Several days ago I took a late evening walk beside a nearby park. As I was walking in the dark shadows of the ash trees looming over the sidewalk, a large man stepped out in front of me. He was talking loudly and laughing.
A rush of adrenaline hit me. Having grown up in an era before cell phones, my instant reaction was to judge this noisy fellow's behavior as deranged rather than as merely uncouth. I was relieved when I saw the cell phone pressed against his ear.
Truly, past conditioning is hard to overcome. When I first moved to Colorado from the flatlands of the Midwest, I had to get accustomed to occasionally seeing ski racks on the roofs of cars. In the Midwest cars had bare roofs, except for police cars with their top mounts for red and blue emergency lights. During my first six months of driving in Colorado, I would continually mistake cars with ski racks for police cars and then hit the brakes in a panic to get under the speed limit. I was the most law-abiding and neurotic driver imaginable.