Forking it Over

And thus it is that I find myself writing about forks.   I don’t know why forks have been of interest lately, they simply are.  Life is like that.  I’m not ruminating on tuning forks or knives and forks; nor a river fork or the devil’s fork.    The forks capturing my imagination represent a dilemma that tease the brain (and nothing more).  What does one do at the fork in the road?  That’s the fork I’m talking about.

Sure looks like a fork. Copyright James V. Michalec 2015

Sure looks like a fork.
Copyright James V. Michalec 2015

The most famous scarecrow with no brain gently suggests to the kid with the little dog:  “Pardon me, but that’s a nice way to go.”  Mr. Frost, not easily persuaded, wrote a poem about the problem and stood in thought awhile before choosing.  He certainly was in no hurry, with time enough to write everything down – this on top of then charging ahead and taking “the road less travelled.”  I don’t think anyone moves that slowly anymore, though plenty wish they could.  Personally, I think he intended to take that less travelled road all along and toyed with us.  Even that sage disguised as a baseball player, Yogi Berra, grappled with the issue saying, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”   I ask you, what kind of advice is that?  It seems like a thinly veiled command to stay right at the fork and hope someone stops and picks you up.

So, now that I’ve come this far in my thought process, I’m debating what to do should I, personally in real life, come to a fork in the road.  This is more weighty than it seems because in  this American life everything is so straight forward.  You know, up or down, left or right, a Woolx day or not a Woolx day.  All my life the problems and solutions have been so easy to tackle.  A piece of cake.  Get a job, find a spouse, get a house, buy a car, and vote – and support the Little League.  All the advice The Old Man gave me has been spot-on.  Oh, and have some cans and bottles on hand for the fund drive and don’t forget to put out the trash.   What else is there, right?   I’ve mastered it all.  Yet one never knows.  Life can throw a curve ball just at the moment when you’ve got it all sorted out.   At least that’s what I’ve heard.  Dad did say be careful.  Maybe that’s what he meant – a creeping dilemma.  OK.   I’ve decided to prepare for a dilemma, just in case.   A fork dilemma.

To debate the “fork in the road” as just a mental exercise is one path to take.  That can be a false environment, though, leading to false conclusions.  Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just, well, not a thorough process and I believe in a thorough process, one that involves a real life scenario (I’m trained for rigour).   If I was to get to the root of a fork, I reasoned, I’d have to take the road less travelled and field test the dilemma.  Yesterday I went out to confront forks head-on, ready take careful notes on my responses.

I found forks hard to find.  Corners, yes, but forks?  Genuine forks in the road?  Go fish.  This was by no means a simple task.  I went around town for hours searching for a fork worthy of a dilemma.  Like I said, everything in my life is just so peachy keen.  Right off the bat, that made recognizing a fork in the road very problematic.  I had my smartphone but, honestly, I was working off of internet pictures and they didn’t look like anything around here.  Just when all seemed lost. at the eleventh hour, a fork appeared.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Sure enough, just the way Mr. Frost had written it: two roads diverging in the wood.  Actually, that was where any similarity stopped.   Beyond that, I couldn’t recognize anything that resembled Mr. Frost’s poem.

No brainy scarecrow to help me. Copyright James V. Michalec 2105

No brainy scarecrow to help me.
Copyright James V. Michalec 2105

What a dilemma.  My field test never got off the ground.  But let’s forget all that and simply be satisfied with updating his old chestnut:

I shall be telling this new fork found

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in Rec Park, and I –

I took one look at the choices and turned around,

And that has made all the difference.