By John Matonich
I was heading into the shop the other day from the lake. It was a beautiful morning and a lot of folks were out and about on the roadway that runs along the lake’s east shore. It is the height of the summer season and not only are there a lot of seasonal residents on the lake; there are also a lot of visitors to the area this time of year. I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so I kept the truck moving slowly and waved to all the folks who were out walking and enjoying the day.
As I neared the south end of the lake, I saw a gentleman up ahead on a bicycle. I typically slow down and try to move into the other lane when I come upon a biker so as not to startle them. As I got closer I could see the biker also has a dog on a leash so I slowed down even more and moved over into the other lane. What happened next was a little scary.
I was still a ways from the biker when I saw the leashed dog head one way around a nearby mailbox and the biker head the other way. Evidently, the lease wasn’t in the bikers hand but was tied to the bike. Next thing I know, I saw the bike come to a stop and the back wheel flipped over the front wheel and the gentleman riding the bike ended up head first on the pavement. For some reason my mind sent me a note that said, “Oh my gosh, that guy just went ass over teakettle.”
Once I reached the biker, I stopped the truck and got out to see if he was OK. Other than he was embarrassed about his fall, he and his bike were just fine. I helped him up and got back in my truck and headed on my way. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him untie the dog leash from his bike, which I believe is something he wished he would have done earlier.
I found myself revisiting what had just happened and questioned the message my mind sent me out of the blue. I hadn’t heard that expression in a long time and really couldn’t remember where it came from. It certainly fit the situation, but I found it interesting that my mind dug something out of somewhere in the depths of my memory that I hadn’t used or heard in many years.
When I got to the shop, I had to do a little research and found a lot of references to the phrase. It seems it has some English origins, but with a little twist or two. There is also a character in one of John Steinbeck’s novels that used a similar phrase, so it gave me a little history on where I might have picked up on it as I have read a number of his works over the years.
I have tried to think a little about other phrases that may be buried somewhere in my mind’s depths, but haven’t really had any just pop out. I am sure we all have some of those phrases that we haven’t heard or used in a long while tucked away, but I guess the next time I see something out of the ordinary; my mind will be ready with another saying to fit the occasion.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
Image credit: rockandbacon