Is there anything more delightful than a pencil with a nice sharp point? Such a pencil is a most marvelous thing indeed! I've got a bunch of thoughts floating through my head tonight, but no real point. Bear with me. I may find one by the end of this post.
We went to a gathering at a friend's house in Bumfuck, Maryland a few months ago. (No, Bumfuck is not the name of the town. It is a description of the geographic location. You knew that, but still your mind took you elsewhere. Beware! Santa's listening. You have been warned.)
The first time we trekked up there, years ago, we stopped in Damascus to pick up a six-pack. Wendy and I strolled into a 7-11 and surveyed the refrigerator cases, dumbfounded. There was not a beer in sight. A nice biker dude informed us Damascus is a dry city. A dry city? Oh the unmitigated horror! He directed us to a bar just across the city line, Lou & Boo's or something like that. That bar has a lot of biker-ish character and sells cold beer to go. We fit in like a glove on a foot. We grabbed our beer and left.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Have you ever been at a party and become trapped like a fly on flypaper by the person who has a reputation for being the Most Boring Individual Alive? Sure you have. There is one in every group. It's a rule or something. The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt endure dull people because dull people need friends too. The Most Boring Individual Alive lives up in Bumfuck, Maryland. I know him.
I bravely initiate conversation. Obviously I am an idiot, yet also intrigued by the challenge. I am determined to find something interesting about this fellow. I've been trying for years. For example:
Me: "Have you read any good books lately?"
He: "Why yes, Suzanne. I'm in the middle of reading The Ideaology Behind the Formation of Quartz Rock Structures and Their Long-term Effect on Wind Currents in the Northern Hemisphere."
Me (eyes rolling back in my head): "Oh. Gee. Well. I just finished a fun mystery, part of a series about a female caterer who lives with her family in the mountains of Colorado."
He: "Oh... fiction. I never read fiction." His chest puffed up with pride, as if reading exclusively non-fiction was the grandest achievement to which a man could aspire.
But I think it takes all kinds. Fiction and non-fiction. Biker dudes and church ladies. Dry cities and towns that sell beer. Straights and gays. Buddhists and Christians. You get the idea. Can't we all just get along?
Holidays really mess with routine.
None of my pencils have points either.