Tuesday, October 7, 2008

'Watch Out For Trucks'

Last weekend, I finished off Robert Fulghum's "What On Earth Have I Done?" It was vintage Fulghum!

One essay in the collection is on his grandchild Brie and one particular incident that belied a child's naivete. I am reproducing the entry in its entirety (in red are my favorite lines):

Brie likes my company. I like hers. And we both like looking good and laughing hard. She's my kind of guy.

Technically speaking she is my grandchild, but I emphasize that we are friends out of mutual admiration, not just blood kin. She is old and wise beyond her years. I am young and goofy behind my years. She aspires to adulthood but hasn't quite gotten the hang of it. And I know what is required of adults, but I just can't get used to being one.

During one recent ride home from a wedding I had officiated, Brie was strangely quiet. I parked the car and we walked hand-in-hand toward my house, where she was spending the night. Still quiet. Suddenly she said:

"I wonder where he is tonight?"


"You know--Him--the man I'll marry someday, the father of your great-grandchildren. He must be out there somewhere. Where is he?"

"I can't imagine. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I worry about him... I hope he's OK."

"Well, if he's going to meet up with you somewhere down the road, then I'm sure he must be fine--safe in the hands of destiny."


I looked down at her and saw trembling lips and teary eyes.

"What's wrong?"

"What if... he got hit... by a truck?... What if... he's hurt?"

I felt tears in my own eyes.

"That would be awful," I mumbled.

"Yes," she sobbed, "he will be so sad and lonely without me."

Just then we went through the kitchen door. My wife saw our distress.

"What's wrong with you two?" she asked.

"Her husband was hit by a truck," I moaned, "and we don't even know where he is or who's taking care of him."


Somewhere out there in the world is a young man.

Him. The One Who. Mr. Someday. I have a message for him:

You don't know it, but something lovely will happen to you someday, whatever may be happening to you now. My dear friend, Brie, is on the way to you. Someday. When she gets there, you'll never be sad and lonely again.

When you meet her, she will be dressed up, looking good, and laughing. And if you are very, very lucky, she not only will become your wife, she will become your best friend. In the meantime, she and I think about you and worry about you. Please take care of yourself.

Watch out for trucks.

So there. Watch out for trucks, my Mr. Someday.