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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

X-mas or "holidays"?

Got a question for anyone who might be reading this. Please feel free to either respond on the blog or treat it as a rhetorical question:

If it's OK for others to be offended by Christmas, (which is why we bend over backward to accomodate them) is it OK for me to be offended by other religions, and if so, should those other religions have to bend over backward to keep a low profile, the same way Christianity is now expected to?

In other words, should Jews be expected to refrain from any public mention &/or display of Hannakah or should Muslims be expected to refrain from public mention &/or display of Rammadan?

One argument might be, "As a Christian, you're supposed to accomodate everyone." I say to that, look at the first commandment.

Another question: in a democracy, do we believe in majority rule or minority rule? It's obvious that in America, the majority of the population is either practicing Christian, or not offended in any way by Christianity.

One last question: in a city like Dearborn, Michigan where the majority of the population is Muslim, is it OK for public mention &/or display of Muslim icons?

I myself, don't have a problem with Muslims and their public mention &/or display of Muslim icons in an area where Muslims are the majority.

Just wondering.

BTW: Merry Christmas!

from the top...

If you've been following this blog, you've read about my coaching experience. I coached my 8 year-old daughter's soccer team this fall. Well, in a nearby town, they have an indoor soccer arena, and they've recently started to allow teams from our town to play there.

Some girls I had on the team in the fall wanted to play indoor soccer, and I guess they've begged their parents, and I've had about 3 different couples ask if I'd be willing to coach. With alot of the other girls from the fall team, we called their parents while we were putting together the team, and their parents told us they've already decided their girls were playing in the winter basketball league. Then, we'd get a call telling us that the girls begged to play indoor soccer. So, we've got the players, now we're just searching for a sponsor. ($350)

My wife and I were going around last night getting signatures for the medical release forms, and we wound up going to the twins' house. These girls were on my team in the fall, and their dad is a big shot with the headquarters of the oil company here. (I'm not saying the name, because I don't want a spider listing this blog entry when people are doing searches on the oil company.)

They live in one of the biggest houses in the swankiest new sub-division here. We've got a son who's 8 months old, and this was the first time he's ever been in a mansion. The couple was really impressed with the seriousness of the expression on our son's face as he looked around in awe the whole time we were there.

This is a British couple. I don't know if any of you watch Frazier, but you know the character Daphney Moon? Well, for loyal Frazier followers, you'll know she has a brother named Simon who's a smarmy charmer. This guy whose house we were at, sounds exactly like Simon, accent and all. This guy (the oil company exec) is so out of character with the other executives in this town. He listens to Bob Dylan. He reads books about Bob Dylan. He's nice. He's sincere. He's not fake, plastic or elitist. He's about 3 spots down the ladder from the CEO of the company. Amazing. He'll actually talk to me like we're buddies, even though he already knows I'm a factory worker. In fact, I had no idea how far up the ladder he was at the oil company during the soccer season. He was one of my assistant coaches!

His twin daughters are amazing. One is very tall, strong and athletic. The other one isn't. I found out last night, that the other one is the primadonna of the family, and she has the biggest bedroom (other than the master bedroom) according to my daughter. I guess they fawn all over her. She's a girl used to getting her way.

Her sister on the other hand (the athletic one) is much more humble. You could tell she couldn't believe her coach was actually at her house. The two sisters and my daughters played while my wife and I talked to the parents. The athletic girl was in the basement when we arrived, and didn't know we were there until my daughter went down there with the other twin.

When the athletic one came up when we were just about ready to leave, she was amazed, and very shy, and she said, "Hi coach Yeltsin!" (Not really my last name.) My daughter says, "Coach Yeltsin?!!!" as if she was amazed that anyone would show me such old-fashioned respect. That girl looked up at me as if I was some kind of movie star or something, and she was so shy, when she smiled, she covered her mouth with her hand.

Anyway, it would be a stretch to say that her dad likes me as much as she does, but it's obvious that her dad does like me. We sat around and talked about local politics because he knows I'm involved. He likes to turn people on to British beer, and he knows I'm a beer drinker, so he offered me a British beer. Now, just about everyone's had Guiness, but that's not British; it's Irish beer. He had a British offering on hand called Old Speckled Hen. It was in a can, but it's served in a ceramic mug, and when you pour the beer, you dump it in. You don't tilt the mug and gently pour like American and German beers. Unlike American and German beers, this beer isn't carbonated. You dump it in the mug to put a head on it, on purpose. The head has the consistency and flavor of cotton candy. With this beer, you want a head.

We drank Old Speckled Hen and talked politics. His wife is kind of interested in what I do, because she passed the bar in Wales and is a voracious reader of the editorial section of our paper. She doesn't share her husband's lack of elitism, and she's perplexed by the fact that I'm "just" a factory worker, and I can write so well.

[At different times] they both asked me: "Now that you've exposed what you think is a great injustice, how do you plan to combat it? Will you just resign yourself to accept that these practices are probably commonplace, or do you have some type of plan to deal with it?"

Well, it's funny when you're caught off gaurd. I've become so acclimated to just explaining this injustice to people, that I've never gotten to explaining my actual plan of dealing with it. I was so relaxed and enjoying the beer (it's really good beer) that I wasn't prepared for a monologue. I just took a dramatic gulp of the beer as if I was about to say something of substance, and I said, "I've got my ideas." and that was it! I don't know why I just froze. Probably because I don't trust her. I like him, and I'd like to like her, but there's just something that's holding me back. I'm almost afraid I came off as someone who's all thunder and no rain. I hope not. Anyways, that's how my evening went last night; that, and watching the Steelers get their ass handed to them by the Colts. Oh well.