Ben was invited to a birthday party, and as it would take place when I was at work, I had to tell Mr W how to get to the house.
But I didn't have the address. You know how it is, Moms make the playdates, and while we might have the address initially, once you drive there once or twice, you are on autopilot. I was sure I could tell him how to get there, but I also knew that would not fly for Mr W. He is just not a "turn right at the blue house" kind of guy, and his cop-ness just makes that worse. He needs the address, directions are never sufficient enough. (Our brushes with near-divorce, "stop and let me out of this van" moments while navigating the California freeway system on our trips to Disneyland have been experience enough for me to know.) I accept this, and to avoid the inevitable phone call to me at work, with thinly veiled sarcastic comments about how my directions were so good (read: suck), I decided we'd take a detour as we ran errands Friday and I'd show him where the house was as we'd be in the area already.
Once we found the house, everyone was satisfied that Ben would, indeed, make it there when he needed to, we continued on.
Now, I don't know about you all, but I tend to go back out a neighborhood the way I came in, I mean, it's logical, especially in the world of cookie cutter houses, cul de sacs, and dead ends that are all around me. Occasionally, I will explore, but usually I don't have time. (We'll talk about my chronic imrunninglateitis at some other...time.)
Mr W, on the other hand...has an uncanny knack for taking his own route. Which messes up the order in my mind, but never fails to impress me.
I know why he does it, afterall, how many times have I heard him gleefully chortle about how he annoyed Joe-Bob Citizen by telling him that he couldn't go into his neighborhood through the roadblock, only to hear from Joe-Bob "that's the only way I can get in" when he himself knew of at least two other entry routes? This amuses him. And frankly, in his line of work, I can't fault him for that. However, I'd had enough, Friday, I had to give him a hard time.
"Dude. How do you do that? How is it that no matter where we are, no matter which neighborhood we're in, you can find your way out to the major street like you live there? Are all neighborhoods really laid out that similarly, or is there some kind of GPS microchip they implant in you when you leave the Police Academy for just this purpose??"
"It's a microchip. They implant it in our ass, for when we fly by the seat of our pants."
"Oooh, you're so funny!" I groaned.
I started to giggle, because I thought of something, something I've observed more than once over the years.
"That explains it. Do you realize," I went on, "that if a group of cops is together, and someone comes up and asks directions, you all do the same thing?"
"All of you look at each other, kind of knit your brows, or tilt your heads, and then one of you holds a hand out to the other, gesturing, as you both have a "aha" moment that tells you where the place is..."
"That's just our microchips synchronizing. Don't you notice a barely perceptible wiggle of our butts, as they activate?" (Yeah. Sure, honey, let me admit to you that I am looking at all your butts. Like I'd do that. Not me.)
"Then one of you spouts the directions, as another of you gestures or points in the right direction, while another will nod knowingly, agreeing with your assessment. Once you are done, he might throw in, "You know, there's a shopping center with a Walgreen's in it on the corner where youturn...and if you see the Chevron station, you've gone too far..." and after the person walks away, it never fails, one of you will roll your eyes and say, "Remember, that's the same street that has that house I/we/so-and-so took a call at about two months/years/days ago, the one with the crazy family fight??"
He's laughing now, because he knows there is a grain of truth in that. And there is, really. Take the challenge.
Seriously, I dare you.
Approach at least two cops, standing together, and ask them for directions, and see if I am right. (looking for the butt wiggle is optional)
Just don't tell them I sent you.