Commentary: Another victim of the virus: a boyhood dream

A dark night is coming on, and the trees give good cover, but Reg Green says he won't be there.
A dark night is coming on, and the trees give good cover, but Reg Green says he won’t be there.
(Courtesy of Reg Green)

I’ve made up my mind: I don’t want to be a highwayman.

It’s true that over the years my boyhood enthusiasm for these most romantic redistributors of wealth has waned, but as other jobs are being cut back so drastically the idea began playing on my mind again.

Recent experience, however, has wiped away all that desire.

It’s not the hours: I’m used to working at odd times of the day and night.

It’s not the traveling: I’ve always enjoyed that.

And it certainly isn’t that I’m shy: I love meeting new people, especially those with money to share.

Moreover, the traditional drawbacks have become less daunting. When was the last time you heard of a highwayman being hanged, drawn and quartered? In fact, as I understand it, robbery with menaces has been recategorized as a misdemeanor with a penalty limited to community service, such as teaching a course for apprentice highwaywomen.

It’s true you work alone, but you have your faithful mare, and unlike many people you meet she talks plenty of horse sense.

So, why not? I’ll tell you why not. It’s that damn mask. I just couldn’t wear it night after night.

For one thing, when I’m working I can only breathe through my mouth, and I’m sure someone — state, local or federal — has forbidden that. For another, it covers my nose, which I’ve often been told is my most attractive feature. I also pride myself on looking professional, but the CDC keeps altering its Rules for Rustic Road Robbers so keeping up with what is correct is a real pain.

Then again, if put on my driving glasses — or rather galloping glasses — they steam up, and I’d never know if I was holding up the Wells Fargo stagecoach or an LAPD squad car.

Most of all, I keep forgetting to take it with me, and that’s not a good idea for a cutpurse on the lam.

So, I’m not going to saddle up before the moon has risen and station myself at a freeway exit with a board reading: “Your money or your life.”

Instead I’m going to apply for one of those forgivable government loans.

They’d have to give me one, I think. There’s so little traffic that even if I worked a double shift the pickings would still not be enough to keep Bess in feed and me in drink.

Instead, she and I are going to climb into bed, wait for the free money to come in and watch a James Bond movie. Let him run the risks.

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