December 21, 2005

A Million Points of Light

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.



Gina said...

I am the opposite of Most Boring Man Ever, I rarely read serious non-fiction books.

And apparently Santa needs to bring you the Most Boring Present Ever, a pencil sharpener.

Melodee said...

Yes. A sharp pencil is the greatest delight in the world, though a box of fresh color crayons takes a close second place and an unblemished sheet of notebook paper ranks up there, too.

straighttalker05 said...

I pride myself (no pun intended) on having a pencil full of the MOST tacky, but very sharp, rainbow pencils.

Christmas is always the time you feel you should speak to Dull and Boring.

I guess that's why so many of us need retail therapy at this time of year.

weese said...

I am going to spend the afternoon sharpening all of my pencils.

Anonymous said...

Those who never read fiction are the same ones who never watch tv and yet can tell you every plot to Sex in the City...Happy Holidays

shrlckhlms said...

The older I get the less patience I have for trying to converse with The Most Boring people. I tend to run the other way.

I rarely watch TV or read fiction, but I hope I'm not all that boring myself. I made a recent exception by reading the short story "Brokeback Mountain," which I thought was fabulous. Now I'm on a seemingly endless wait for the movie to open somewhere near Bumfuck, Pennsylvania. Have any of you who live in civilization seen it yet?