Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 09/30/2019
I had been driving my Bentley for a year and it was in for its annual physical. When I picked it up, I was told the mechanic had a question for me. I figured I was probably driving the car so well that he wanted to learn things to tell other customers.
He asked me, instead, why I had not removed the plastic protectors from my gauges on the dashboard. As he said this, he was peeling them off like you do with sunburned skin. “I thought they were, ah, meant to protect long term,” I improvised.
“No,” he said with a deadpan face, “they’re just for transport in the ships and to the dealers, and some of yours have yellowed a bit.” I was thinking that the displays looked somewhat brighter as he worked. Well, much brighter.
“Have a good day,” he said, his hands full of plastic detritus. I knew this was a story he would retell with his buddies in a short while. I remember once driving up to a parking lot where the guy on the gate told me they were about to close. I told him they couldn’t be closing because there was a big hockey game for which I had won tickets.
“Right,” he said, “in Boston, but you’re in Providence.” The Providence minor league team is also called the Bruins. “Do you need an IQ test to drive one of these cars?” he asked, smiling.
Just because you can’t find your car keys doesn’t mean you’re senile, and just because you make stupid mistakes doesn’t mean you’re not bright. I’m telling you this with my own foibles because, well, I thought you’d be comforted. I know I am.
I’m grateful for every stupid mistake and dumb joke I tried to make. — Bo Burnham