Sunday, December 23, 2007


We see them from our dining room window, watch as they drive past our house, turn around, go the other direction, circle back, detour up the side streets.
Our kid sings out, "Loo-oost," and we make up the conversation we imagine taking place in the car: "I'm sure this is the wrong street." "No, this has to be it!" "But we've driven past this same place twice! I'm calling them -- " except, and this is the kicker, there's no cell phone service here. Just one of those weird things. So then we imagine them saying, "Oh my God, that's just perfect, I don't have service here! Now what?"

Taxi and airport delivery van drivers are the worst. They screech their tires as their frustration level grows. The pizza places have all pretty much figured out the neighborhood, or maybe they just have better mapping systems. Furniture and appliance delivery drivers can get downright ugly -- they both screech their tires and knock branches off trees when they turn around. Sometimes they knock at our door. The polite ones tell me they're lost. The infuriated hiss that they've tried to find "this effing address on this g.d. street, and am I even close?"

"Why, yes," I say brightly. "It's just up that way." And I point.

A couple of the street signs sit catywampus, and give a completely understandable false reading to the uninitiated. It threw us for the first couple of weeks, but eventually we figured out what everyone else in the neighborhood knows -- if you belonged here, your host/client/customer would given you directions that helped. And since you clearly don't belong here because you're lost, well -- you're on your own unless you give it up and ask a local for help.

And we'll help. You just have to ask.

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