Westsidedad

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Intent defeated. This morning my teenager presented us with a flyer about the YMCA field trip he is going on next weekend. Turns out they are required to bring a tent. I dug around in the garage and found a tent that my wife and I last used 16 years ago, before we had kids. Since then, we’ve visited many national parks, but we’ve always stayed in a lodge.

I spread out the tent and the flexible poles on our porch, but I just couldn’t get the thing to stand up. I spread out the unfurled tent in various positions and inserted the poles in different slots, but it kept collapsing.

I brought my son out to the porch and suggested that he figure it out.

A typical teenager, he didn’t want to bother with it.

“I’ll call Charlie,” he said. “I think he has a tent.”

Sure enough, Charlie has one and presumably knows how to assemble it.

I jammed the tent back in the stuff sack and returned it to the garage, where it may stay for another 16 years.

I consoled myself with the thought that “A wise man knows when he’s beaten.”

I just went to look up that quote in order to attribute it, but I couldn’t find it in either Bartlett’s or my Dictionary of Proverbs.

Should I take credit for the saying myself?

Here’s one proverb I did find:

“Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.”

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