Monday, December 03, 2012
Way too many chains
I suppose one of the sentences I'm serving in my life is being forced to look at picnic tables. I've lifted more than my share, painted dozens, even repaired 'em by the lot; so many that when I sit at one, I can't help look. And yesterday, here's what I couldn't help seeing.
When I walked out of church, it felt like early June in Omaha--had to be 60. The congregation was going to have lunch together and then do some caroling. Imagine Christmas caroling in weather so warm you really should be playing church-league softball. But I couldn't stay, so I got in the car and started steering north and homeward.
I grabbed a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich at Arby's--big mistake because it was too darn big--then decided I was retired and there was no reason to chase home on such gorgeous day, perfect for most anything but caroling. So, sandwich and curly fries in hand, I pulled over at a rest stop and took the closest picnic table. Everything tastes better outside, we used to say at the state park where I worked, even too much Philly cheese steak.
That's when I noticed the heavy chain beneath the table. See it?. Incredible. You have to notice, first off, that nobody ever has to repaint this mammoth. The top is that unforgiving hard rubber stuff, and the base is honest-to-goodness concrete. Nobody ever repairs this thing either.
And it's chained down--that's right, chained down, presumably because otherwise some petty thief idiot would walk off with it. I can understand people wanting one of these heavy suckers in their backyard--it'll last forever!--but I could not begin to imagine how on earth some deviant yokel could grab one, then hoist it on the bed of a pickup without some huge wench and a world-class hernia.
Seriously, someone's going to steal this table?
What kind of world do we live in anyway?
And so we all suffer for the damned. Starts in third grade, when some kid rips up a library book and the rest of us lose our recess until the creep 'fesses up. Thus we strip at airports and let some unsavory stranger have a look at our private selves in an x-ray lest some fanatic Islamicist kid tries to light up his stupid underwear.
Made me sad, honestly, this human condition. Some crew has to put chains on what must be a couple of hundred state-owned, ten-ton picnic tables, monsters, because out and about on the land there's a highway robber who'd otherwise grab one of these and take it home? Oh, geez. Woe and woe and woe.
It was a gorgeous day. Thank goodness for global warming. But there I sat, stuffing my face and, on account of a heavy metal chain, lamenting the human condition. And I'd just come from church too. What I should have done is turned around, gone back, and done some good old-fashioned holiday caroling.
Instead, I sat there angry, finishing that cheesy-mess of a sandwich--and the curly fries, all of 'em.
Woe and woe and woe. Sometimes, Lord, I think I got a chain on me.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 5:57 AM