Some of us search for the perfect man, some for the perfect woman. Some have already found him or her. One of my friends found his just quite recently, come to think of it.
Many of us have criteria to aid in filtering the bad from the good (or the perfect from the imperfect, to use consistent language). I have a friend who believes that the perfect man must be able to back a trailer.
That sounds a little funny when you first read it. Strangely whimsical I guess. But on reflection, it seems to me that being able to back a trailer (and it is a real skill, for those of you who have never tried) is quite a useful proxy for many desirable characteristics in a man.
The kind of men (and women?) who are able to back a trailer are also likely to be resourceful, practical, intelligent after a fashion (just you try figuring out which way to turn the wheel to get the trailer going where you want), sensitive (ditto), cautious when it counts, good with their hands (attaching the trailer to the car), knowledgeable about basic electronics (getting the trailer lights going) and able to just muck in and get stuff done when the time comes. At least in my mind they are.
But the point of this story lies elsewhere. In Honolulu I saw a man who is clearly able to back a trailer. I didn’t actually meet him, or get close enough even to make out his features. Or even, to be honest with you, to tell whether ‘he’ was a man or a woman.
In fact, ‘he’ is a man who puts ordinary trailer backing to shame. He backs 747s.
From my observation, planes taxi in to the gate on their own power. And the smaller planes get out using their engines. But the really, really big 747-400s (that are used, for example, to fly from Sydney to Honolulu) get backed out from the gate by a little tractor thing attached to the front wheel. And if that is not the biggest, most expensive, potentially most catastrophic trailer backing manouvre I have ever seen, well, it is, so I don’t need to finish this sentence.
So you are looking for the perfect man? Maybe I have seen him.