OK. It was an interesting day in good old downtown Wisconsin yesterday. Yessirree, Bob, the sun was shining the grass was greening and little budding things are showing up on the trees. Makes a man proud to be human, not that I am really a proud guy or anything and the human part, well I question iffen that is a whole lot to be proud of sometimes, but it ain't no never mind one way or another, see, cause it is what it is.
I started the day with a nice big old cup of coffee down at the Moon, which I usually do, seeing that it is half price before 8am and Aron usually plays that old Tin Pan Alley and folky kinda music which you don't hear too much in most other places, so it is an ok deal to me. Well, normally it is pretty quiet in the morning, Painter Mike will come in and exchange a few words, Peggy will be walking around cleaning up things that really don't need cleaning, see, she has some kind of brain malfunction, which again, ain't no never mind, she just keeps saying good morning to everyone, and keeps picking up things that don't need picking up...see, she is just cleaning, but if she is in a cleaning mode, you best watch your coffee and newspaper, or if you go to the bathroom at least tell her not to pick up your stuff, cause you're not done, and then she will say "Ok," and leave it alone.
Alot of Bible type folks like to come in and have small little talks, meetings in there, too, which is ok. cause most of them are quiet and they talk about Jesus while getting caffeinated, which I guess helps some, and then they all hold hands and close their eyes and say a little prayer over their Lattes and Espressos, which is mostly not needed, cause the coffee is pretty good in the first place, see. But yesterday there was a different kind of Christians in there, and they were a little louder than the Latte and Espresso Christians.
These guys, you see, you couldn't tune them out, were a little louder than they should be, as if they were not trying to talk with each other, but to the whole coffee house, like they were preaching on the street, which I wish they were, cause I was talking with Painter Mike and he was a whole lot more interesting and I really didn't want to listen to them, but there they were, loud as all get out.
"Gays, bisexuals, " this guy was saying, " are the lowest of the low...like hermaphrodites... they wish they could breed and take over the world!!" Now, Painter Mike just kinda looks at me and starts grinning, almost laughing, which was a good thing, cause if I heard a bunch more, why, I was likely to walk over and give them a few words out of MY good book, which really wouldn't have set well with Aron, cause he once explained that he sells coffee to all Political/Sexual/Religious persuasions. "Homosexuals are like worms," this guy was saying, much louder than he should, "you can see them in the morning, after the dew, there on the lawn, fornicating with themselves! Worms are both MALE AND FEMALE.....just like homosexuals!!! The LOWEST of all God's creatures!" Which was funny enough that Painter Mike really started laughing, out loud, and then so did I. "Gees," says Mike, I like worms... they're good for your Gardens." Which kind sets me laughing again, just loud enough to have the Bible-thumpers look at us. "Ya," I said, "and worms can't be the lowest of God's creatures.... they obviously have not met our Mayor." Now that sets Mike off laughing again and he says,"Well if Gays are like worms... that explains why Brian and Tony have the best gardens in town!" Now we are laughing and looking right at these guys, and finally they just got up and left... but Mike and I kept laughing. You can hear the funniest stuff if you just listen. Did remind me,though, that I had promised to go up to the Ex's and fix her compost bin. Maybe get some red worms to drop in there, too. Really helps the compost along. And all God's creatures are good. Some folks just like to listen to themselves too much, is all.
Later in the afternoon I went to Oblios for a pint. They weather was great so they had a nice crowd on the back patio. The Kelly brothers were there, and Nick, and Joe and Johnny G. Now, it is a good crowd and good weather usually brings out some nice stories and that is what was happening. Until Johnny G got going. See, Johnny's favorite topic is, well, Johnny. In minutia. How he grew up, who he knew, where he went grocery shopping when he was a kid, where he was when the moon landing took place.... how his great aunt Agnes died of a hernia that was fixed, but not fixed and ... well....so he starts into this story of when he and his wife were at a 'clothing optional' beach down in Mexico and what the weather was like, then, and what they were drinking and what they had had for lunch and how much it had cost..... I had heard this before, and frankly, there was no point to this story, and for crying out loud, why not just call it a 'NUDE BEACH', really, what is this affectation with 'Clothing Optional' anyways.... so I says, "Good thing we don't have 'clothing optional' beaches, Johnny, cause I would hate to see you on one now!" Johnny kinda looked at me mean, not that I had kind of insulted him or anything, but I had interrupted his train of thought and now he would have to start all over again, which he would, so I ambled into the bar. See, I was getting this visual about Johnny on a nude beach, and then I started thinking of worms, and, was starting to laugh and he woulda gotten really pissed if I had started laughing. That wouldn't have been nice.
