Monday, April 1, 2013

"Where you at 5?"

A friend of mine, my hockey buddy from the epilogue to The Madness of March, once had a job as a cab driver.  His cab was always cab 5.  Whenever he was out on a call and another call came in, he'd hear the dispatcher through his radio,  "Where you at 5?"

I use the expression with him now and again. When we are together and I don't know what room in the house he's in, I'll shout, "Where you at 5?"  And sometimes it is less about physical location and more about what he might feel like doing, "Where you at 5?"

Lately, I have been saying it to myself. I don't drive a cab (and he hasn't for thirty plus years), but I say it to myself when I am considering more than location.  You hear people speaking about all activities being part of the journey that is life.  I recall when Bobby Valentine the manager of last year's Red Sox would be asked about the horrific year he had managing the team, Valentine nine times out of ten seemed to be at peace.  The Sox were a train wreck last year, but Valentine's refrain was nearly always, "this is all part of the journey."

Well, yeah, but sometimes you figure you must have made a wrong turn.  You find yourself in the Bronx and the address was Brooklyn. Sure it is part of the journey but it would have been better if you paid attention to the map.  I have at various times over the years, heard a crony tell me that he did not know how he got to where he was at. 

When I am driving somewhere every once in a while I check the map to make sure I am on course.  Same thing with my head, but lately as the times around the track have added up I am stunned when I do the arithmetic and realize how long I have been (a) at the job (b) in the same house (c) driven the Element (d) known my buddy Ken (e) exercised at the same health club, etc.

I figure if you don't, every so often, say, "where you at 5?" then before you know it, you are getting sick and can't believe how much time while you were well you may have plodded along seriously in the wrong direction.

 As the baseball season begins today, I wonder about the self assessment of some clubs. Did they really ask themselves where they were at when they retooled for the season.  Or like, for example, perennial failures like the Cubs, were their reflections inadequate or superficial. 

If you are a cab driver, a baseball team, or just someone looking to get the most juice out of our ride, you need to be able to respond intelligently when either someone else or you, yourself, asks, Where you at?

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