One Gear

"You’ve got one gear and it’s slow.” My father directed this comment to me frequently, sometimes humorously but, more often, critically. He usually said this when I was performing chores, like mowing the lawn or trimming hedges and also when playing card or board games with the family. When it came my turn, I often struggled with a decision, having mastered the tortured soul at a young age, and I took too much time. Consequently, I was kicked out of many family game times. To this day, I do not like playing card or board games and, truth be told, I am still too slow for other gamers. 

One day, I was out mowing the lawn when Dad came to check on me. He did not like my rate of progress or speed of movement and leveled the usual ridicule: “You’ve got one gear and it’s slow.” I stopped, turned to him, looked him square in the face and retorted, “No, Dad, I’ve got two gears, slow and stop. Want to see stop?” Needless to say, he did not see the humor in this and I suffered the consequences. But after that, he rarely used that complaint, so I guess he did prefer slow to stop!

Photo, Prose, and Recital © Nick LeForce
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