Monday, May 01, 2006

Speed Limit

(77) Speed Limit

We’re always setting speed records. So, why does everything go slowly?

Fastest race. Fastest air speed. Fastest communication. Highway limits up to 65 in many spots, higher in others.

We have speed dialers, speedy checkout, fast growing trees and vegetables. Prime time TV shows have shorter – and therefore faster seasons.

Life at warp speed.


REAL life is slow, even for those of us who have spent a lifetime moving quickly.

And the pressure is on for we speed demons to move slower. It’s a conspiracy.

Young Duffy from Rochester, New York had a motto. “I don’t do anything slow.” Young Duffy meant it, practiced it and is totally out of touch with the current generation. A role model for the outmoded.

Walked fast, talked fast, drank fast, got 16 hours work done in an eight hour day. Today, Young Duffy, still young enough, is more of an oddity than ever.

If you are in a group at a restaurant, and you finish eating first, the slow goers at the table think you’re nuts as you sit there trying to not look totally bored and frustrated.

Peer pressure. Sit there. Try to keep a smile from turning into a smirk. Try to look interested in other people with their snouts in the trough. Be prepared for extreme criticism later.

Practice slowness. Patience. Stand on line without a purchase at CVS and its co-drugstores, which hold the record for slowness. Call the customer service lines of companies with which you don’t do business and wait for the next available “associate,” then hang up when he or she comes on the line.

Think Ray Charles, the King of Slow.

Speed kills.

Think “Waltz” but not “Strauss.”

None of this works. You just revert to speed after awhile.

Why, though, is it so hard for some people to grasp that speed can be relaxing?

A fast walk –even an aimless one. A fast decision – even a wrong one. This is pipe and slippers and an easy chair. A fast drive on an open highway – or a “bullet train.” Paradise.

Just ask Young Duffy.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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