"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, July 09, 2012

awkward

"That awkward moment when...."

I have often thought that pastors and politicians likely share a common fear of headlines. Presumably both are fans of positive publicity, but let's face it - most news stories about politicians or pastors are awful.

The fear is based in the knowledge that it doesn't matter if the story matches the headline, or if there's a clarification later in the week. Or if the entire story is eventually exposed as the fabrication of a disgruntled voter. Once the headline has happened, you're up in flames quicker than an unattended marshmallow over a campfire. There's no coming back from that.

With that context, think back to last Friday afternoon. Baby - it was HOT out there. One tweet said that a Toronto subway station "smelled like boiled people". Another tweet declared it was SO hot that two trees were fighting over one dog.

*I'll pause while you figure out why that's funny*

Our church picnic was coming up on Sunday afternoon. We need a LOT of liquids at a church picnic. Partly because people are thirsty. Partly because little kids just LOVE the thrill of popping open a can of root beer, even if they aren't going to drink it. And partly because a bottle of cold water offers a secondary function as a sudden shower on one's unsuspecting friend.

We also need charcoal at a church picnic. Lots of it. To heat things up. And then we cool off with the liquids. It's all very circular.

Dude With Whom I Co-Pastor and I were volun-told to get the liquids and the charcoal. We also picked up a bottle of Drano, but that's not really relevant to the story. Then we headed over to the coffee bar at the end of the store. We frequent that coffee bar almost daily - Fortinos makes good coffee. And the staff are friendly. Cate is on parental leave, but Jaime is there, and she always chats for a minute or two. We can solve all the problems of the world while sipping a French Roast at a little table next to the sushi.

After considering the implications of the God-particle discovery earlier in the week, we looked at our watches and decided to head back. Loaded up the car with all the liquids and charcoal. And then, just as we were about to drive away, one of us looked thoughtfully at the other and asked, "Did we pay for this stuff?"

That awkward moment when you realize you've just robbed the grocery store. For a church picnic, no less.

Imagine the headlines, if you will.

Co-Pastors Co-Opt Perishables for Parish Picnic

Fortinos de-Frauded, Friars de-Frocked

Local Congregation Shocked By Ministers' Drinking and Stealing

Why Women Shouldn't Be Pastors

I looked around for the swarms of security surely descending upon us at any moment. Nothing. Went back into the store and approached the head cashier. "Hello ... um ... funny story ..." Her eyebrows went up, and she made a call to security to stop any potential swarmings, while I went back outside. We unloaded the car into the shopping carts, rolled the carts back into the store, PAID, rolled the carts back out of the store, and unloaded them back into the car.

Then we drove away.

"Well," I said. "This is going to make an interesting blog post."

He responded, "I was just thinking the same thing."

10 comments:

Derbecker said...

When I worked for CIBC, I sleepily took a bagel w/cream cheese and a coffee from the counter and simply sat down to eat it, forgetting to pay. The cashier let me sit there for 10 minutes or so (negotiating the morning rush) before walking over to me with a great look on his face. He said "And now we must come to the sordid topic of coin..." and listened to me apologize profusely while handing over five bucks.

Patti said...

Haha, what a great conversation opener!

However, if I had known you worked for CIBC at one time, we might never have been friends. Way to keep that part of your life on the down-low.

Derbecker said...

Let the record state that I neither condone nor condemn actions taken in part or entirely by CIBC or its subsidiaries. I just needed a job. And it was only 18 months. A really _interesting_ 18 months but a gentleman (especially one who signed a non-disclosure agreement) doesn't tell tales. :)

BanjoSue said...

Many years ago I was shopping at Freddy's, a NY discount store for drugs, cosmetics, snack food, toiletries etc. All that to say that I purchased my $40 worth of goods and went out car to unload the buggy. As I lifted my purse off the child seat, in the front of the buggy.
There it was, a container of [beautifl] lucious blue eye shade. I stood there for a long second, wondering how to go back in and deal with this.
In fact, I was too embarassed and drove off to my fried's home.
I returned to the store, next day and offered payment.
The cashier thanked m for my honesty and told me to leave, it was ok.
Never again such a "purchase".

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)

Heather F. said...

LOL!!!!!! That's priceless Patti. Honestly, we all have a similar story. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt (that I didn't have to go back & pay for after the fact!). Good to know I'm not the only one! :)