a stupid story for a fall morning
although a rebel at heart, i rarely skipped classes. during my time at soybean bible college, i never cut christian character and leadership to visit wrigley and wouldn't forego a monday morning greek class to go snowboarding with 'the community.' at the time i considered such fidelity a mark of character. now that i am more aware of my tendency to elevate task over relationship and realize how closely my identity is tied to achievement, i consider it conclusive evidence of narcissism. nevertheless, on that day it was not difficult for kevin to persuade me to cut. after all, our purpose was not merely male bonding, but religious mission, for on that crisp october morning dogma was to be released on dvd.
on the way up to the overgrown suburb that is bloomington-normal, kevin remembered that the berean bookstore was having a liquidation sale. since they had recently converted all of their sample tracks into mp3 format they were selling their scratched up sample cds for bargain prices. so, we stopped by berean on the way to best buy, hoping to find a couple of decent jewel boxes among the christian contemporary music rough. unfortunately, by the time we arrived the hordes had already descended, leaving nary a geoff moore or shitty smalltown poets album to be found. so, almost as quickly as our quest was diverted, we continued.
we arrived at best buy around 9:45, eager to pay homage to kevin smith with yet another purchase. unfortunately, best buy didn't open until 10. so we stood outside the store, sharing second hand jokes about britney spears and listening to a yuppie lawyer in a pant suit bark on her cell phone. just as the time was beginning to drag a shriveled old woman, in a long green gingham jacket and a purple beret started to shuffle by. i stepped off the sidewalk so that she could proceed, but she surprised me by stopping to talk. after she greeted me in customary fashion and i returned the favor, she looked at me through pale blue eyes and said "i'm 88!" "that's great" i replied, while internally wondering what stage of dementia she had stumbled into. "do you ever watch the rose bowl," she queried. "of course," i replied, "my family watches it every year." "that's where i'm from," she said! "pasadena," i asked by way of clarification. "yes, pasadena. during the war years i was a rosie the riveter out there. at the height of the war, we completed 4 million rivets a day." "that's great," i replied and added that my grandmother was also a riveter at a consolidated plant during the war. when she heard me mention my grandmother, she smiled, and i wondered where this little conversation would take us next, though i never could have suspected the turn it was about to take. "yes!" she said. "it was in pasedena that i learned to rivet, and it was in pasedena that i learned to yodel." she then snapped her head back and sang "yodel-lay-he, yodel-lay-he, yodel-la-he-hoo!" needless to say, after this outburst, my jaw dropped and i tried to look at kevin, who was clearly ignoring me lest he explode. the yuppie clicked her cell phone shut and began a cynical, staccato clap. and as quickly as she burst into song, the old lady stopped. she smiled and said, "i'm off to pay my phone bill now" and shuffled off in the same manner that she had arrived.
minutes later, best buy opened and we made our way inside. the purpose of our trip was confounded when the clerk told us that dogma had been delayed and i was dismayed when my back up purchase, oops, i did it again was marked well above expectation. however, as i realized immediately, and still believe today, that was one skip that was well worth it.