We had a Knights of Columbus Fish Fry April 20, 2018 at Holy Redeemer parish in Andrews, N.C., so as to raise money for the local Special Olympics. I would have to be there, of course, just then, in the parking lot to go up to the parish hall. As I got out of my car, a jogger, say, in his sixties, jogged up to me, stopped, and we had this conversation:
- Jogger: It’s good to see you.
- Me: Good to see you too. [But I’m wondering who he is. Bad memory, I guess.]
- Jogger: I wanted to come by and bother you but… ’cause we got conversations to have but…
- Me: O.K. [I say “O.K.”, but the plural “conversations” is a most extraordinary usage, and bothers me. I’ve never heard it before in my life. It’s always singular. Except when there are disparate topics that have been piling up, like tasks to accomplish. My bad and evil suspicions will be justified. These conversations will not be about the faith. As we’ll see below, he thinks my present life, perhaps ‘cover’, as a priest who also writes this blog, is a total waste of time, in which he has zero interest.]
- Jogger: Haven’t gotten around to it.
- Me: We’ll get there.
- Jogger: Yeah.
- Me: O.K. [So, I’m waiting for a hint. And here it is:]
- Jogger: Did you do any research on liquid metal fast breeder reactors?
- Me: No!!!!!!! That’s what I need to do!!!!!!! [Sorry, but I’m really bad and evil. I was using the loud voice of a sarcastic Matt Damon with an unrelenting Robin Williams from the few clips I’ve seen of Good Will Hunting on YouTube. My unnamed interlocutor continues with an incisive sarcasm all his own, as if my life as a
janitor – err… I mean… priest… – isn’t good enough, especially the bit about the total waste of time, he thinks, of my writing this blog. I should stop hiding away in this tiniest of all parishes. But, mind you, I absolutely love this parish in these mountains. Love it. He says:]
- Jogger: Well, I know, I mean, I know you got nothin’ else to do but write. Hahahahaha.
- Me: That would be a good one down the way. Yes, that’s for sure.
- Jogger: Now, you’re, George, right? Byers?
- Me: Yes. [Because he can’t believe my denial.]
- Jogger: Good! [[Then, as he started to jog away, he said:]] Bye! We’ll be up in a little bit.
He could see that I was a priest with all the black and the Roman collar, and that I was physically at that moment at that parish, obviously, but he still wasn’t sure of my identity (I could be a guest priest after all), so he asked if his prior knowledge of my name was correct, you know, after my denial about working on LMFBRs.
interrogations – err… – conversations are in store for me. “Researching”, mind you, on LMFBRs doesn’t refer to summaries of the history or findings of others throughout the decades, (what a waste of time that would be) but rather on the LMFBRs themselves, which is the only way to do anything, the only reason why anyone’s knowledge would have any value whatsoever. Maybe he’s offering me a job. Could be about doing active research, could be about doing something about some LMFBRs in some other way. But maybe asking about someone’s wherewithal with LMFBRs in whatever way just to do it is a normal thing at the ol’ fish-fry, right? I mean that’s a normal conversation to have, right? Maybe it’s a task to accomplish as a favor, and then, maybe, Main State will listen to a request of mine. We’ll see.
But I still expect this guy to come back with his friends and have a wee chat with me. Blog posts like this are merely one of those nothing is as it seems things, right?