Sunday, April 11, 2004


I've been writing a good part of the morning.

Got a little inspired by something I saw as I was out for my walk. I wandered past MTSU's basketball arena, Murphy Center, where a number of local churches had gotten together for a community-wide Easter service.

I was walking by as the crowd was starting to gather to go in. As I walked in front of the building, a number of people were gathered in a huddle underneath an awning, near a bus dropoff as it was starting to rain.

I was hurrying my pace, too, but not so much that I missed a boy about 10 or 12 years old moving out from under the awning. What caught my attention, actually, was the mother starting to yell at the boy about getting his clothes wet. I looked up just in time to see that he'd moved out of the awning's protection and given his spot to an older woman, so that she wouldn't get soaked. The older woman was really decked out in her Easter gear, with a nice yellow dress and a wide-brimmed hat with white and yellow flowers around its trim.

His mom noticed quickly what he'd done, and shut up. She smiled politely to the older lady, also taking a moment to look up at the older lady's hat, and say something along the lines of "hello."

But then, the father guy turned around, and he started to jump the kid about his clothes getting wet. The kid explained as quietly as he could what he'd done. The dad guy got it, although a little more slowly. It was probably the older lady's hat that got him to figure out what was going on.

Then, he put his hand on his kid's back, patted his back twice, and traded spaces with the boy. He guided him under the awning, and put himself out of the rain.

I thought it was a nice gesture. Too often nowadays, no good deed goes unpunished. The kid did a nice thing, and his parents were a bit quick to jump him about it.

But then after everybody had gotten settled for a moment, this really old guy turned around. Really old. Like, Ben Weaver from Andy Griffith old, and saw the father guy out in the rain (which had come to a light shower by this point).

The old guy gets kind of exasperated, says "Cletis! You git yer lazy behind outta the rain for I whale the shit out o' you!"

That part didn't happen, but there was this really old guy who turned around to look at everybody else under the awning with his face screwed up rather nastily, as if to say "I hate it when all these heathens got to come to church on the Easter," or perhaps "Who Farted?"

But it broke my little no-writing funk I've been in. So that's good.

I did get wet. That part wasn't good.

It also occurs to me later that the father may not have been changing places with the son just to show that he was proud. The son may have been wearing specialized electronicalized clothes which give him special powers. Like in that Jackie Chan movie. Although if a little rain's going to screw up your bionics, then they're probably not worth the food stamps you cashed in for them.

Or, the father could have been moving the kid into the crowd so that he could strangle him, hidden from sight by the mass of people.

But I tend to think somebody would have noticed. Even if they were staring at the older lady's really awesome Easter hat.


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