Very rarely does this column ever return to a topic covered the previous week. Today, you are about to receive one of those exceptions. For those of you whom these articles do not leave a lasting (or any) impression; allow me to remind you that last week we exalted the benefits of making ‘snap decisions’ – as against procrastinating about what you should do next. In the interests of fairness and balance, we are about to demonstrate two examples; one showing when a snap decision should have been taken; and number two, when a snap decision was the wrong thing to do!
This is all about ‘equal time’, after I received an email from a reader who told me how wrong I was by encouraging people to make snap decision. I do know the man – and I am not going to mention his name because … how shall I put this … he is still married!
So … we shall leave Andrew (if I called him ‘Andy’ it might blow his cover) out of this and I shall just proceed to give you the two perfect examples of when to make a snap decision – and when not to!
My brother Fehin (I am banking on him not reading this – as he claims that YCBS is a ‘load of s###e) had at that time a wife and a four year old daughter. (He still has both, but different age). Fehin’s mother-in-law gave the child a present of a budgie in a cage. That was grand, until my brother read that a budgie is dangerous to have in close proximity to a child due to a harmful dander the unfortunate bird was alleged to transmit to children. Fehin relayed his concern to his wife … and let’s just say the parents were of differing opinions as to whether or not the budgie would cause harm to their daughter. Where the bird and cage came from in the first place would have had a bearing on the argument!
Fast forward and Fehin came in late one night a week or so later. Everybody else was in bed, but the budgie was wide awake. Nobody in the kitchen but himself and the child-killing bird. The brother then made a snap decision. He remembered how our mother used ‘stretch the neck’ of the turkeys at Christmas. This was the answer: The budgie would be found dead on the cage floor in the morning, under the perch he fell off … and death would be attributed to ‘natural causes!’
Now, I do know that most ‘Leader’ readers are animal lovers. If you are one of these – or if you cannot stand the sight of blood … please look away now!
There used to be an advertising slogan. “GUINNESS FOR STRENGTH”, and maybe this had something to do with it; but anyway, Fehin ‘stretched the neck’ and in the process ‘snapped’ the head completely off the budgie … and budgies do not lose their head due to natural causes. This is one example of when a person should not have made a ‘snap decision!’
Next we have a man who didn’t make a snap decision – and should have.
Back when I was an able bodied man, my friend Joe Mulhare and I worked underground for a time at Silvermines, Co Tipperary. Thanks to some hefty bonus cheques, Joe went off and purchased a new car. He had driven very little previously and had dispensed with driving lessons nonetheless. Let’s call a spade a spade here; Joe was a terrible driver when sober.
We lived in a ‘camp’ on the mine site – about two miles from the village of Silvermines. One evening after work, Joe was enjoying a couple of quiet pints in Peggy Gleeson’s Pub, when an office party of gorgeous girls entered the lounge. Mulhare made the snap decision at the wrong time in this story. He decided he would drive back to base and change into his best suit. (Just in case!) Which he did – and added an extra dollop of ‘Old Spice’ for good measure.
On the way back into the village, there is a ‘Y’ in the road – meaning you could hit the main street from either the top or the bottom of the small village. Joe approached the ‘Y’ and it was decision time. Here are his own words to describe what happened next:
“What else would I have been thinking about – but the girls in the pub? Suddenly there appeared in front of me the ‘Y’. I didn’t have sufficient time to think and I couldn’t make up my mind which road to take – so I deferred the decision and the car came to a halt, on its roof, in the field at the mouth of the ‘Y’!
A ‘snap decision’ would have been totally in order here!
Choice, not chance, determines destiny.