My White Whale

July 27, 2009

When I’m not reading Ray Bradbury’s work about summers without sun I’m busy abhorring umbrellas.


These evil devices often have points on the ends of their stays that threaten my eyesight and poise themselves perfectly to puncture my scalp.

Why then, did I have upwards of half a dozen umbrellas in my car the other day when I went to grab something from the trunk? It’s because of my white whale. Here’s the story…

A few years ago I witnessed an umbrella being tossed from a moving vehicle. It wasn’t really tossed, but skidded sadly to the pavement behind what looked like a Speed Racer car. I was the next vehicle on the road and decided to do my good deed and pick up the umbrella.

I stopped the car, grabbed the umbrella and sped down the road to find Speed Racer Umbrella Loser. No dice.

For the past three years I’ve carried the umbrella with me in hopes that I’d see the owner on the roads around Hingham.

After about 1000 days of no success, I decided to part ways with my white whale. As you know from posts on TTWA and my comments above, this wasn’t hard for me to do as I hate umbrellas. What was difficult was the act of giving up on something.

Like dreams of making the Major Leagues, the likelihood of garnering a Ph.D. in philosophy, and the slight chance that Jennifer Garner will follow me on Twitter and then decide to stalk me, the umbrella-return quest died a quiet death.

What’s that mean for all dreams I have or even the goals I might pursue?

Should I chase unlikely outcomes or resign myself to reality. The reality that UPS and FedEx trucks are never where you hope to find them. The reality that no matter how you cross your legs or arrange your cap, the Cubs will keep missing out on the World Series. And the reality that it could very well rain 50% of the time whether or not you have an umbrella in your trunk.

Keep reading!