Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dawn of the Dead

To begin today's post, I must channel Larry the Cable Guy by apologizing to them starving pygmies down there in New Guinea. My mind is certifiably unclean and I know that I will eventually have to pay a very dear price. Let me share the following recent story from my life. Again, I must say up front that I am deeply and humbly contrite.

The laboratory where I work regularly hosts outside groups in the spirit of community service. We allow the area police and fire departments to hold their annual graduation services in our auditorium. From time to time you will spot signs announcing the presence of some local civic group. This week we are hosting a group referred to as "The Lifelong Learning Society". If you are a clever chap (or chapette), you will instantly recognize this thinly veiled euphemism for old folks. Now I have nothing against old folks, heck, I hope to be one some day, but you must admit they can be an amusing lot.

The other afternoon I decided to head outside to my car at lunch time to read a few pages of my book. The weather was nice and I decided to roll the windows down on my car (actually I did not really roll them down, I pushed the button on the door). Usually at lunch time I also take the opportunity to people watch as folks hustle and bustle about. However, as I was sitting in my car looking around, I heard a distant rumble coming from around the corner of the building. It sounded like a mix between shuffling or dragging feet and the mechanized advance of the German army's Panzar division. Slowly a large mass of "lifelong learners" emerged from around the corner. They were moving in unison, but very slowly. Limping and dragging themselves along, some advancing with the help of wheelchairs and walkers. This unusual, unexpected, and slightly frightening sight took me aback and caused me to catch my breath. I let out a slight yipping noise and then exclaimed, "Man, it's like the dawn of the living dead out here". Again, I apologize.