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Real-life Frogger

January 12, 2020 at 3:00 a.m.

When I was a kid, I loved playing the video game Frogger. The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one by crossing a busy road and navigating a river full of hazards. I spent hours of my teenage years standing at this game in a local café in my hometown. I also contributed hundreds of dollars of my bag boy pay to this game. Each game cost 25 cents and I played many games.

Thankfully, I did improve my dodging skills through this game because over the years I have had to dodge many an obstacle in the highways and byways of this great nation. I am sure we can all relate to that mysterious bag that sits in the middle of the street and does not move. We have to make that split-second decision of whether or not to drive over the bag that does not move with the wind. Most times we avoid the bag but on the odd occurrence when we do have to drive over it we all listen very intently in the hopes that it is filled with only air and not roofing nails or hatchets. The relief we feel when we hear the swoosh of the empty bag is joyous.

In my time, I have dodged lots of roadkill including deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, squirrels, rabbits and birds. I have also called on my Frogger skills to dodge a horse, cow and oddly enough once, I had to avoid the crunched remains of an alpaca. Missing the dead ones is one thing but trying to avoid the mad dash of a live animal across a busy thoroughfare takes champion Frogger skills. Deer really love to challenge my Frogger competence. What is crazy is deer very rarely use the designated deer crossing lanes that we have so generously given them. Those rebellious deer, it is almost as if someone were chasing them with guns or something.

Then we come to the home furnishings portion of my real-life Frogger game. I have summoned my gaming proficiency to dodge mattresses, box springs, chairs, end tables, chest of drawers, lamps and desks. Couches and couch cushions seem to be the most avid Frogger opponents I face. I would hazard to guess that over my years of driving I have dodged at least 20 couches and countless numbers of couch cushions. It is like the cushions are scouts for the larger furniture. If the cushions find a great road with lots of challengers it is inevitable that bigger stuff will soon make an appearance there also.

Some of the more odd things I have dodged in my time have been an inflated raft, a flagpole, a toilet and two shotguns. However, the most harrowing experience I had in my sideswipe shuffle commutes was a time when a wasp had gotten into my car and as I was trying to gently convince him to fly out the window without stinging me. I took my eyes off the road and did not see that the cars were diverging to the right and left out of the lane in front of me. When I returned my focus to the roadway, I saw a large cardboard box that was clearly marked Jukebox. I was too close to swerve right or left and going way to fast to stop so I made the decision to drive over the box in the hope that there was not a jukebox in it loaded with Metallica records. Luckily, for me, the box collapsed underneath my wheels and I continued on my journey without literally making some heavy metal music.

As you traverse the boulevards and turnpikes of our wonderful city stay safe out there and remember frogs have it made, they get to eat what bugs them. That is if they are not squished in the process.

Editorial on 01/12/2020

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