Saturday, November 24, 2012

Going Off Half-Cocked.




Going off half-cocked


Idiomatic, colloqial

"To take a premature or ill-considered action."


So you thought I was perfect, didn't you?

Well, surprise!  I'm not.

One of my defects of character is running off with some hare-brained scheme and being forced (usually by others) to come up short, in terror and a kind of awe to think I nearly got away with it.

I think I've been this way since I was around three and a half when I tried to smother my brother with a pillow. I was Queen of the Home and his arrival destroyed my royal life. He was very sick, had a nurse in attendance, was not a girl, cried all the time and I thought if I could rid us all of this defective baby, life would be simpler for everyone concerned.   I was banished to the grandparents for what seemed like an eternity of paradise. But all ends badly as started badly when I was returned to my parents and forced to attend school on a daily basis away from the scene of my attempted fratricide. Low Babies Class was how we began school in Ireland then -  for any of you older and familiar with this particular Irish terminology. You would graduate at the age of four to High Babies. The visuals are awesome for those unfamiliar with the term. But they bear nothing to the reality of nuns with rulers in damp and dreary stone convent classrooms where a good day was when you were allowed to wear your woolly coat in class to keep the chills at bay and didn't have to extend your palms for blistering from the above mentioned rulers.

Anyways, as I was saying.  I've been blessed in my life by staunch and trusted friends who prevent me from half-cocking myself. One time it was a seedy motel in Nova Scotia, another time it was a house in the back of beyond that would have involved an hour and half's commute to work. Yet another was where I was clinging to the marital home, completely overwhelmed.  I've lost track of most of them. But a few nights ago, another Staunch sat me down and said seriously to me:

"WWW - this two car business in your driveway has got to stop."

"But I use the second car for my camper. And my daughter can drive it when she's here. It's got the hitch, it's...."

"No. The car is only used once a week, if that. Its value decreases the longer you leave it and the rust can get at it while your newer car is in the garage. And how many offers have you had on it - fifty?"

"Yeah, but..."

"I can't see any buts in this.  You sell the older car. You install a new trailer hitch on the newer car and you pocket several thousand dollars in the bank even after you pay for that."

And as soon as he said it, I just knew.

Another half-cock averted.

I am so bloody lucky with the friends in my life.




30 comments:

  1. Yep. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out the obvious. One more good reason to keep an open mind eh? And then again, how fortunate you are to have at least one sensible and forward friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We do come up with some half baked schemes on our own. It's a good thing that we are not left to our own devices. You really do have to think as if you are your own parent and best advisor but we can't do without the input of others. Common sense should tell you the obvious but sometimes that's hard to find. xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ah, you stirred some memories here. We had "Babies," "Middles" [presided over by the cheek-pinching Sr. Mary Gillan,] and "Senior Infants." Doesn't that last one conjure up awesome visuals?

    Who needs financial advisors when you have sensible friends like yours...

    ReplyDelete
  4. WWW - Your good friends are gold dust!

    We had junior infants and senior infants and then went to First Class! Yep, First class was actually your third year at school. This was with the 'Flying Column' nuns - French Sisters of Charity - remember the headgear?

    Secondary level was with the Mercy nuns and alas, in my case the mercy and charity shown in the 13 years of my education was through the regular use of a long bamboo type cane.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Church of England schools didn't have nuns, but they had rulers. I received one on my palm - but only once. Quick learner! ;-)

    I think we all go off half-cocked at times, WWW. We become near-sighted about ourselves and our doings. It takes someone, preferably a friend (otherwise it could get nasty), with perspective to see clearly our wilder impulses for what they are.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The term must be connected to the old muskets in days of yore.

    With good friends like you have you are blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Indeed, a very good bit of advice to overcome your mental rut! We all need helpful friends like that to save us from ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember Low Babies, mainly because I skipped it, having started out in Kindergarten at a private school. I was transferred to National School because my sister was such a bitch (such is justice!) and moved into High Babies, where we were supplied with a slate and chalk to learn our letters. Then went into 1st Class, like Grannymar, where we graduated to pencil and jotter made of paper so rough it had wood splinters.

