- Most bizarre conversation of your year: script it. Use pseudonyms if necessary.
[Acknowledged: that most of what I want to write these days is off-limits for blogging because it happens in the context of me-as-pastor AND because I want to write about people who are real and beloved but may not know about this forum while at the very same time other (real, beloved) people from the congregation and ensuing communities DO know about and read it. There are all kinds of ethical question marks swirling around all this - as I suppose there are around all writers of observation - and that's what has made this blog a little bland lately AND sent me scrambling back to the tried and true PEN and PAPER. Nonetheless: submitted with resignation and delight, one conversational gem among countless from congregational life.]
Some of my favorite conversations happen with the gaggle of octogenarian widowers who comprise the regular cast of characters hanging around the church office.
A Monday morning, with one of these gentlemen.
Me (yelling, due to, you know, older ears): MORNING, X!
X: How you doin', honey?
Me: GOOD! HOW ARE YOU?
X: You ain't seen any of them ghosts over at your house, now, have you? I know them ghosts like to hang out over there.
Me: Nah, I told you, X, I met them and they're all super friendly. We hang out. They tell me good morning when I wake up and goodbye when I leave!
Me: THE GHOSTS ARE NICE GHOSTS!
X: Oh, they friendly ghosts, huh? I guess that's all right then.
Me: Yep. What are you up to?
X: Well, let me get back up here to takin' the trash out.
Me: All right. See ya later, gator.
X: What? Gator?
Me: YEAH. SEE YOU LATER, GATOR! That's what my grandpa always says when he leaves!
X: Ohhhhhhhhh. Well my little granddaughter, she always put her hands up on her head like this [makes full blown antlers by his hears] and waves her fingers. Bye Bye now. She done that one time when she was just little and now we do it every time she leaves. [makes antlers again, waves fingers] Bye Bye now.
Me: See ya later, alligator.
X: [looking in my trash can, notices a discarded L.L. Bean catalog with a woman modeling a jersey knit dress on the back cover, mutters] WELL, WELL. I'd like to see HER later, alligator.