Substitute Religion of the 21st Century

It was very much on the nippy side when I left for the office this morning, and when I got there, I had to kick up the thermostat just so I could get the chill off. I don’t know where they’re coming from, but for some reason I’m seeing more bike riders in the Downtown area during our dark morning hours, and usually they’ve got bags of stuff hanging from their handlebars or thrown over their backs. I’d say for the past two weeks I’ve been seeing them coming from the center of the Downtown and riding southbound towards wherever their destinations might be. One morning I noticed someone had been in the dumpster nearby and left perched atop one of the transformers, several half-eaten packages of biscuits someone must’ve thrown out. That’s at least the third time I’ve seen such, and every time I do, I have to remind myself we’re not living in some third world country.

I almost never go to Dollar General, but yesterday I needed to pick up several Christmas cards, and just as I was parking, I noticed in my rearview mirror, a gaunt-looking young man trying to squeeze into a parking spot near me. He definitely was on something by the way he was gyrating around in the front seat, as well as the way he was trying to get parked. If I didn’t know better, one would’ve sworn he had ants in his pants. I waited long enough in my car just so I wouldn’t be walking right behind him. Well, by the time I walked in their door, he was already at the check-out with something in hand, and yes, he was definitely flying high.

It didn’t take me long to find what I needed, and by the time I paid for it, I was out the door, and wouldn’t you know, that maniac was burning rubber out of that parking spot and turning into the approach of their parking lot. Thank goodness those two elderly women who were walking to their cars, managed to get past him quick enough because if they hadn’t, he would’ve hit them. Not a second after he disappeared down Commercial Alley, a police car came driving by as I was getting into my vehicle. Oh if he would’ve seen how that guy was driving, for sure he would’ve been stopped. I have no idea what Dollar General sells which Fareway doesn’t, and only because I see far more similar “characters” frequenting that place. I read an article some months ago which talked about such “dollar” stores popping up all over the United States in some of the poorer towns and districts of our cities. According to that read, they’re the worst places to buy nutritious food.

Being another Sunday morning, I headed strait to my little corner to get my contemplative prayer session going. Having not had a good night’s sleep, I knew it would take me longer to get focused and settled-in. I swear the full moon has some sort of effect on me where I don’t get a normal night’s sleep. It doesn’t happen always, but just about. I had a lucid dream about someone out of my past whom I very much dislike, and what seemed the most odd, is my never before having a dream with that person in it. There was certainly nothing that happened these past days which would’ve triggered it, because I’ve closed the door on that character years ago and hope to nevermore re-open it on that exceptionally toxic personality.

After my session was over and my office had warmed up, I headed over to my piano and ran thru all the music I was scheduled to play. There were a few hiccups which I went back over, just so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes while playing for their congregation.

I made a quick call to a friend of mine who I know is an early riser, just to say “hello” along with wishing him a fine Christmas if I didn’t talk to him before. He’s been having problems with his vehicle, and by the sounds of it, he’ll likely end up having to take it to his mechanic to get it resolved. From the sounds of it, there must be an electrical problem which they’ll be able to locate once they plug it into their super-expensive diagnostic computer. I swear the newer the car, the more likely there’ll be computer issues to deal with.

By the time we finished, it was the hour for me to head over to St. Paul Lutheran. I did get that fudge made last night, and before I hit the hay, I had one of the pieces. Even by my standards, I considered it quite good, which gave me all the more assurance it would be well received by those members who always go downstairs for coffee and light refreshments. Before heading up to the gallery, I took that large plate downstairs and placed it on their serving counter and then removed the plastic wrap I had on it. Wow, did I get a blast of the smell of black walnuts.

Their Services went very well in spite of the visiting pastor being about fifteen minutes late. In spite of their having given me extra music to play, it all went well, and extremely thankful the “old girl” didn’t act up while I was playing. I’m going to remain confident that pipe won’t be sticking on me again.

After I finished playing several postludes, I headed downstairs for a half cup of coffee and conversation. I was hoping that fudge was going to be a success, but I wasn’t expecting so many raves. The only explanation I could give for it being that good, was because of the freshly cracked black walnuts it contained. Of course several women asked me where I got them because they’ve also found they couldn’t buy them in the stores. I couldn’t help telling them about the 1,200+ nuts that I was gifted, and now have half of them cracked. Oh, if you only could’ve seen the look on their faces.

My two showings didn’t go well today, so I’ll be doing so deep searching this week for something that’ll fit my buyers needs. That $75K – $100K price range is a tough one.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Sex is the ersatz or substitute religion of the 21st Century.

Joe Chodur

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