Sunday, March 05, 2006

I'd really like to help you

but you have to help me help you.

Somewhat platitudinous but that was approximately my thought the other night when trying to drive Andrew to a poker night with his buddies.

On my first Friday night living in the US, as opposed to visiting the place, I was roped into driving Morgan to her friend Joy's house. I had an approximate idea of the location because we'd already taken Morgan there once but you'll understand that thrust into a new city of 4 million people and driving on the wrong side of the road it was only an approximate idea.

So we jumped into the car and set off in the right direction. Got to within a couple of hundred metres of the right place and that was the limit of my knowledge. So I, I thought quite reasonably, asked Morgan where exactly it was we were going.

She had no idea. I probed deeper. What street? She had no idea. 'Um' I said, 'so what made you think we'd be able to find the house?'. It seemed a reasonable question.

'Oh', she said, 'Mom knows'. At which point I started laughing. 'Do I look even remotely like Mum??'. Well we were in the area so we drove around aimlessly for a few minutes. I had, at the time, much to learn about Morgan. Eventually I saw a street that looked familiar and there we were.

So we (meaning I) invented a rule. If Morgan expected me to drive her to a friends house I needed an exact street address. I wanted both the street number and the street name and that's where I'd drive her. If it proved to be wrong (as it did the first couple of times as she tried to bluff me) I'd drive back home and she was out of luck. It worked a treat; she stopped asking me to drive her anywhere! :-)

Last Saturday Andrew came downstairs and asked where Mom was. I told him Mum was taking a nap. He seemed somewhat crestfallen so I asked why. Seems he wanted a ride. Now before you conclude that I'm a bastard about rides let me prove it. Most of the places Andrew (and Morgan for that matter) want a ride to are less than a mile away. I'd be ashamed of myself if I asked someone for a lift of less than a mile. Nothing wrong with my legs! So I tend to give Andrew a hard time about being a lazy sod. I used to give Morgan the same hard time but as we're no longer on speaking terms the subject never arises.

'Well Andrew, I'll give you a lift. Do you know the address?' He didn't. Sigh and stalemate. But he offered to ring his buddy and find out. The address he gave was (names and numbers changed) 39th and Monte Cristo. Which is of course a corner and not a street address in the terms I think. But he was adamant that he knew where from there so off we went.

Arrived and there was that familiar air of puzzlement. Uh huh. He had no idea where he was. Did he ring his buddy? I have no idea. Does his buddy know his own address? Again, no idea but going on the track record I've seen I doubt it.

But I reckon Andrew now believes that if he ever again wants me to drive him to some place I don't know he'd better know the exact address!

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