I think some people just generate strong emotions in people. I’m not sure if I’m one of those people or not but I generally like to think that i’m a mostly nice guy - at least after I have my latte’ in the morning.
I had two odd experiences this last week that challenged my thoughts about myself. First, last week while I was eating lunch at a local restaurant, sitting at my table quietly eating while I read a book a group of hard workin’ guys obviously construction workers sat at a table next to me. Now, I have framed houses and worked in lumber yards in the course of my life so I’m not a fragile flower when it comes to conversations at the work site. As I ate a beautiful young woman walked across the parking lot out side the window. Immediately the table of guys took notice... no surprise. A few comments of a sexual nature were made... not in good taste but like I said I’m no stranger to the work site banter. Then another was made more graphic and a third and a fourth and ... Finally I put down my fork and said to the group “hey guys have some class huh?”
Now in the world in which my mind lives the proper response from my rude restaurant mates would be “Oh I’m sorry...” or some other similar response. Unfortunately the world where my mind lives doesn’t exists... The actual response I received was “F*** you!” there were several other comments tossed back at me as well. At that point I know I should have just kept quiet but I responded back “What is this the 2nd grade playground?” One of them was in the process of getting up to get some more food and stopped at my table and responded “why don’t you just shut the F*** up (insert name here that wasn’t really at all close to Mark)” I said “I will if you will” After a long pause and a the "tough guy" stare, he left. I really thought I was going to have to throw down and get into a fight with three guys in a pizza restaurant at the salad bar. I wasn’t always a Pastor, I have been in a couple of fights but not since I was about 21... and I’m not 21 any more... I haven’t been 21 for a long time. It has been a while since I took a punch, or three or several... luckily it didn’t come to that but I really thought it was for a moment or two.
Second, It has finally been sunny and (kinda’) warm in the Portland/Vancouver area so I have been able to FINALLY get out and ride my motorcycle. Two days after my “enlightening” conversation at lunch, I was riding my motorcycle down the street to work. When I ride I am a pretty defensive rider. I have been hit by a city work truck and have had to dodge several other vehicles while riding in the past so I keep a sharp eye out. As I was rolling along. I noticed 2 Yippie dogs (I think that is an official AKC breed. I may be wrong) in an unfenced yard next to someone working in a garden. As I got closer one of the dog’s (Yippie #1) noticed me and began yipping. Soon Yippie #2 noticed and decided that I couldn’t hear his yipping adequately so he began to run towards the street with Yippie #1 close behind. The owner shouted at the dogs to come back neither paid any attention. I assumed that the dogs would stop at the side walk when they reached it, but to my surprise they did not. They both bolted past the side walk at full speed and into the opposite lane of traffic in their mission to destroy me. As they entered the street a large Buick coming the other direction slammed on the brakes and and SCREECHED to a halt about .33 inches away from Yippie #2. Both dogs stopped quickly and then aborted their mission to destroy the rider on the Ninja driving by and returned back to the yard safe and sound.
I hope that you all have had a more peaceful summer that doesn’t involve fisticuffs or dog bites!