I fully support the smarter than average practitioners of meditation and malapropism. I am a Yogi Bearer...
Modern Rites Of Passage
As I walked across the parking lot of my nearest convenience mart, I found myself surrounded by a smallish group of local youngsters - all a bit more excited than I'd usually expect them to be on a sojourn for energy drinks and bubble gum.
They buzzed and hummed amongst themselves. Their pockets and purses did the same - as phones called out to them with textual updates, as it turns out, on the nights impending activities.
We entered the shop. I separated myself from the swarm, gathered up the few items that I needed, and headed to the cash register.
I approached warily, noticing that the crowd had grown. Phones had been switched to picture and video modes. The group, at least a dozen strong now, had gathered around a young girl at the clerks counter. She carefully made a selection, had cash at the ready and handed her ID to the stores agent of fiduciary intake.
Cameras clicked. The girls name was chanted with a rejoicing lilt. The procurement followed by a smattering of applause and a few over exuberant cheers.
Then it hit me as to what I'd just witnessed. These kids had organized a flash mob to celebrate this girl as she made her first legal purchase - for a pack of cigarettes.
I wonder how many of her pals will still be around years from now to snap pics and offer congrats on her first round of chemo...
Arts and Social Sciences
Like many communities nowadays, our little burg fosters acclaim for it's many galleries of imaginative expression by sustaining a monthly Art Walk, occurring here on first Fridays. Often folks will get together with family and friends to turn this into a ritual as they 'support' the arts with their eyes - while the fingers that would otherwise be diving into their wallets instead reach for the free wine and hors d'oeurves provided.
[Side note: When I was still a drinker, I fell prey to this behaviour as well, mapping out my stroll by the selection of beverages available. I'd start at the smaller, more independent venues with punch and sangria - working my way to the high end showplaces offering Merlot, Shiraz, or Champagne alongside the oil paintings and marble sculptures. Heck, the math works even in small quantities;
(1/2 glass of booze) X (7 or 8 galleries) = 1 good, free tipsy tingle.]
On my most recent visit to the patronage parade, I got caught behind a family bemoaning the fact that they didn't do this enough. An elder proposed a weekly get together instead.
I couldn't tell if the following phrase was said with anticipation or frustration, when one of the daughters spoke up:
"But it's only First Friday every month!"
(Anticipation? Frustration? Possibly Inebriation - they'd just exited a showcase with works in the upper scale of the monetary spectrum.)
Spaceman vs. Sportsman (or Losing The 'Buzz')
One of the delightful side effects of being a non-drinker is that it's now easier to overhear the claptrap conversations of certain vociferous drunkards. At a pub where The Wobbly Toms were about to play, I heard the felonious argument that Apollo 11 pilot Edwin Aldrin not only failed to go to the moon, but that the 2nd astronaut to plant his feet on the "Luna Punim" was Don (not Ken) Mattingly.
That would have been an impressive accomplishment for the Yankees First Baseman - who was all of 8 years old at the time. I have no doubt however, that he would have been the first Interstellar RBI Champion.
The Dispatch From Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Margin of Eras
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