Expect the Unexpected!

Expect the unexpectedHappy Monday, All!

Here’s to hoping your weekends went well! Waking up this morning early with night taking its last moments lingering outside, I heard the birds chirping to invite the new day! Yes, there are more ways of dealing with things other than with guilt or frustration … as I continue to learn to expect the unexpected.

The local news spent time showing the underground bungalow in an area of Alabama built by this Vietnam Vet who kidnapped a 5 year old boy back in January of this year after the Veteran had shot a school bus driver and taken the youngster off of the bus and held him hostage! The diagnosis of this event was that the Alabama man was a “paranoid anti-government loner” who sought to strike back (at whom I don’t know, in this case) by holding the boy against his will until being killed in a shoot out with police. The “masses” in Turkey, in particular in Istanbul and Ankara, are protesting the government’s plan to destroy a park to build a mall or something in it’s place. The people there want their present ruler OUT! Oklahomans have been hit like two weeks in a row with heavy rain and tornadoes as have other places in the Southwest but they haven’t even begun the proper cleanup from the tornados that had hit Moore a few weeks earlier.

Did you ever have one of those moments when something went down that you just didn’t expect at that moment? Those events are often like headaches waiting to happen. Well, Saturday night, I watched the first half of the HEAT vs Indiana Pacers basketball game on tv at home and headed to the “Club House” (Capone’s) to watch the second half with some of “the boys”. I parked quickly though the machine only let me put in one dollar and rejected the others I had. So I hustled inside and started to watch the second half, came out, put another dollar in the machine and kept an eye as the car was right in front of the establishment. The game ended with the HEAT losing. A friend came up to me and told me that another friend of mine was there so I went to say hello. After a few minutes and a cold beverage later, I walked out to my vehicle and noticed a red sticker on my windshield and on the driver’s side window. The parking enforcement not only had put the stickers on since the time had expired but they had put a boot on the tire, stated I had two parking tickets from last year, also one from Memorial Day and the one the meter person had just given me. Total of $295.50 in cash and exact change was required to get the boot removed, including the $50.00 boot removal fee!!! Of course, I had never heard of this policy!

I went inside the establishment and used the ATM machine to retrieve the funds, which were earmarked for stuff like car insurance, gym membership and a credit card payment. I had just enough. Upon returning to my car where the three parking enforcement people were standing, I noticed a police officer approaching. As I stood there and the woman said I needed to go back and get two quarters because they didn’t have change, I looked amazed, and the officer put his hands on my chest and pushed me. Now, I don’t know why exactly, other than what I call “the reverse bully syndrome”, but I went back inside, ignoring the officer, got four quarters for a dollar and returned. The officer again got close to me and after I had handed the change to the woman, pushed me back again. This was like a no-brainer for “Racial Profiling 101”. I stayed calm, ignored him again, and he chimed in, “You can’t drive that car. You are drunk!” I said, “If you want, give me a DUI test and I’ll show you I am not drunk!” I mean, who can retrieve nearly $300 from an ATM machine successfully, return to get four quarters, and still remain calm after another person pushes him twice!? Definitely NOT a drunk person … Peace be still! The officer couldn’t get a rise out of me so he eventually walked away and let the parking enforcement guy finish by giving me a receipt!

So, I start the week after some great advice from my friend, Jimmie “Ray Ray” Campbell whom I met yesterday at the Jazz Brunch with his lovely wife and daughter, “I just let folks know that I turn my challenges over to Someone greater than all of us!” I am very proud of myself, though it did indeed annoy me. Thanks “Ray Ray”! So, …. stay calm, y’all and expect the unexpected!

Have a wonderful week!


John I. Cook, Director

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