Everything is not always as it appears. For good or ill, our first impressions are often quite mistaken, and responding to them with too much speed often means, if not outright failure, at least diminished returns of success.Take Bonnie and Clyde‘s visit to the Ponder State Bank. Those bank robbing hicks, made famous and a good bit more glamorous than the average two-bit crook by media and public appetites right from the contemporaneous news accounts on down through the Hollywood version of them incarnated as Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, were perhaps more prone than most to such snap judgements, given their line of work. Undoubtedly, once they started their career of armed robbery, they weren’t likely to be given any sort of chance to explain themselves or do anything particularly legitimate without being suspect, and clearly they weren’t allowing a leisurely approach in which to assess and evaluate any situation as they approached the end of their road.So when they showed up in little old Ponder, Texas, hoping to make a full withdrawal of the bank’s funds without having their own account number, it’s little surprise that they weren’t welcomed with open arms. In point of fact, it is a little surprising that they weren’t greeted with firearms, what with the swath they were cutting in those days, and it being Texas and all. Not to mention that, had they checked their information ahead of time to plan the heist, they would have learned in advance that the Ponder bank had gone belly up just previous to their visit, thanks to the Depression. Turned out to be a bust both for the bank and for the troublesome twosome. Irked, whether at their lack of foresight or the bank’s inability to supply them with cash, Ms. Parker and Mr. Barrow just shot the place up a little in that casually friendly sociopathic way of theirs and took to their heels again.And as anyone who knows the tale of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow knows, that dash didn’t end well for them at all. Perhaps a touch of circumspection and introspection now and again in their lives might have led to a considerably less messy end.Avoiding hasty conclusions can make quite the difference in the tiniest of things as well.
While I’ve been out in the yard traipsing about and yanking up the occasional weed, I have seen that some are much too lovely to bump off with abandon. After all, a weed is only a wildflower or a self-sown plant that has popped up in an unintended spot. So I tend to leave many such characters alone when I can, hoping that my neighbors won’t be too chagrined at my assembly of oddments growing in weird and unexpected locations in the flowerbeds, lawn and periphery.
I tend to be a little bit more ruthless, admittedly, when it comes to the paths and walkways, not to mention the driveway, because what grows through the cracks there tends to widen the cracks. What widens the cracks, in turn, pushes the stone and concrete farther to each side, and what pushes to the side can in its turn put undue pressure on the house’s adjacent foundation, and what can shift my house is a little more risky than the occasional irritable neighbor shifting my attitude.So when I saw that where our driveway dovetails with the next door neighbor’s at a shared bit of curb, there was stuff sprouting brazenly in the sun, I headed right on over to give that little interloper a tug and a toss. I would probably have looked especially ridiculous, since I was making quite the determined beeline for it, if I’d been geared up in full cowgirl regalia, but fortunately the only High Noon spur-clanking on the occasion was strictly mental on my part as I headed for a showdown with a measly little weed.Good thing the driveway is quite as long as it is, because I got mighty close before I could see clearly that this particular one was the very first of our blooming bluebonnets. I’m not certain that weeding out a specimen of the State Flower is a capital offense in Texas, but as a big fan of them I can definitely say that I would have been sorry as a sway-backed mule if I’d killed that pretty little plant. So I thank my lucky stars that I was slow to get there and had time to rethink my approach before that winking blue beauty got cut down in its prime. We should all be so lucky.