Plinky: Describe a “Hah! I told you so” moment

( sends me an email everyday with a question meant to inspire a blog post. Occasionally I take the bait.)

Kid, the next time I say, ‘Let’s go someplace like Bolivia,’ let’s GO someplace like Bolivia!
Butch Cassidy

While Plinky actually asked for a description of a “Hah! I told you so” moment that happened recently, my first thought was of an incident that I blogged about back in July 2005. My wife, son and I went on a road trip down the Washington and Oregon coasts, and the following describes the inauspicious beginning to the journey.

You know that great feeling when an argument you were making turns out to be correct? It must have its roots in early childhood, because even though you know you shouldn’t gloat, it just feels so damned good to say “I told you so!”

An exception would be when you are arguing that something shouldn’t be done a certain way because it would result in something bad happening. In that case, saying “I told you so!” does not make the bad thing, that you correctly argued would happen, magically go away. In fact, grumbling “I told you so!”, either to yourself or out loud, simply makes the situation worse, because now you are mad about the bad thing and about the other person not having listened to you.

So I say to my wife, “My friend who lives in Bremerton recommended that we drive down Whidbey, take the ferry to Port Townsend, and then drive Highway 101 all the way to Long Beach.” I add details about all the traffic we’ll hit in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, pointing out that while I-5 may look more like the direct route, especially if you consider the speed limit is 70mph much of the way, with all the traffic we won’t be driving 70 very often, and even with the possibility of a wait at the ferry terminal and a maximum speed of maybe 65mph on 101, we’d still make better time that way.

I was, however, overruled, and just a few hours into the trip, in the intense summer heat of midday, we got caught in horrendous traffic that did not let up until we were on, that’s right, Highway 101. No viable alternate routes, no chance of my wife not accompanying us on the rest of the trip.

Needless to say, “I told you so” was no solace at all, and even if it was we all know what happened to Butch and Sundance in Bolivia.

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