Early this week, on departing the M1 at junction 46*** I was close enough to the cargo lorry in front to read it’s warning of ‘If you can’t see my mirrors I can’t see you‘. A message I felt moved to idiosyncratically add as a mission statement on my Facebook profile. Doing so in the full knowledge of how vague/stupid/baffling/irrelevant (delete where applicable****) the mantra was.
*** – Junction 46 is my second favourite slip road on the M1. Only usurped in the beauty stakes by junction 14 (the Milton Keynes turnoff) which, to my mind, bears unequaled highway construction aesthetics.
**** – I’m referring to deleting one or more of those four words. Not to delete the whole narrative…… Oops, too late!!
Anyhow, despite adding ‘If you can’t see my mirrors I can’t see you‘ for no other reason than self-indulgent whimsy, yesterday an old acquaintance felt moved to feedback his own particular psycho-analysis of the adage.
This ‘enlightening’ interaction commencing when he relayed to a rather baffled GJ Strachan how deep and thought-provoking my words appeared. Opining how impressed he was at the depth of the locutions that underpin everything I do in life.
“I love the way your mission statement makes people have to work for the meaning behind your mantra, Gary!…. It’s so refreshing to see an uncliched autobiographical statement on social media.” my friend (who for anonymity purposes I’ll call Edgar) proffered.
Oblivious to what he was referring to, I sought clarification, asking him “Sorry, but I’ve absolutely no idea what are you on about, mate?”
Convinced I was attempting to pull the wool over his eyes, he smirking before countering “Come on, Gaz….. That FB profile comment about mirrors….. It was very clever; makes the reader work hard to try and understand it’s true meaning….. But I know you too well, I saw straight through your cryptic adage.”
Utterly bemused, I asked him to clarify what he thought the message meant. To which he retorted “Well it’s pretty obvious the mirrors are a metaphor for a person’s soul…… Your hidden message – If an individual isn’t prepared to look into your soul to understand the true you, your not interested in reciprocating the courtesy of getting to understand them.”
Although flattered Edgar felt I’d the depth to think on that philosophical level, as he was miles away from the truth, I felt it only proper to reveal “Honestly, there isn’t a hidden message, Edgar!”
On hearing his theory shot down in flames, he countered “There has to be!…. You’d surely not add a mission statement of that idiocy if it’s meant to be taken literally……. Oh and why did you call me Edgar?!”
Starting to draw sadist pleasure from this verbal interaction, I proceeded with my explanation “Seriously, Edgar. It’s not a cryptic message…..Finding it suitably random ,I merely added it out of self-indulgence.”
Appearing more confrontational at this point, my pal tersely spouted “I don’t believe you…… You’re only saying that cos I managed to break your philosophical code…… And can you stop calling me Edgar! My name’s Richard, as well you know!”
At this point I was drawing upon every ounce of my influencing skills. Despite the sadist joy, I was growing tired of the interaction. In a bid to persuade him there really wasn’t anything deep or erudite about the short sentence I’d added to my FB profile, I re-assured my buddy:-
“I swear on my dog’s life those ten words haven’t got any deep ideological meaning, mate…… It’s merely a random sentence I stole from the back of a cargo truck. I know it’s idiotic, but it appealed to my erratic side.”
Edgar/Richard ***** paused briefly to cough up a fur ball, prior to irritably informing me “Sorry, I don’t believe you!…… Anyhow you haven’t got a dog!”
“For the last time, Richard…… There’s absolutely no hidden meaning behind ‘If you can’t see my mirrors I can’t see you’.” I snapped, losing patience.
Eventually seeing I wasn’t going to verify his interpretation as correct, he growled “No wonder everyone hates you. You fat get!”