Safety First

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why did the Gospel Chicken NOT cross the road?

So, last night was fairly hot inside so I thought I would go sit outside on my front steps for a while before retiring.  I am glad Road View is still largely a place where you can sit on your front steps at night and not be too concerned about your safety.  It is true that we have had an uptick in drug activity on land and sea in the area lately, some of which accompanied by gun-play, but nothing like Mexico or inner-city America.  Besides, I was sitting next to a church “in session” - so what could possibly go wrong where angels wings were winnowing in the air...

I have to say though that observing the saints next door is a constant source of entertainment, and not just because of their loud cacophonous music since they switched their liturgical style to the ubiquitous Contemporary/Praise/Worship format a few years ago.  These people are funny as hell, oops, heck, and never cease to amaze.  Keep in mind that I am not mocking anyone’s faith here.  As a child I grew up in this church and still affirm that experience as an important part of my religious heritage.  So what happened last night that was so funny?

Well, as I was sitting there on my front steps pretty much not in tune with what was going on in the church (last night was a quiet night or something) one of my neighbours who was heading home came by and leaned over my gate and we chatted for a while.  As it was now well after 9:00 PM the service or meeting came to an end and the small gathering started leaving.  Now my back was kind of towards the church so I couldn't really see what was going on, but my neighbour could, and he began talking about how wicked churchgoers were and why he would not be numbered among them.  I began protesting that a church, as in any group of people, you will find a few rotten apples but my experience was that by and large the majority of churchgoers I know are good people.  Then he explained what he had just witnessed.

Apparently, one of the members of the church was waiting in the parking lot across the street to pick up his wife after the service (church members with vehicles routinely use this parking lot - crossing the road back and forth).  He asked her to cross the road to board the van but she refused.  Two other women who were with her crossed the road and boarded the van.  The wife’s refusal to cross the road so annoyed the husband that he pulled out of the parking lot, passed in front of her and drove off leaving her standing alone in front of the church by the bus stop.  According to my neighbour, another motorist driving by and apparently recognizing the woman stopped and offered her a ride which she also refused.  It was this latter act of refusal that pissed off my neighbour kindling his wrath against the church, and hastening the end of our conversation.

After my neighbour left I thought of turning in myself but changed my mind after recognizing that I was the only other human within the range of visibility of this damsel, oops, woman in distress; also I was half curious to find out how this story would all end.  Keep in mind that where this woman was standing in front of the church, as pictured below, about three years ago a car left the same parking lot which this woman’s husband just left and took out the church’s guardwall behind her. 


About five minutes after my neighbour left the woman took off walking south on the right hand side of the road.  She went about 200 yards and crossed the road, yes, I said crossed the road, and went into the service station.  From my vantage point I could not tell what she did after she crossed the road but I suspect she went to make a phone call.  Shortly thereafter I saw her walking back towards me and the church on the other (left hand) side of the road.  When she got in front of the church she crossed the road again and stood by the bus stop and the church’s guardwall.  Keep in mind, as pictured below, late one night about a year ago a drunk driver took out the guardwall, the bus stop and the bus shelter which up until then once stood on the site.

Well, we waited and waited for about half an hour and finally the woman’s husband came back and stopped on the left hand side of the road and invited her to come across the road and board the van.  I was a few yards away and could not quite catch all of the conversation but he was practically begging her to cross the road and she was insisting that she was not crossing the road.  The husband drove off again, but this time he pulled into the same service station his wife crossed the road twice in his absence to visit.  He spent about enough time it would take to gas up the van and returned on the right hand side of the road and stopped by the bus stopped in front of the church.  His wife opened the door, climbed in the van and they drove away.  I still don’t know why the Gospel Chicken did not cross the road, but I am sure glad to report that no feathers are on the road this morning, at least not in Road View.

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