Tales from the States
More Adventures with Rental Cars
Squinting in the darkness of a parking garage, trying to see the dashboard of an unfamiliar car, I wanted to turn on the lights but how? The manoeuvre I use on my own car, turning the end of the “lights” lever had no effect. My sister fiddled with the other lever. After we had washed the windshield 3 times and turned on the back window wiper, I decided to drive down to the end of the row where there was an office and a helpful employee. Aha! There’s a button to turn on the lights. Can you see it?
It turned on the headlights, but when I enquired about the parking lights, he seemed mystified. Are they a thing of the past? He also showed me how to open the gas tank—a jab, like for a cassette or CD player was all that was necessary.
Later when I had some time, I got out the owner’s manual which for once was in the vehicle. I wanted the car to stop barking at me when I locked it. I inadvertently changed the language to Czechoslovakian. The message emitted sounded fantastic, a soothing female voice, but can you speak Czechoslovakian? I can’t. Never mind read it! I’m not sure how I got it back to English but at least I could understand the voice telling me I had done so.
The time came when I needed to refuel. At most of the gas stations, if one wants to fill the tank and pay in cash, one must go inside and prepay. So I locked the car and did that, came back and jabbed the gas tank cover. Nothing happened. Hmmm. Is there a lever in the car I had forgotten about? I check, but no. I try the jabbing again and it opens. A certain angle perhaps? The second time I needed gas, I couldn’t seem to find that angle. I reflected on what I had done differently the last time and realized I had unlocked the car. Bingo. One can’t fill the gas tank if the car is locked.
A previous rental car adventure:
I enjoyed watching the mpg go up, slowly, from 28 to 29 and then after about 10 days of my mild-mannered driving, it suddenly hit 36.9! Is that possible? I wondered. Maybe it had deleted the previous drivers’ data.
Other random things I noticed on this trip:
Bald-headed babies bearing bows (girls, I presume)
Grocery carts carrying cup holders
An image projected onto an outside wall of a house, part of their Christmas décor
Pornographic subject matter on prime time TV comedy shows
I had a bit of time and re-read the article entitled “Virtue” from et ce que tu auras écrit/and what you shall have written 1990 by Michel Potay. Some excerpts: “by recovering God’s image and likeness they recover virtue. Virtue is God and all of his Gifts in yourself as the sun and all it radiates in the heavens, and God is within yourself in the shape of his Word, when it flows (RA xxvii/13) into and out of yourself permanently. So you conceive of the role of prayer in the generation of virtue…. Love is a state; virtue is vibrant and radiant with love. Charity is only an ethical concept and action. What is charity without love? It is better than nothing. Mercy is a state; virtue is vibrant and radiant with mercy. Justice is only an ethical concept and action. What is justice without mercy? It is better than nothing. Certainty, joy, serenity, wisdom, are states, with which virtue is vibrant and radiant, since it throbs and shines with all that God throbs and shines with. What are faith, hope and fortitude, and what does temperance mean without certainty, joy, serenity and wisdom? They are better than nothing. But God did not call on us to be better than nothing; of that the world is already capable. He calls on us to be sublime, he enjoins us to be God (RA 2/3). God is love, mercy, certainty, joy, serenity, wisdom, all together and endlessly, and to these states he adds up even more states, which we ourselves add up to ours when we have set up God within ourselves. All these states make up a one state indecomposable, Sanctity, that Leviticus implies in saying, Be saints, because I, your God, am the Saint (Leviticus 19/2)! Will you understand what virtue is? … You will always be short of virtues to gain virtue, which is not a sum of virtues. Drive God into yourself further every day, even if you are too tight, too tight for him like the wood for the nail (RA ii/21), and even if it hurts you with slow but uninterrupted metamorphosis.”
Notes: RA=the Revelation of Arès
Prayer=pronouncing God’s Word so as to accomplish It