It’s Sunday night, and I’m in reflection mode, watching Columbo.
I love everything about this nearly 50 year old show. Here we have Lieutenant Columbo: Disheveled. Wrinkled trench coat. (Tonight’s episode a nun at the Soup Kitchen mistook him for a homeless man). Absentminded. Socially awkward. Ingratiatingly irritating. And brilliant. Always a step ahead. Always. And you know that he knows. He’s figured them out from the start. That’s part of the charm of the show, he spends 9/10 of the episode letting them bask in their own sense of superiority and self aggrandizement… then just when he’s almost out the door, BOOM-“Just one more thing”. Busted.
So like I said, I’m in reflection mode tonight. And here’s the thing. We mean well, all of us. We really do. Or at least, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Unlike the weekly parade of Colombo’s celebrity suspects (tonight’s was none other than Dick Van Dyke!) hardly anyone intentionally plots an elaborate scheme of wrongdoing… and we certainly don’t try to cover our tracks. Not that we could, with the great, rumpled lieutenant on our tails.
No, we’re just trying to get through the day.
But I wonder sometimes… If sometimes we’re just kidding ourselves. If we’re so disconnected from our own actions that we don’t see the relationship to where they bring us. I know I’m keeping this generic… not that I’m necessarily trying to vague post. But I think this applies to so, so many scenarios in our lives. I think sometimes we are covering our own tracks, throwing our own dogs off our scent, if you will, so that when we finally do ask, “how did I get here?”, we legitimately think we don’t know… When really, we kinda do.
If only we had a Colombo in our lives, to sidle up to us, throw out some ego boosting flattery, get us to let our guard down, then just when he’s at the threshold of the door to leave us alone, turns around and lays it on us: “…Just one more thing…”.
If only… Of course, I guess you could say that’s like the Holy Spirit’s job. If you believe in the Holy Spirit. Which I do. I just don’t always recognize him… Because sometimes he shows up unassuming. A little offbeat. Annoying, even. Looking for a pen.
Kind of like Columbo.