Monday, July 02, 2007

On Sunday we went went down to a water slide park with another family, the Psychologersons. Spending a day in the sun at a water park is pretty pleasant, but trying to hide my emotional defects from a pair of psychologists all day is tiring work.

Neither family had a car big enough for all six of us, so we caravaned down the highway, with me leading the way. In general, I'm not a big fan of leading another car down the highway. I like to change lanes at will, especially when I detect big speed differences between my lane and one across the highway, like say 1 MPH. (A second saved is a second earned, my friends.) So, if I don't know the driving style of the car following me, my ability to shave precious seconds is severely cramped. Severely.

I spent the first couple minutes of the drive attempting to analyze their driving behavior. They drove a BMW, which indicated that they probably enjoyed the act of driving, but it was a station wagon which also indicated that they sacrificed performance for practicality. They seemed to be fun-loving people, which suggested a penchant for playful driving, but there was nothing reckless about them, which hinted at a desire for safety. Clearly I could not choose the glass in front of me.

On this particular drive, I also had to wonder what my driving habits were saying about me. What kind of diagnoses can be performed in 50 miles? Medically speaking, how fast can I drive above the speed limit before I'm officially an aggressively psychotic asshole? I decided that keeping within 10 MPH of the posted limits would prevent them from diagnosing me as criminally insane. Is that right? Crap, I don't know. I'm a computer programmer.

(Incidentally, Mr. Psychologerson did make one correct move that most Follower Cars don't do. At one point we were on a multi-lane city street and our lane was very backed up. The lane to our left was moving, but there were no openings big enough for us both to easily move into, so there was no way for me to lead the way into that lane. He recognized this, signaled, and moved into the faster lane first, which then gave me an opening in front of him. Most caboose cars in a caravan fail to recognize and execute this maneuver.)

Anyway, once we got to the water park, the Psychologersons deftly stored their diagnoses notebooks out of view and we had a perfectly pleasant time, ignoring the fact that this was probably the coldest day that San Jose will have all summer long. Daisy slid and splashed herself to near case of hypothermia, which is pretty much the funnest possible thing for a kid. I was able to make that diagnosis myself, thankyouverymuch electrical engineering degree.

On a final note, Mr. Psychologerson shared the story of the first time he met Daisy. Apparently he was participating in a classroom activity with the kindergarten students and one of the kids was spazzing out. (Mr. Psychologerson did not use the term "spazzing out". I think he chose the more clinical term "acting in such a way as to attract attention). As the kid spazzed, Mr. P. heard Daisy say, under her breath, "Oh, I get it. You're always going to play dumb."

He was stunned to hear such a diagnosis from a 5 year old.

I know Daisy's current career choice is to be a teacher/candy-store-owner, but maybe if that doesn't work out, perhaps she can be a psychologist. She certainly has enough material to practice with.


tinyhands said...

As long as she doesn't get involved in a land war in Asia.

Mike said...

They weren't Sicilian, so I think I could have taken them.

Velvet Sacks said...

This was a fun post to read. I've always enjoyed your blog, but now that you've quoted from "The Princess Bride," you've clearly won my heart.

Mike said...

It's on my top 10 movie list. I'm hard pressed to actually construct that list, but I'm pretty sure Princess Bride is on there. Oh, and thanks for your heart. Don't tell my wife.

Liz said...

As to the caboose leading the caravan for fortuitous lane changes, I often find myself in this situation when in a caravan. Most annoying is when I so thoughtfully change lanes, only to have the head of the caravan fail to notice my gesture. What kind of crappy leader isn't even checking to make sure he hasn't lost me completely? And here I am, holding up traffic and fearing the growing rage of the drivers behind me as I pace with the car ahead waiting for him to notice and jump out in front of me. I would wager that with you caboosing and me leading, we could cover the distance to SJ in 40 mins or less.

Mike said...

Liz, maybe, but I'd wager even more money that we could make it in 39 minutes with ME leading and you caboosing.