Friday, May 11, 2012

Chug it!

From February 3, 2010

I was talking with my friend last night and we somehow meandered to the topic of wine at Catholic masses. I'm not Catholic, but I attended fourteen years of Catholic school (including pre-school; no worries, I never repeated a grade) so I've had time to ponder these things. We were both really grossed out that at mass, folks all drink out of the same chalice. The representatives doling out the wine usually wipe the rim of the chalice off after each person drinks, but let's be honest here: it may remove lipstick etc. but it's not doing anything to kill germs.

I've heard of some churches giving little "shots" of wine in some sort of Dixie cup or whatever. That seems a lot more hygienic to me. My friend said they're a no-go for him, though; he once visited a Lutheran church and when he went to grab a shot glass, he dropped it on the tray and made a huge clanging noise since it was made of glass.

He also told me of the problems that befall the person doling out the wine. Sometimes there is wine left and apparently it's rude to dump a deity's "blood" down the sink, so the wine doler-outer is obliged to drink up the remaining "blood" after the faithful have had their fill. He said it's a real problem at 8 a.m. mass because that's just way too early to really swig down the wine, whether it's holy wine or not. He had to go to the church's coffee social after the mass and was feeling a little bit too good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sometimes even what's familiar is strange

At the beginning of this century, I lived in London for a brief stint. Everything was so new and different to me because before that, I hadn't traveled much past my home state. I've always been interested in the hows and whys of things, and I was lucky enough to have some patient British friends who would explain things to me (like, what is a "garriage?")

I have no idea how this came about, but my friend told me that Carhartt had a store in Convent Garden's trendy shopping area. I made him repeat himself; did he really mean Carhartt? Yes, he did, and he loved their coats. I couldn't help gaping. He was a pretty hip dresser. I asked him again if he actually meant Carhartt Carhartt. I told him that the only people I knew who wore Carhartt were gun-totin' drivers of mudboggin' trucks (patois intended). Well, actually, the people I knew wore muck boots* and wanted to tip cows, but their relatives had guns and trucks. He assured me that yes, Carhartt was indeed hip there and he'd even take me to the store.

I still didn't believe him until we arrived to the brightly lit, minimalist, modern store in a district of high rent storefronts. Techno music was blasting and the clothes there didn't resemble anything Carhartt I had seen at home.

Take this woman's shirt, for example; I couldn't see anyone rocking it out on the streets of London. Women's fashions that are featured on the company's London website couldn't be more different. While some of the London Carhartt fashions are true to Carhartt's country roots, they are so in more of an ironic manner. Fifteen years ago the company couldn't get away with it, but now, perhaps it can, and does.

We left the store, and I told my friend that I finally believed him, but it still blew my mind.

*I had an odd teenagerhood in the city, seriously. I had a really varied, eclectic group of friends; half sipped merlot, spoke several languages, and created vegetarian haute cuisine from scratch; while some of the other friends swilled beer, listened to heavy metal and jumped off bridges; and then there were the Good Country People, who are referenced here.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best costume ever

At one of the best Halloween parties I've ever attended, my brother's friend showed up in a clear plastic rain slicker. He had random pieces of tin foil taped to the slicker. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what exactly he was supposed to be; there didn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to how he had taped the tin foil. He told me that he was the Tin Man. It was awesome; I totally didn't get that. I thought that maybe he was dressed up as a homeless dude trying to insulate himself.

At the same party, my brother dressed up as the son of a preacher man (oh, how true!) but he was a preacher, too. He was a bit too into the costume because he kept blessing everyone.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stop in the name of...oh, wait, that's not safe

Ah, Detroit. My friend's friend P was stopped at a light late one night in an "interesting" neighborhood when a police cruiser pulled him over. What was his transgression?

Apparently P created suspicion because he was actually stopped at the light. The police officer thought he was either drunk, or, upon examining P, dumb, for stopping at the light. Apparently in that particular neighborhood it's not especially safe to stop at the light, or at least that's what P was told.* The officer let him go on his merry way after that.

* For the record, I'm not suggesting blowing through stoplights in Detroit, or anywhere, for that matter.