Silent Screaming

Yesterday, while driving along with my family (my wife at the wheel), we approached a fork in the road; at which we were bearing to the right. Another car was coming off of that road, and was stopped at the stop sign–it was a woman with her head sticking out her window, and she was screaming at us. Perhaps we would have heard what she was saying if our windows had been down and our music hadn’t been rockin’. What was she saying? Reading her lips, was it “stop!” or “top” or “crop” or “pop”? About a hundred yards behind her, parked in a parking lot and facing the street was a — you guessed it — “cop”.

So, it turned out she wasn’t insanely screaming “flop” or “mop”. She was doing what she thought she ought to do: warning us of the law. But were we doing something that she thought was unlawful? Why was she so passionate about her message that she’d take the trouble to roll down her window, and risk her dignity by acting like a crazy person screaming out a window?

The closest I can guess is that she was acting out her neighborly instincts. She was giving us fair warning that we were about to encounter the law. But what good does that do? Did it slow us? Barely. Did it help us? No. It mostly just confused and amused us. And the cop wasn’t even paying attention to the 90 we were doing in a 25.

By the way, do you know what cop stands for? I’m 33 and I just learned last week that cop actually stands for something. And you know who told me? A cop.

Oh something else that happened to me today–I was trying to help someone order a pizza, it made me late for a meeting, and in the process of trying to help this person, I think I got blacklisted from our favorite pizza place. That’s what I get for trying to help. More on that never.

Ok, so I’m a student pastor. I work with middle school and high school students. That’s what I do. It’s funny because when I meet new people and they ask what I do (I love that question, and I’m so glad it’s part of civilized society’s small-talk), and when I tell them I’m a youth pastor and I work with teenagers I get these looks like I’m some hybrid of a cancer patient and a cancer researcher who’s just about to find the cure. It’s a mixture of “Oh God, I’m so sorry” and “Oh I’m so glad you’re doing that, so I don’t have to.” And throw in a pinch of “are you mental?” just for good measure. But quite honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I weren’t doing this. I’ve always thought I’d like to design miniature golf courses. Not build them, mind you. Just design them.

That reminds me of the show American Inventor. It’s a great show and I haven’t seen it in a while, what with all my time spent reading the lips of crazed motorists and trying to get kids not to smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do.

I was just downstairs when I came across something I’m sure somebody’s making good money off of. It’s a strap with a rubber circle on it. The rubber circle goes around the top of a bottled water so that kids can wear the water around their neck. My son got it at his end of the year picnic at school. The strap is pretty long, so that the bottle hangs pretty low; otherwise I’m sure the “water bottle strangulation strap” wouldn’t make too much money.

I think that when a blog reachs the point where water bottles are strangling kids, it’s time to stop.

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