    In that school, we went from 6th Class to 2nd Year in Secondary Top. Where's the logic, you ask? Beats me.

    Glad your friend stepped up. Money in the hand is worth two cars in the drive any day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I need your friend. I presently have 4 cars in my driveway, 2 of which need to be repaired before they can be driven (not that anyone needs to drive them). And that's not counting the car of an absent friend, also in our driveway, which Jerry says is being eaten up by mice.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've so enjoyed your latest posts (ten, I believe, according to 'Google Reader'). Life's so busy of late (how did I ever find time to work for a living, I ask myself frequently!) I fall behind with my blog reading and have to make time to catch up. I particularly enjoyed "Blog Jam" (sorry, Grannymar!). Our own wood stove is blazing 24/7 these days, with eight inches on the ground and days two or three degrees below. You have much milder weather in Newfoundland. Geraniums in mid-November, for God's sake! I read of Savita Halappanavar on the BBC website and almost blogged, but somehow it seemed too late - for her, anyway. If I end up in hell at least I'll get pleasure tormenting the Pope and all his soulless minions, and the scumbag politicians in cahoots with them.
    Keep up the writing and, oh, if your stuck for inspiration try a short essay on the utter uselessness of the 'Caps Lock' key. I must have hit it half a dozen times while writing this missive. And sworn profoundly on each occasion.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the images conjured by 'low babies' and 'high babies'. We had the similar but less congruent 'baby infants' and 'high infants'.
    Your staunch friend had the right idea, and you did well to heed him.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want two vehicles in the drive.
    Or rather car stays in the small garage and truck in the drive.
    If one does not start then I have another one. The truck is needed for hauling gardening items in the Spring and taking off trash.
    The car is kept cleaner for town visits :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow. The whole Irish guilt thing was still in full flower during your childhood. I'm glad you have found a happy life and good friends!

    ReplyDelete
  14. SJG

    I often feel that the whole wide world is more sensible than me!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. Irene:
    At times, my common sense is sorely lacking I'm afraid!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  16. Molly:

    Somehow, "High Babies" does it for me. I see them in priestly robes and angelic choirs surrounding them.

    Oops, I think that was limbo :)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, we had 1st class too, GM, our 3rd year. Called "First Book" by my granny.

    And our Sisters of Mercy were on the whole very good and included a couple of PhDs who pushed us to a very high level and agreed to our demanding calculus which was unheard of in girls' education then. Luck of the draw, I guess.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  18. T:

    Yes, it takes a good friend with no hidden agenda and they are very rare so I feel enormously lucky I have such treasures in my life.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  19. I believe so, GFB. One could do a lot of damage with a half cocked gun, most notably to oneself!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nick:

    Mental obsession more like it, and I'm glad those who care can steer me clear!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tessa:
    I went into private school starting in 6th class as the teacher we had in national school had onset of dementia (undiagnosed except by my father) who yanked me out of the school.

    We didn't have a year 2 in Secondary but skipped directly from 1 to 3. Weird also.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh Anne, that sounds like a nightmare. You need my Staunch. Badly.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  23. RJA:
    I miss your more frequent writings. Maybe you have mellowed, being in the woods 'n all and cutting that damn wood and stacking it. No finer job, though!

    Still balmily snow free here. A bit of rain today though about -7 out so fires needed. Love the wood stove.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well Stan my High Baby raises your High Infant one Low Infant.... :)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh Hattie, don't be talkin'. The stories I could tell you would make the hair on your head do a war dance...

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  26. Good, no-nonsense friends are a blessing.

    Low Babies and High Babies made me laugh. I picture infants graduating from being depressed to being stoned.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What would interest me is to find out how often you are the friend who averts half cock for others! I bet that it is far more frequent than your friends saving you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good friend, good advice - but as Rummuser says - don't forget to give yourself credit for when you're the one who does the timely intervention.

    ReplyDelete
  29. SAW:
    Oh I sputtered my tea over that one, very funny!!

    And it would have helped us a lot to be high in those good ol' days...

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ramana:

    I have no idea, I perceive myself as a bit of a dimwit in that area but then again people talk to me later about how much I helped them. We never know....

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com