookin'! I don't know why that song came to mind, but it did!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Adventures on the highway. Your Dad had an interesting life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad he lived to tell us about them!

      Delete
  4. Good grief, I remember my grandfather doing that - but he just steered with the side of his hand! Smoked like a chimney and lived to 92. Life is strange.

    Glad your dad survived that one!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not sure I could steer very straight from the passenger seat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, neither. I find it difficult from the action chair!

      Delete
  6. A great lesson learned on that adventure. Distraction is such a severe problem in our society and especially when driving.
    Blessings for this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now imagine that same man with a phone and several electronic devices beeping. Horrors!

      Delete
  7. I've known men who rolled their own while driving, steered with their elbows while the hands rolled the smokes. Or steered with the base of one hand while the fingers and the other hand rolled the smoke. Most of them just rolled a dozen or so beforehand and kept them in the shirt pocket with the matches.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Many times I've seen people roll a smoke while driving. While it is still inheritantly dangerous, it's still a degree safer than texting while driving. Let's put it this way: I know of a couple of bad accidents from texting but I've never known of anyone who got in an accident while rolling a cigarette. I've seen some near misses when the cherry fell off the smoke and landed in the driver's crotch area though.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Replies
    1. Yep. Everyone is gifted in different ways, Laurel! :)

      Delete
  10. He never took up smoking - but did he ever hitchhike again :)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think this experience cured him that that, too! :)

      Delete
  11. This was so funny especially as my first few days as a non smoker. I remember these roll your own from my mom's side of the family years and years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my goodness! Way to go, Rena! Rooting for you!

      Delete
  12. That's a great reason never to take up smoking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. When they say smoking is dangerous . . .

      Delete

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