Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not So Bright

This past sunday morning I popped in to see my lovely friend Renee at the cafe in which she works. I won't link to what that place is, because she hooked me up with a bagel and an iced tea, but nevertheless, she's there at 5am most mornings. I thought I had it bad, getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 everyday.

I sat down to savor my sesame bagel and cream cheese, and she soon joined me:

"I just had to explain to the new girl what a dumpster is," she says.

Intrigued, I ask for more info. Renee explains that this girl didn't know what a dumpster was, or how it functioned. "Earlier," she says, "I ask her to rotate the dairy, and she looks at me with this wide-eyed affectation and asks, 'you mean, like, the sugar, and stuff?'" Wow. By this time my brow is furrowed with concern for my poor friend who, while not inclined toward violence, just might head-butt this dainty naive.

She went on, "So I asked her what she does, and she says 'I smoke pot,' So... Do you have any hobbies? 'Just pot,' Do you go to school? Just pot? Ok."

I left Renee with a hearty hug, insisting that she was valuable and loved, and it wasn't she who was wrong. At one point she tells me, "I smoke pot too, but I can still function like a mammal!"

With a beautiful, full, sunny day ahead of me, I decide to squander it by spending part of it in the laundromat. I took a good whack at the new Sedaris novel while I was at it, so it wasn't a total loss. As I was loading my wet clothes into the top dryer, I noticed a girl next to me at what I call the Dryer Wall. She seemed distressed, and kept punching buttons on the dryer, shaking her head, adding more quarters.

Confounded, she asked me, "Are these dryers?"

"Yeah," my eloquent response.

"Even this one?" she asks, pointing.
"They're all dryers," I say, loading my unmentionables.
"Isn't it supposed to... spin?"

I assess the situation for a moment. "Yeah. You're feeding quarters into the top dryer" Her clothes were in the bottom.

I told this series of stories to Black Eyed Susan, and she came to the rescue of said girls, positing that they are not necessarily dumb, but perhaps they were just brought up so pampered and cared for that these day-to-day goings on of us mere mortals escape them.

Perhaps. Who am I to say? I just know that as soon as I was of legal age to work (14) I did so. And yes, as a college freshman, I did a load of laundry that turned all my whites pink (possibly while high, I don't remember), but I knew how to run the frigging dryer, and I've never since dyed my whites pink.

Is blissful youth something to be celebrated? I guess when you're as old and cranky as me, it's all too easy to shake your head and say "When I was your age..."

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