Crooked As Sin | JIM FURLONG

The above headine is a wonderful and poetic phrase my sainted mother used to use when I was younger and in a foul mood. “You are as crooked as sin you are.”

It was a type of moral judgement, as if bad mood was an improper place to be. Well, that is either true or not true but I can tell you that, as the pages that represent the years drop off the calendar, I tend to be more impatient and less tolerant of the universe and the people in it. I tend to be, as Mom would have it, as crooked sin.

I feel it in places like the supermarket, where old people in particular at the checkout will not begin to open their wallet and take out their credit card until all the groceries have been tallied up. The checkout clerk will pass out the bill and THEN they will reach for their wallet and their cards. What a waste of my time. I am left to twiddle my thumbs or read the covers of whatever magazines are for sale at point of purchase, as they say.

I am sure the fault is mine but the whole thing is holding up my universe. I want to buy something quickly and get out. That wave of crookedness also sweeps over me at a bookstore when the clerk asks me if I wish to help with some reading program or other the store is sponsoring. I am supposed to say “yes” and offer a couple of dollars. However, I came in to buy a book not to save the world from illiteracy. Again, I plead guilty. I am not perfect.

It is also true on the highways. I am sure you have noticed that as well. The only person who really knows how to drive properly is YOU. If everyone drove like you everything would be perfect. You are not too fast and not too slow, and you have just the right amount of courtesy. You give a few traffic breaks. Like me, but not too many. My life has always been like that but as the years roll on tolerance seems to slip.

Many years ago, an Irish Christian Brother made me write on the blackboard 50 times in Grade 7 that “Patience is a virtue in low domain with me.” I guess he has right. It still is. At some point I came to realize that the universe was not going to unfold the way I wanted it to, but the realization is frustrating.

A decisive point is that before finishing this piece I showed it to my missus who is also my wife and editor. She told me that I had become old and crooked in my twilight years.