Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Anything Funny Happen Today?

Pipi used to have an acquaintance with a preschool-aged daughter. The mother told us once that she figured out pretty quickly that the question, “How was school today?” seldom got much of a response. Somehow she realized that a much better question to ask is, “Did anything funny happen today?”

Sometimes Pipi and I greet each other with this question when she gets home from work. And if she asks today, I’ll be able to say “yes.”

This morning I was on one of my Oakland urban hikes. I went down East Twelfth Street as far as First Avenue. It was a good walk—I discovered that an Asian supermarket that burned down about a year ago has reopened in a temporary location, so that was good to know.

That’s not the funny part, though. The funny part is that on the way there, some cops pulled up next to me and asked me for directions.

That’s a funny enough scenario—police officers lost in their own jurisdiction. But as anyone who knows me realizes, the really funny part is that they picked the absolute worst person on Earth to ask directions of. Seriously, for an explorer, I have no sense of direction. My father has written a book on navigation, but I can’t find my way out of a paper bag with a compass.

The story does end happily, though. They were looking for the Scottish Rite Temple, and I actually did have a pretty good idea where it was. It helped that they were already quite close, and it’s a big building.

Almost the funniest part is imagining why they needed to find the Scottish Rite Temple in the first place. Did a ritual go bad? Was someone playing caber in the house? Was there a haggis incident? I’m definitely picking up an Oakland Tribune tomorrow to find out.

And the next time I call the police, I’m definitely keeping Mapquest open while I’m talking to the dispatcher.

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