Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Kicking It with random thoughts

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

Just last Saturday I was driving my cute coupe south on Mission Road to the 76. As usual on this particular stretch of the road, cars were training down the road in single file in front and behind me.

FYI, I was driving the speed limit. We were on our way to meet our new friends for lunch before they pack up and return to Washington state with their AKC bloodhound. As a side note, and after re-reading the dog’s earned credentials (unlike the Sussex’s who were gifted their titles, no less than by royalty), this American dog did it “the old-fashioned way and earned” his title.

Without going all “American” on you…isn’t that what we’re known for? Earning our titles? Be it Olympic medals, Medals of Honor or scholarships – even our dogs are better bred than some so-called royals.

His regal title reads MBISS GCHB Quiet Creek’s Fabled Earl of Seabeck, Multiple Best In Specialty Show Winner (MBSS) and Grand Champion Bloodhound (GCHB). But his friends call him Earl.

We know nothing about the rigors of investing the time and money into this sport. Although, it is fascinating to learn that when these owners attend Earl’s show, they have to hide far enough away so Earl can’t smell them. And that is when it dawned on me “he is a bloodhound.” Duh, it’s what he’s known for.

Anyway, at one point, wishing to do a good deed, his owner Linda signed Earl up for Search and Rescue training. On the first day of training, Linda discovered she’d be required to physically lift Earl over fences, retainer walls, and possibly rubble. Which could work, except, Earl weighs in at 130 pounds and Linda is109 pounds wet.

Just to think about tiny Linda trying to heave Earl up and over a wall makes me chuckle. Anyway, it is unfortunate for the program; they will not have the benefits of Earl’s super nose.

Okay, whew. I walked right out of one room and into that new one. But I’m back. So.

It’s still last Saturday. It happened that I was the first car leading the train of other cars down Mission when I pulled up at Highway 76 just as the light changed to red.

Now then, because my next turn was left on Camino del Rio, I selected the left-right-turn lane. But before my car completed that sit down (you know how it feels when you brake to a stop and the car kinda sits down) well, my car hadn’t even done that, when I was honked at from behind. You know that honk-honk kinda get-going honk? My first reaction was “huh?”

The sound caused me to look up at the still-red light and that is when I looked into the rearview mirror. Here is what I saw. The driver behind me in a 4-door white sedan was frantically thrusting (his) hands and arms skyward coupled with a lot of head bobbing and agitated wheel turning. Upon closer examination, I saw the driver cranking the steering wheel right as if to swing around me into the right lane for an on-red-right turn. But he was stopped by oncoming traffic.

Meanwhile, still with a red light on the pole and loads of Saturday west-bound traffic clipping through the intersection, my caboose driver blasted his horn again! (I’m thinking, buddy it’s red!)

Glancing back in the mirror again, his-behind-the-wheel action was bordering on panic! In response, I gave the international shrug coupled by my best beauty pageant wave.

Just so ya know, this took place within 4-6 minutes. I’ve never had the need to time the light at Mission and Highway 76, but we all know that light. As it switched to green, I edged forward to nose past the left lanes that were also moving in unison to confirm that the intersection was clear of oncoming cars.


By now, my anxious caboose driver had lost it. He swung to my right with metal-to-the-pedal power so he could swerve ahead of me and give me that kind of glare “your mother repeatedly warned, ‘might freeze that way,’”

Of course, everyone knows we met up again at the next light. Ah-ha. One has to wonder what caused such a crazy reaction to a stoplight. After all, the entire honky thing took anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes. Total.

The thing is, the caboose driver is of the age that reads my column. Which is why I just wanted him to know, in case he’s wondering, it was me! I am the woman that made you lose it.

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected].


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