On the padiddle

Officially, a padiddle is a car, truck, or bug with only one headlight or one taillight. Urban lore has it that the spotter of the padiddle gets to kiss a member of the opposite sex, or some such nonsense that is dreamed up in the hormone addled brain of a teenager. I suspect that this is why teenagers love to drive around so much in the company of the opposite sex, praying, hoping that the maintenance schedule for most cars on the road does not include a yearly inspection of the lights, neither fore nor aft. All of which is very silly because teenagers don’t need a reason for kissing, but an ulterior, arbitrary occurrence of a padiddle is a wonderful ice-breaker for nervous, shy teens who don’t have a lot of experience getting the kissing business going. If you have read this far, you are probably smirking at your own first forays into good love. Urban lore, urban legend are the stuff dreams are built on. The dark intimacy of the back seat of a car can provide a wonderful opportunity for those first tentative experiences of a young adult who is neither child nor adult, occupying a liminal space after childhood, but before adulthood. Getting comfortable with one’s own sexuality and the accompanying physicality is a difficult, if not impossible, task, filled with bumps in the road, setbacks, detours, and the like. Rejection is a horrible, painful experience, but one cannot hide from their own identity. A slave to our own bodies and looks, we cannot control the avatars and caprices of the physical, social, pop world which would deem us handsome or ugly, attractive or repulsive. Perhaps the padiddle is Lady Fortune’s hand reaching out with a little help to the shy introverts of the world.