I used to tell the following joke when I was a kid, to virtually anyone who would come by. The first script I’d ever memorized: “Once there was this guy, and his plane was on fire. So he pulled the cord and nothing came out but strings. Then he pulled the emergency spoke and nothing came out but strings. Then this BIIIIG FAT moth flew by, and it said ‘I can’t believe I ate the whooooole thing.’ ”
So I’m driving to work Monday morning – because on what other day would this happen? – along the gently winding double-yellow-line road through the wealthy woodland suburbs of Westchester. This is my secret back way to work that avoids highways with the first name “I-”. It’s a perfectly driveable little road. Very nice, actually, with gentle slopes, plenty of visibility, and large houses on vast spreads set well back from the road behind sturdy stone walls.
Sort of in the middle portion of this back road there’s a speed zone where the limit is 25 miles per hour; a speed limit I’d thought was reserved for nursing-home parking lots or golf courses. Shoot, there are toll booths you’re allowed to roll through at faster than 25 miles per hour. But I gather the plutocrats of [REDACTED] don’t want non-Lexii to bypass the highways at the expense of their early-morning serenity. So 25 it is.
Now right in the center of this slow-mo zone, or slowmozone, as it will henceforth be called, is one of those gizmos that tells you how fast you’re going. I never read it, because who cares? But Monday morning, a mile past this gizmo, just at the clubhouse for the country club, there’s a cop standing at the side of the road, and he motions me to pull over.
And nothing. Came out. But strings.