Early on Saturday afternoon, Mrs. P and I set out to run a few small errands. We pulled out of our driveway, drove down our street, eventually making our way to Church Road, a main thoroughfare in our small, suburban community. Wait. Don't get the impression that Church Road is a bustling freeway with on and off-ramps. It's not even a sleek multi-lane boulevard. Church Road is a winding macadam covered street that twists and turns through several quaint hamlets in Cheltenham Township. In most places, it narrows to a single lane in each direction where passing cars are so close drivers could shake hands if they so desired (and slowed down enough).
My wife maneuvered her car onto Church Road and we headed east. Within a minute of our journey, we found ourselves behind a Porsche 911. Mrs. P pointed out that it was the type that her brother always talked about and, one day, hoped to own. (The closest he came was purchasing one of the German automotive maker's early forays into the burgeoning SUV market. Sometimes the line between "sporty" and "sensible" is a thin one.) No sooner had she delivered this little anecdote, than the Porsche ahead of us slowed to a crawl. It crept along casually. I saw that traffic behind us was beginning to accumulate, as this section of Church Road had a single eastbound lane. Any attempt to skirt around on the shoulder would send a driver rambling across someone's front lawn. Suddenly, the Porsche coasted to a complete stop in front of the driveway access of a house sitting on an elevated plateau of manicured grass about seventy-five feet from the street. The Porsche's hazard lights sprung to life, blinking in a regular pattern in its elegantly-designed taillights.
And it sat.
And sat, while traffic behind us stacked up with more and more cars. We could see the silhouette of two people inside the Porsche — a driver and a passenger — but there was minimal movement. After thirty or so seconds, the passenger door swung open and a male leg extended into view. Slowly, the owner of the leg extracted himself from the passenger seat. Once fully out of the car, he leaned his head and shoulders back inside to fumble around with something. Again, he stood up, this time, however, he was holding the long cloth handles of a dark duffel bag. The man stood for few more long seconds and, through a full grin, offered a few more long sentiments of farewell to the driver.
There must have been at least a dozen cars stopped behind us on Church Road. Stuck. Helplessly stuck. This, obviously, was of no concern to the driver of the Porsche or his passenger. He waited until his colleague ascended the driveway and climbed the stone steps to the house. Then — and only then — did he disengage his flashers and pull away from the foot of the driveway...
.... only to pull into the very next driveway a mere ten feet further. The driver threw the Porsche into "PARK" and killed the engine. It may have even been less than ten feet.
This reminded me of a joke I once heard. A very wealthy man solicited an uneducated handyman for a job. "I'll give you twenty dollars to paint my porch out back.," the wealthy man explained. He directed the handyman towards a pail of gray industrial paint and a couple of brushes. The slack-jawed handyman headed into the wealthy man's backyard. Two hours later, the handyman returned for payment. "All finished!," he announced and he accepted two tens from the wealthy man. As he shoved the bills into his shirt pocket, the handyman remarked, "I don't think that's a porch, though. I think it's a Maserati."
Maybe this guy will be in need of a handyman someday.