Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It was raining hard. By some stroke of fortune I had managed to reach the bus stop without becoming far too wet, but my sneakers did not share my fate; rainwater had gotten into them, and now my toes were sloshing around soggily. It was an uncomfortable feeling that I hated, but there was little else I could do.

I count myself amongst those who enjoy the sound and feel of rain, but my love is limited to when I am indoors and certainly not when I am bearing the brunt of it. Rain is beautiful, romantic even, so long as you are not inconvenienced by it. And in this particular case, there was much inconvenience; the flow of traffic slowed to a hesitant crawl, and I resigned myself to waiting for a surely delayed bus.

Sharing the rather empty bus stop was a mother and her young son, probably no older than five years of age. The w0man stood at an angle facing the direction of the incoming traffic, ostensibly looking out for her bus, but also at the same time just barely positioned to keep an eye on her son. The boy was staring at the passing cars, perhaps mimicking the actions of her mother.

Unexpectedly, the boy started waving at the cars passing the bus stop, yelling excitedly, "Hello! Hello!". My eyes darted from the boy to the traffic, trying to discover the reason for the boy's sudden action, before I realized that his mother was looking around trying to learn the same thing. The puzzled look on the mother's face told me that she too had little idea of what sparked the sudden outburst.

The boy continued to wave and greet the oncoming cars. Then I felt a small chill down my spine; perhaps I was wrong to assume that he was greeting the cars, but rather, he was greeting something quite unseen and possibly sinister.

My fears were soon laid to rest, when thankfully the boy provided an inadvertent explanation. He had asked his mother to wave too, but his mother, perhaps sharing the same discomforting thoughts that had occurred to me, asked him what he was waving at.

"The cars are waving at us! They wave at us with their two hands!"

It was then that I realized that the boy had been returning the waves of the cars, or more accurately, the waving motion of the windscreen wipers. Upon this revelation, I almost wanted to laugh on the spot over the ridiculous bafflement of two adults by the innocuous actions of a child.

Then again, at least I knew the secret answer; I suppose the drivers of those oncoming cars remain puzzled to this day, more-so for those few that did return the wave with human rather than plastic arms.

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