Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on job interview day! Ouch. Anne in high heels for 10 hours. My blisters have blisters.
Well, I didn't hear from Matthew Chapman today, but I did get a comment from Bibi, my fairy friend in Berkeley Springs. If you're interested in more about Yahweh in the schools, see her comment posted below. And Bibi, the festival was once again a highlight of my year!
So, yo, it's job interview day, a whole new line of work for Annie. Not much call for goat judging in New Jersey, so I'm trying to throw myself into a different fire.
Don't nobody feel like cooking after a job interview, so I stopped at the Italian grocery store for spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Not bragging, but where I live has the best Italian food outside ... well ... Italy.
So there's this old dude in there ahead of me at the counter. He turns around out of the blue and asks, "Do you wanna hear a story?"
I say, "Yeah, of course!" I love stories.
He starts into this long thing about loving this girl in 8th grade and being unable to say anything about it because he was too shy. But he's telling it all in the third person, like he's writing it in his head as he goes. Of course the upshot is that, here he is 75, married 50 years, and he gets the phone number of this girl (presumably no longer in 8th grade herself). He calls her and talks to her on the phone for 90 minutes. Then he gets her some CDs of Frank Sinatra. But the next time he calls, he gets her daughter on the phone, and the daughter is religious and thinks he's a dirty old man, to be flirting when he's married. So, what do I think he should do?
(The real telling went on about 10 minutes and was very dramatic.)
I say the daughter shouldn't parent her parent unless the old girl is senile, which a 90 minute phone conversation doesn't indicate.
Then he expresses his opinion of religion, which is pretty much the same as mine, i.e., it's between you and your deities.
I'm listening to this dude, and I'm hearing his story. But I'm also hearing a fabulous South Philly accent of a previous generation. I love accents and dialects. It's weird, I know. I just like to listen to people talk when they talk from a region.
I tell him I'm a writer. Well. Then he really launches. He gives me his phone number, says he could tell me a whole novel's worth of stuff because he ran with the mob.
This was no dodge. You can tell an authentic mobster from a poser. This guy might have been exaggerating his proximity to Sinatra, but the rest of it was true dat. He recounted some stuff I remembered from when a friend of mine worked the mob beat for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 1980s. Stuff that didn't make the papers, if youknowwhuddimean.
Again I'm hearing him, but I'm also listening to a mob guy talk with a mob accent. He's dropping names like no one would dare if they weren't 75 and living in Lancaster. He also knows his stuff, like how to skim bookies by using arbitrage. (He didn't call it that, but that's what it was. It's complicated.)
To make a long sermon short, I got an earful of wonderful accent and probably slightly tall tales (but not all that damn tall). Stood there in the Italian market for 30 minutes. My peeps weren't missing me because they thought I was still interviewing.
I'm not gonna call him for more of the same. If you haven't noticed, the mob is kind of like one of those big royal families in Medieval times, fighting against other big royal families in Medieval times. Hard to keep the players straight. Name after name after name, level after level. Maybe more like the Masons than the Medieval royals.
If you have a great regional accent, call me. (That rules out Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura, thank goodness. Dr. Phil does make the cut.)
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS