As the crow flies is a great way to get around – if you are a crow that is.
But for us non-winged beasts, it is not quite so simple.
The age-old term basically means going from point A to point B in a straight line. In other words, birds can fly from here to there, soaring over any impeding obstacles.
Many years ago, I locked my keys in my truck. The Missus was working, cellphones were a thing of the future and I had no access to a spare key, so I weighed my options.
I could smash the side window, retrieve my keys and then come up with a really good excuse as to why I smashed the window, or I could walk to where my wife worked and get her keys so I could get my keys.
I opted for plan B.
It was a warm summer's day and while feeling foolish for having locked my keys in the truck, I was still rather chipper as I headed out on my quest.
A couple blocks into my voyage I could see where my wife was working – it was only a kilomter or so away – if you were a crow that is.
I would have to go down a very steep ravine, cross the valley floor and then back up another steep incline, but from where I was standing it did not look that bad.
Besides, it would save a lot of walking over the conventional way of following surface streets so I opted for the route of adventure.
I snuck between a couple of houses and came to the ravine's edge.
Hmmm, it looked a little steeper close up, but I had spent a lot of time climbing mountains in my childhood so I figured I could handle one little clay cliff (of about 150 meters).
The second step I took down the slope resulted in me sliding about five feet. Perhaps getting to the bottom was going to be a lot faster than I thought – good news indeed.
So for the next few minutes I stepped and slid my way down the clay incline, feeling pretty darn happy with my progress, until...
Until I reached the bottom of the ravine and the mass of dried, prickly weeds and shrubbery that looked so small from up above were actually over my head.
OK, that is not so good.
They were also a lot deeper up close than they looked from above as well and I had at least 10 meters of thick, prickly, bug and snake-infested, 10-foot-tall weeds to get through.
There was no way around as the weeds extended as far as I could see in either direction. Going back up the way I came would be near impossible, so I decided to charge ahead. I located the narrowest area and took a running leap into the mass of weeds. I penetrated the tangled mess about eight inches and was stopped cold.
I then pushed, pulled, wiggled, squirmed and in general forced my way through the mass of prickles. I emerged from the other side covered in small cuts, thorns and pieces of plant, but I made it.
I then looked up at the hillside I had to climb and realized this little adventure was far from over. While not as steep as the other side, it was hardly a walk in the park.
I trudged my way to the top and emerged at the back of the building where the Missus worked.
I tracked her down and the look on her face said it all. I looked like I had been run over by a herd of raging wildebeasts with an attitude problem.
To say I look disheveled was to say Elvis had a couple of hits.
I explained what happened to my wife and she looked at me and asked why I didn't just climb through the canopy of our truck and get into the cab through the rear sliding window that didn't latch.
I, um, er, ah...well, you see I um, er, ah...
What else can you say?
Copyright 2015, Darren Handschuh