Beam: (n) a ray or shaft of light.
I don’t like to break down in my car. It is especially annoying in the middle of the night along the side of the road.
Unfortunately, I did it quite a bit in my younger years since I made crappy money and could only afford crappy vehicles.
I have a distinct memory of traveling one night with another friend to a concert–he in his car and I in mine.
Suddenly my engine decided to…well, do something other than “engine me along.”
I pulled over, fairly relaxed because I knew my friend was behind me and thought that together we would be able to solve the problem. I did not have a flashlight, so I asked my buddy to turn his car around and shine his headlights on the engine area of my car, so I could see if there was something obvious I could correct (or at least stand around in a macho profile in front of the grill of the car, pretending I was contemplating how to fix it.)
Here was the problem: about the time I started to figure out what the various shapes were in my engine chamber based upon the beams of light from his car, he turned them off.
I asked him why, and he explained, “I don’t want to run down my battery.”
I was very perturbed.
So I asked him to turn them on again, and to please leave them on. This time he left them on a little bit longer, and I was just about to mess around with my carburetor when suddenly they went off again. When I confronted him, he said, “I don’t care what you say–I don’t want to run down my battery.”
Somehow or another, through the intermittent use of his headlights, we were able night to get my car started.
Would it have been faster if he had kept the beam on?
I contend yes.
He insisted he was being prudent.
He felt self-righteous because everything worked out well.
But that incident does make me stop and think about the value of light in our world.
Sometimes we turn it on. Sometimes we turn it off, trying to save it for ourselves.
But here’s the situation:
You don’t ever know when the light will be needed … to help get things started.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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