Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Overheard... over my shoulder...

There are times when I am out and about, and I have the hardest time controlling my desire to just laugh at certain people, and their wacked-out conversations. I really want to turn around and ask them: "Are you really saying these words? Really?"

Last night was quite a doozy. I decided to grocery shop sans kids for a change, because I spend a lot less money when I can do that. It's true. I'm not buying extra snacks, drinks, dollies, and whatever else they bring to the cart with their sad eyes they know I'm a total softie for. It just works out better. But that is also the time when I am more likely to run into some goony-assed people.

Living in the Reed neighbourhood, I do see a lot of college kids; some drunk, some high, some... just being Reedies, which could be nothing, or a combination of many things. As I stood at the checkout counter of the grocery, I caught part of the conversation that was going on in the line adjacent to mine. They talked of the weather, and how it sure is cold for this time of year, still, and how could global warming be happening when it seems so cold?

Personally, I think we forget this every year. There have been many years in the past where it has remained cold into June. We are in the northern states, and it happens. Sometimes it floods. It is something that has happened throughout history. In fact, there are markers from the flood of 1894 all over downtown Portland, and they go up pretty damn high.

Also, isn't this a La Nina year? That damn Nina. It should go back to La La Land.

I am not attempting to debunk global warming, or even suggest that it is mythical. I do think it is a real thing that we ought to take more seriously than we do. But I also don't think the sky is falling, or that the world will end in the next day or two. Call me a lazy sunbather, but I just don't believe we are in imminent danger. Sure, changes need to be made, and we all need to work a little harder to live more sustainably, and I feel like I do my share of that. I don't buy a lot of new stuff all the time, 'cause Sting had it right when he said: "When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around." I have plenty old things in my life. Some are things I nurse and baby so I don't have to replace them. Other things are useful heirlooms our families have been generous with. I don't see the point in replacing every little thing that shows a little wear.

My plates don't match. Most are chipped, and sad. And while I do have some things that are nice, my preferred glass to drink from is an old Adam's peanut butter jar. It's huge, and I can get a lot of water down the hatch that way. Doesn't mean I don't like my fancier stuff, but I have to think of the everyday, and the required durability that brings on, having two little kids. It is an added bonus that this means I recycle, reduce, re-purpose, and reuse like mad.

That said, when I heard the actual conversation going on next to me, I channeled Sheila Broflovski from "South Park", and found myself saying inside of my head: 'Wha-wha-what??'

It went a little something like this:

Girl Behind Me: "So, I don't really get how this weather pattern that's happening now could be part of global warming. Why would it still be so cold? I think this weather thing is just something that is happening, and it ripples, and affects the whole world, to let us know we are all connected." I swear at this point, I think she may have twirled around and said "Tra la la," touching one toe with the opposite hand at the end of the twirl.

Oh lord.

I... well? I wanted to put a fucking bird on her right then and there.

Checkout Guy: "Well, I don't think global warming works like that. I have seen studies where they cite changes in weather patterns. We are going to see more extended springs, and milder winters as a result. Perhaps more Indian summers like the one we had last year. We need to take action NOW, as in RIGHT NOW, or we are going to pollute ourselves off the planet altogether."

Thank you, checkout guy. Can you see my irises through the back of my head? Let me move my hair out of the way.

Girl Behind Me, in kind of a wilty, lilting voice, making her sound like she is barely cognitive, and somewhat cowed at this point; as if looking into the sun for the first time, or speaking to someone with a brain... for the first time: "Oh... yeah, that totally makes sense."

Wow. Uh yeah. All connected are we. We are one, and we twirl, and we laugh, and we eat our sugar cubes... together, over the ocean, over the sea, holding hands, planking, covered in, and gliding with birds, as we should... through the day, through the night, then the day again... until we reach the sun... only we don't burn. We gaze, admire, stroke, dance, lock arms, and hug this beautiful, beautiful star. After all, we probably should, before it ends up killing us all like a big, hot, microwave oven.

Oh my. I think I will always prefer science. And perspective.

Connectedness, world peace, and sustainability are all fabulous concepts, and I do enjoy them, along with the occasional experience when everything lines up to make it so. But common sense and proper context will always win.


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