Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thoughts on Shortcuts.

It had been a while since I have had to drive to Dallas in the morning -- and in rush hour traffic. No one likes it. I am glad I no longer do it. But as I was making my way today and the traffic locked up, I decided to take an exit and attempt -- the back road short-cut.

It worked. In minutes I was back to cruising and feeling good. Very good.

My father was the king of shortcuts. He had a shortcut for everything; whether he was washing dishes, cutting the grass, or driving me somewhere, eventually he would devise some way of doing it faster.

Americans, by nature I think, like to find a faster, better way to do whatever it is that needs done. Henry Ford did not invent the internal combustion engine, but he did find an inexpensive way to attach it to an automobile body. Michael Dell didn't invent the personal computer, but he did find the most profitable way to sell them. Google perfected (for now) the ultimate shortcut, the search engine. Faster, better, there is just something about it that we like.

A final comment on shortcuts and cars.

Boasting about shortcut prowess is not advised. The gods of shortcutting will soon cut you down by making the alternate route worse than the main route. I know. Unfortunately, shortcuts work best when one is driving solo, as if these gods kept watch to ensure we enthusiasts don't take too much credit for our success.

That's just the way it is.


Anonymous said...

The purpose of a driving shortcut is not really to save time. The shortcut, for me, is more about continuing motion thab saving time. I haveno idea if I will save time on my shortcuts, but I do know that, if I take a shortcut, I will keep moving.


Francis Shivone said...

An excellent point. Perceived progress is better than real progress.

rambler said...

I have learned that sitting in the slow lane is, over the long haul, as fast as getting off the freeway and using the back roads (most of the time).

But not nearly as much fun. I recently had a drive through parts of west Dallas I've never seen; in fact, I could honestly say I "got lost" and thoroughly enjoyed myself.