When I got inside the bar, I run into Ed, who I hadn't seen for weeks. I thought he had moved to Canada.
Ed wears English Leather cologne. Just a tad too much, not all that bad, but you can really notice it is English Leather. He has BEEN in Canada, but hasn't really moved yet. I ask him how he feels moving North.
"Most everyone thinks I have moved North, but it really is South. Well, and of course, East, but Acton is 43 degrees 38 minutes and 0 seconds N and we are at 44 degrees one minute and 29 seconds North... so it really is moving South even if everyone thinks that all of Canada is North!"
So he really hasn't moved, yet. He still has to sell his condo here. And pack up stuff. I guess he has tons of books. Lot of Arthur Conan Doyle. He is what they call a "Sherlockian". He is also a Baker Street Irregular....
"It's a world wide group, Jim, that is all about everything Holmes. You can't just get to BE a Baker Street Irregular.... you have to be NOMINATED from a different, local club... then you are selected, see, and go to New York for the annual banquet, and are given a "Irregular Shilling" it's a great honor!"
That is where he met Dana... in New York at the Banquet. She is a Sherlockian too.He didn't tell me the latitude of New York. I think he would say it was East even though it is South, too. I didn't want to ask.
I met Ed at the Oblio's Fantasy Baseball League draft years ago. I hate baseball. they have about ten teams, each throws in $400 and then they do whatever it is that fantasy baseball leagues do. I don't care, I hate baseball. They needed an auctioneer, see, and that is how I came into the deal. Free beer while the draft is going on.... Draft for the draft. And I can auctioneer! What a Deal! I have been doing it for seven years. I still hate baseball. It's a mystery to me. BUT Ed loves baseball.
"Now, if you are ahead by two runs, in the top of the ninth, and they have a man on second, with two outs, and they have a guy at the plate who hits .254 against right hand pitching, but only .185 against lefties, and you have a rightie pitching who has already gone the whole game....do you bring in a leftie to finish? Of course you do!"
Ed would talk like that. And I would tell him, again, that I really don't know anything about baseball, but it would be no never mind... and he would be off and running again... unless I could get him to talk about Sherlock.
Ed could have retired a couple of years ago, but I think he didn't because .... well.... because. I think he had just given up on dating and went to a lot of ball games and read alot of books. Until he met Dana... at the Sherlockian thing. She likes Sherlock, too. And Alice in Wonderland. I told her I had once played the Mad Hatter in a childrens play.... she like me right off. I think that is why she likes Ed, too, a blend of logic and the illogical. She is ten years younger than he is. I believe they are really happy. And why he is moving to Canada.
So last night, I say, "How's Canada working out, Eh?" .... and he rolls his eyes at me. "Funny you should mention that, Eh, cause, see, most Americans do not realize that, in Canada, 'Eh' has many meanings...as in, 'Do you agree with me', like an affirmation, or they can mean, 'Eh' as in 'how are you' or just plain, 'eh' like in 'whatever'. Jim, 'Eh' is the most mis-understood expression in the English Language. And it is totally different than the 'Eh' that is used in the Upper Peninsula. These are important things, you see!"
It was nice talking with him last night. He had a special shine in his eyes, he seemed to be walking lighter, his laugh seemed ... well, heartier. Now, mostly, I will tell you that I don't believe in God, but every once in awhile I get to thinking that well maybe... and if there is... from worms to Johnny G to Ed and to me.....
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
...... and Ed did not mention baseball once last night. But he has learned all the words to "Oh, Canada".