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Stumbling into life's potholes - Greg Gelpi

Sometimes the potholes in life are literally potholes.

Creeping along each unmarked narrow lane shift of the dimly lit construction area along Flint River Road in Jonesboro, my car plummeted into the depths of an unseen crevice, jarring my senses and busting two tires and two rims.

That unfortunately was only the beginning of what seemingly was going to be a simple ordeal. As my luck has been since moving to this state, I should never assume such a thing.

First, it's impossible (I tried) to find a non-bling bling base-model rim anywhere in Clayton County. I tried those "everything tire" stores, junkyards and even a dealership, but to no avail.

I actually had to special order the rims only to then learn that the tires on my oh so common run of the mill car couldn't be balanced without the use of a "special kit," one that also had to be special ordered.

Fortunately, I didn't ask for the mechanic to look under the hood of the car. Who knows what kind of problems would be discovered there.

That is likely the reason I avoid visiting the doctor at all costs as well.

That green fungal thing growing out of the side of my face will surely fall off on its own or mysteriously disappear as I sleep.

A visit to the doctor would merely reveal that I was in the later stages of some rare disease from some lesser-known region of the world.

A doctor, who has a 50/50 shot of having been in the bottom half of his class in medical school, will prescribe a rigorous treatment involving a strange concoction of this medicine twice a day every other day with an "e" in it and that medicine four times a day unless it's a full moon.

The side effects of either drug will produce symptoms far more severe than the original ailment, but a constant supply of payments to the doctor and faith in pills that I can't pronounce, much less spell, will inevitably cure all that ails me.

Whether it be a little knocking in the engine or a grumbling in the stomach, I'm more likely to cross my fingers and hope for the best rather than venture to an expert to diagnose the problem.

Inevitably and inexplicably each time that I do, the problem which brought me to the point of seeking help tends to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

One problem is never only one problem, but the first in only a long string of problems. And, the solution is never a quick fix, but a beleaguered journey similar to that of Odysseus.

As my luck continues on its path, I can only expect to encounter, as the fated literary figure did, a cyclops and a series of other mythical creatures as I putter about the county.

Back in my well-balanced car with four wheels and four rims, I'd rather face the icebergs of life blindly while I keep both eyes peeled on the lookout for the next pothole in my path.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily He can be reached at or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.