Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When the Cosmo Aligns...Giddy-up!

Like many of you, I harbor deep regrets: Ruined romantic opportunities. Misguided career decisions. Short-sighted moments of inaction. Some of these have steered the course of my life for the worse, or at least left lasting scars that I’ll carry for the rest of my days.

If I were to compile a list of my regrets, one that remains fresh bears getting off my chest:

Spring 2004: I’m walking north on 19th Street, about a block and a half from my then-residence just off Rittenhouse Square. Roaring toward me comes a hook & ladder, siren blaring as it responds to a call on the other side of the square. I saw the fire engine coming, and my immediate instinct was perfectly natural for a Seinfeld connoisseur: yell "Hey, Kramer!" to the hook & ladder's rear driver, just as in Episode 117, "The Secret Code." Maybe he'd respond as did Kramer—with a wave and a yell. Maybe not. Either way, I'd be fulfilling every Seinfeld fan's dream: to play out in reality a classic moment from the show. I had several seconds to react, but a completely irrational inhibition of drawing attention to myself on a public street cropped up and, unbelievably, kept me from seizing the Kramerian moment...as the opportunity tragically passed forever. I think about that moment a lot—perhaps not as much as foolishly opting to transfer out of what was a pretty good party school after my freshman year or failing to take Miss So-and-So to bed—but enough that the pain flares every time I see that Seinfeld episode in reruns or hear a fire engine's horn racing down the block.

Other regrets:

• Never went to a Gordon Lightfoot concert on acid
• Spent three years earning a PhD in Morse code on a hunch that e-mail was a passing fad and the telegraph would make a comeback
• Chose to see Avatar in 1-D
• Have never visited 332 Kellett St., Deloraine, Manitoba
• Got out of bed most days
• Approaching my 43rd birthday, yet still don't know what the difference is—if any—between a sweet potato and a yam
• Convicted of a Class B misdemeanor for castling in a checkers game
• Took a stunning 19-year-old, 5-foot-six, 110-pound, 38-DD, redheaded vegan to an all-you-can-eat rib joint on a first date because I was in the mood for ribs

(Images copyright NBC.)

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