Last night my husband was rousted from the local aquatic centre. I blame his new motorcycle.
He’d just finished his swim and, while he drank his herbal tea in the empty cafeteria, he spoke on his cell phone to his fishing buddy. (Please forgive my use of the word “buddy”. It’s how fisher people actually talk.) During the conversation, which was about fishing, he used a couple of “swears.”
He was suddenly interrupted by a voice behind him that said, “I heard that!”
James assumed it was a fellow fisherman expressing enthusiasm about the fishing secrets he’d overheard. (Fishers are quite big on eavesdropping, so it was a natural assumption.) But no! It was an angry security guard who’d overheard J’s vocabularic indiscretion.
The enraged little man stood over James while he finished his call and began to yell at him (I love this part) about how there were children and families in the vicinity, even though there weren’t. James apologized but the tin pot aquatic centre dictator was not appeased. He berated my poor husband all the way out of the facility.
When James got home he was annoyed and confused until I, observant person that I am, pointed out to him that he was wearing his new MOTORCYCLE gear. He had on a little toque, Jesse James style, with goggles over it, a helmet and a Mad Max-type motorcycle jacket. OF COURSE the security guy was going to react when faced with a genuine motorcyclist in a family-oriented swimming facility! Wearing your not-really-leathers to an aquatic centre patrolled by thwarted cop wanna-bes is like putting a red flag covered in alfalfa in front of a bull. What James experienced is just a small taste of what other motorcyle aficionados experience every day. Especially those in criminal gangs! The harassment: it never ends when you use fuel efficient transportation!
Anyway, James is writing a letter to the management, probably on stationery that lists all his credentials (i.e. Dear manager of aquatic centre, in my capacity as a person who has a degree in environmental science and an accounting designation by an accredited university, to name just two recent post secondary accomplishments, I would like to express my concern… )
I’m trying not to add insult to injury by pointing out that this experience is just one more reason that it’s better to drive a scooter or other similarly slow transportation rather than a motorcycle. NO ONE gets mad at scooter drivers if they use a swear or two in public. Especially if they dress like they’re in Quadrophenia, because mods are way too cute to roust. (Unless, of course, they are teenagers. Then life is just one big roust by power mad people in positions of minor authority no matter what you drive.)
Which reminds me. Every day I read a little meditation from one of several books I have for the purpose. They are supposed to ground me and make me more spiritual. So far, it doesn’t seem to be working, but it’s only been about four years and one has to give these things time. The reading today is one of my favourites. It’s from a book by Anthony De Mello called Song of the Bird. The reading has the same name and it goes as follows:
The disciples were full of questions
Said the master, “God is the Unknown
and the Unknowable. Every statement
about him, every answer to your questions,
is a distortion of the truth.”
The disciples were bewildered. “Then
why do you speak about him at all?”
“Why does the bird sing?” said the
The book goes on to explain:
The words of the scholar are to be understood. The words
of the master are not to be understood. They are to be
listened to as one listens to the wind in the trees and the
sound of the river and the song of the bird. They will
awaken something within the heart that is beyond all
All I want to know is, where does the avian flu fit into all this? Also, when James asks how I know it was the motorcycle outfit more than the swears that got him into trouble, it’s kind of a song of the bird-type thing. I just know.
Copyright: Deep Thoughts by Susan Juby