Al Batt: Why doesn’t glove compartment have gloves?

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tales From Exit 22 by Al Batt

I took my foot from the foot feed and put it on the brake pedal of the car as I parked near a walking trail.

The peculiarities of our language made a foot feed out of a gas pedal (accelerator).

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I’d had some medical treatments that were a series of small despairs, and one of the side effects was that my hands chilled easily. That was a new experience for me.

I was determined to walk five miles. I’d just come off the disabled list and I love walking. It helps me think and I needed the help. Walking makes me feel like Pinocchio when he became a real boy.

It was a cold and windy day. It was particularly raw where the trail bordered a lake. Because of that, I needed gloves for the walk.

I checked my car for gloves. My car wasn’t untidy, but it’s easy to lose things in small places. Each automobile has a black hole. Items fall into it and disappear. I needed a GPS to find gloves. I should have gotten the “find stuff” package when I bought the car.

I looked in the glove compartment, glove box, cubbyhole, jockey box, whatchamacallit or whatever you call it, a small storage area in the dashboard. Before cars had heaters, gloves earned a place of importance because of their fine work in the prevention of frosty fingers. That’s why a glove compartment is called a glove compartment.

I try to remember where I put everything. I do that because of the unsolicited advice of an old neighbor, “If you lose your chaw of tobacco, it’s important to remember where you lost it.”

For much of my life, I spent more time wearing a baseball glove than any other kind of glove. I played ball and pitched tents. I didn’t wear a baseball glove while pitching a tent, but I’m surprised I didn’t. On the farm, I wore work gloves. I didn’t wear them as often as I should have, but I wore them. The glove on my right hand always wore out before the left-handed one did. I suppose that was because I’m right-handed. When I needed new gloves, father bought me a pair of Handy Andy chore gloves from Einar’s Hardware. They weren’t heavy duty, but neither were my work efforts. I worked the yellowish gloves as hard as I had to. It wasn’t long before the right-hand glove was shot. Leaning on a shovel is hard on gloves. Another pair was purchased. The worn-out glove was tossed into the woodstove. Its partner was in too good a condition to discard. It was tossed into a box filled with left-handed gloves. We had a household glove box.

What did I do in a pinch? I’d get rid of my tight shoes and I’d wear left-handed gloves on both hands. It was awkward, but better than nothing.

Gloves should be like slippers. I have a pair of slippers that I can’t put on the wrong foot. Each fits either foot. There is no right or left one, so I’m always right, but I’m not sure if I’m right-footed or left-footed.

I searched the glove compartment thoroughly. Looking for lost items is a rich source of aggravation. My search was a fool’s errand. No gloves.

I’ve been a lifelong loser of hand coverings. As a lad, I found it nearly impossible to come home from school with both mittens still in my possession.

Mittens would have been great to wear on my walk, but I had no mitten compartment to search.

What did I find in the glove compartment? Vehicle registration, proof of insurance, a cellphone charger cord, a small pair of binoculars for looking at birds, an owner’s manual for the car, a 2010 map of Kentucky, a box of congealed Luden’s cherry cough drops and a multipurpose tool with everything but a hammer. It was good not having a hammer. When all you have is a hammer, the entire world is a nail.

I found no gloves. That shouldn’t happen to a man who learned cursive. There should be more benefits to having that skill. I went for a walk without gloves.

I encountered other walkers. Most looked down as they walked. That’s the way of my people. We look down because that’s where the money is.

I looked up because that’s where the faces and the birds were.

I walked four miles instead of my planned five.

I had an excuse for falling short of my goal.

No gloves.

Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.