Monday, July 05, 2004

STOLICHNYA CITRONA

I miss the fun of blogging. Thankfully, with the incredible power of DSL, only attained through the incredible power of female influence - a constant barrage of whining, complaining and nagging only took a year for Dad to cave in - I once again have the virtual capabilities and time to spend on Authenticity.

And don't think for a moment that two whole months have gone by devoid of blogging material. Of course, life at home in Roanoke isn't quite as exciting as the apartment in the 'Burg and WM, but things happen here, nonetheless.

Like today. I spent the weekend in Charleston WVA, at the Annual Conference for the Church of the Brethren. My dad and I were somehow recruited to act as assistants and logistical managers for the Jr. High activities, of which my mom was coordinator. These logistics that we were supposed to manage included trips to the SaveALot in Beckley, WVA, to procure water, soft drinks and cups for the hundred or so middle schoolers. Not that hard a task, or so one would think. On the second trip to the SaveALot in less than two hours, however, we began to think otherwise. In a time crunch, we grab a cart and speed down the first aisle, picking up Dr. Pop and Grape Delight (the SaveALot doesn't have many brand names), only to be stopped dead in our tracks by an older gentleman on his scooter, trying in vain to reach the Dr. Pop on the top shelf.

My dad, compassionate man that he is, offers to help. The man refuses, but as we are pickingo out our own drinks, proceeds to tell us his life story. "You're from Roanoke? I had my heart jump started down there about ten years ago!" "Great," dad says. "Ten years is a pretty good run on a jump start." "Well," says scooter man, "now I've got cancer. What are you guys here for? A church conference? You know, I went to the Appalachian Bible College right down the road here! Oh, the Brethren, you guys are a lot like the Southern Baptists, aren't ya'll? This here is my wife. We been married 82 years! That's 41 for me and 41 for her!"

Dad and I attempt to gracefully extract ourselves from this ear bending, and head on out to the checkout counter. At this point, we're running late, and are a bit concerned about Mom's mental well-being, stuck back at the coal mine with one hundred thirsty prepubescents. As we round the corner, though, we catch a bit of conversation which explains the gigantic line of people with their carts full of canned beans and frozen dinners. Today is welfare check day, when everyone on aid gets paid. The line moves slowly.

Finally, we pay for our sodas and our ice. We get out to the car, and Dad stops dead, realizing that we have forgotten cups. How will the adolescents enjoy their Dr. Pop without cups?! Refusing to go back into the SaveALot for the third time in two hours, Dad runs next door to the Value City department store, neglecting to unlock the car doors, and in so doing, leaving me leaning against the trunk, loitering in this WVa strip mall parking lot...alone. I avoid eye contact, sip my Coke (there were vending machines outside SaveALot), and wait.

A few minutes later, Dad walks briskly out the Value City door and heads to the car, a package of bright red cups in hand. As he gets closer, I notice writing on the cups. "Dad, what do these say?" I ask. "I'm not sure," he responds, "I was trying to figure that out as I was walking back here." He tosses the package to me, and I realize, too late, that each cup, out of which impressionable eleven year olds will be sipping, is printed in bold letters STOLICHNYA CITRONA. Yep. We got Brethren junior highers VODKA cups. Classic. Just classic.

I love the blog.

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