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Published:August 27th, 2009 22:00 EST
Stop and Smell the Roses and Hurry up About it!

Stop and Smell the Roses and Hurry up About it!

By Geoff Dean

In my two previous unsolicited and likely, unwanted contributions, I have discussed why I left Indianapolis behind some twenty years ago at some length. I will add some more length to that, if you don`t mind. Or if you do.

 Truth be told, I love Indiana and am proud to be a Hoosier. What other state could claim a nickname that has no known meaning? I mean, Indiana University goes by the monicker, "The Hurrying Hoosiers". Putting aside the mysteriously meaningless Hoosier part, what`s with the "hurrying"? I`ve not seen much hurrying in Indiana, at least by baggage handlers, wait staff, and taxi drivers. What are the "Hurrying Hoosiers" hurrying to do anyway? In sports, generally speaking, isn`t hurrying a bad idea? "Fighting Irish"? OK, they are fighting to win. "Golden Gophers"? OK, they are going for the gold, I guess. "Hurrying Hoosiers"? Are they hurrying their field goal attempts? Three-point shots? Doesn`t that make them more likely to miss?

 While I`m unconvinced about the existence of "Hurrying Hoosiers", I have seen plenty of "Hurrying Japanese" in my twenty years in Tokyo. I`ve seen people hurrying into a commuter train, dashing through the half-closed automatic doors, crushing into the crush of people already crushed within, more times that I can count. Of course, I can hardly blame them. If they missed the train, they would have to wait four minutes for the next one to come.

 I`ve seen bicyclists hurrying down streets thronged with pedestrians, shooting the gaps like a fullback, bell ringing out a warning on impending doom while they hold an umbrella in one hand and talk on their cell phones. All this with a minimum of injury and collisions.

 Hurrying to work, hurrying back home, hurrying to school, hurrying to the bar, hurrying, hurrying, hurrying. Did everyone get that? Or should I put in a few more? Hurrying is so endemic in Japan that there is a phrase that people say when they notice someone is hurrying. "Where are you going so fast in such a small country?" Perhaps, there is a connection between the size of the country and the speed of the inhabitants. After all, in a country the size of America, what`s the point of hurrying? It`s going to take a long time anyway. I will do a little more research on this and get back to everyone...when hell flies and pigs freeze over.

 Still, you might think that all this hurrying would get me tired, that I would want to take a break, go back home to Indiana and just take it nice and slow for a while. Unfortunately, you are forgetting something. I am a Hurrying Hoosier!