Monday, April 21, 2008

Drinking, Smoking, and Bumping into People

A general update as to my comings and goings as of the last several days:

Saturday - Went to a Cubs game in the afternoon. The weather called for rain, so I planned ahead and brought my umbrella, complete with precautionary rape whistle. Of course, this meant that it was hot and sunny for the entire game, and I was thoroughly mocked. Whatever - I know that the only reason that it didn't rain was because I had my umbrella, so all of those jerks in the bleachers should have been thanking me.

Sadly, the Cubs lost. And they didn't just lose - they got crushed. By the Reds. On the plus side, this meant that by about the seventh inning the scene in the bleachers had degenerated to the point where men were taking off their shirts, women were pulling down their pants, and everyone else was doing whatever they could to distract security. Never underestimate the power of drunks in large groups. As Homer says, "Alcohol - the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."

Also, I got to see Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a home run.

P.S. - I have not yet decided to be a Cubs fan. On the plus side, they're in the NL, so I could root for them without angering any of my Red Sox or Indians friends. Plus, they're cursed, which is always a good reason to root for a team. On the down side, they've lost 100% of the time I've gone to see them. We'll see. I'm going to a White Sox-Yankees game later this week. Let's see how that goes before we pass anymore judgments.

Tuesday - Like I said, my "Negative Certitudes" class is awesome, but it is also very long. Because it's a three hour seminar class, we get a ten minute break at the midway point. So I went outside to have a cigarette. While I was smoking, I didn't see my professor sneak up behind me. "I am glad to zee zat you are a smoker," he said. I turned around, and probably gave out a little gasp. The guy was right behind me, and by right behind me I mean that our noses were virtually touching. (He's pretty short.) It was lucky that I didn't accidentally burn out one of his retinas with the end of my cigarette.

Bryson says in his book that people from the Continent (and there may be seven continents, but there's only one Continent) tend to need less personal space between them and their conversation partner. So when a Frenchman is speaking with an American, the talk usually follows the pattern of the former inching closer and closer while the latter tries politely yet desperately to back away. In my situation, this problem was compounded by the fact that (a) there was a wall behind me, and (b) he was my professor. So I couldn't really tell him to go away and let me finish my cigarette in peace. So we chatted rather awkwardly about the weather and how he still smokes even though he has pretty serious health issues. So that was neat. Plus, he knew Derrida. Also neat.

Sunday - A guy I almost bumped into at the grocery store said, "Excuse me, governor." It made my day.

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