Isn't it funny how the mind works sometimes, playing tricks on us almost as if going into a protective mode that pre-empts any physical action on our part and sets us up for impulsive reaction.
Late yesterday for instance, as I exited our local Foodland grocery store on Highway 21, I noticed Saugeen Shores police conducting a R.I.D.E. Check. The location of "the Check" at one of the busiest intersections on the outskirts of Southampton was crucial at the start of the Victoria Holiday weekend. Highway 21 carries traffic to Owen Sound while Bruce County Road 13 leads to Sauble Beach and Bruce Peninsula points north.
Needless to say, vehicles were backed up in all directions as lime green-vested police officers stoically greeted each driver with the customary: "How are you today Sir/Madam? Have you consumed any alcohol?"
Methodically loading groceries into my car, I began to survey my surroundings and to consider my options. "How can I get out of here and avoid going through the check?" I wondered, quickly realizing I was boxed in and really had no choice.
As I got into the car to turn on the ignition, the light finally dawned...How stupid of me! I had not been drinking anything stronger than Tim Horton's coffee that day. In fact, it had been at least two months since an alcoholic beverage of any kind had touched my lips, so why be the least bit concerned about going through the check?
I actually had to laugh at myself for even considering such impulsive, evasive action -- to look for "an out" that was absolutely unnecessary.
I felt a bit of empowerment as I purposely pulled out onto the highway and joined the three or four cars ahead of me. In a matter of seconds the officer was leaning into my open window, pretending not to hear my jocular: "I didn't do it!" with his own automatic "How're you today?"
Having declared myself alcohol-free, I soberly pulled away from the check feeling a sense of smug self-satisfying purity, yet still at a loss to explain my initial completely unnecessary anxiety.
Perhaps it had something to do with another place at another time.