Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Weekend Sightseeing

What a weekend it's been! I've been running almost full-time since Saturday, with work and play. I'm still not done yet, but I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not going to describe everything. However I saw some mighty interesting things over the past few days.

It began Friday night and Saturday with a wedding where I officiated. People are always fun to observe. Two families coming together to become one. And this wedding had many races, nationalities and cultures coming together to watch two people commit themselves to each other and to God.

On Sunday it was a two and a half hour drive to Indianapolis for the 500. Beautiful day. We watched a great race and I saw many things. I also avoided seeing a few. I managed not to see any exposed human flesh on display by the drunken fans. I'm not talking about simply skimpy outfits, I'm talking about women lifting their tops to expose themselves. Sometimes it's pretty much impossible to avoid altogether, but I was fortunate this year. I do wonder what that group of guys was yelling about as they watched something going on in the ditch running through the parking lot. I'm guessing that I'm probably better off not knowing.

I'm not sure why some people feel the need to display themselves in public. Maybe it's just a need to feel appreciated. Perhaps if the people were booing instead of cheering, the practice would stop. But I don't look for that to happen. I suppose that some will take the applause any way they can get it.

Drunken behavior is often a bit odd. I saw one rather intoxicated man who appeared to be in his 30's, who ripped down a vinyl advertising banner from the fence surrounding the speedway grounds, then wad it up and stuff it in an empty cooler -- all in full view of everyone. I don't know what he was going to do with it. I doubt that he knew what he wanted it for. He ripped the thing trying to pull it down anyway. But he strolled off with an almost-worthless hunk of vinyl signage jammed into a wet, smelly cooler. I hope he enjoys it.

I did encounter two different sets of folks with portable public address systems doing some street preaching, a la Preacher Man from this post. Actually that's not quite accurate. Preacher Man was much more loving in his approach than these characters. I heard very few of their words, but the emotions came in loud and clear. I heard hatred and venom and contempt and self-righteousness and a few other attitudes which sicken me coming from someone who purports to represent Jesus Christ. The guys were passing out tracts nearby. They approached me with a combative attitude. When I told them, "I'm already headed there, Brothers," one of them shouted after me, daring me to argue with him. I pray for those who were turned away again by the actions of a few of His followers.

Traffic is always interesting when you are in a large crowd. Some people never want to wait in line in the proper lane. They take the empty lane as far as they can go, then try to push, plead, intimidate or slip unnoticed into the line. This may save them 20 or 30 minutes, but for those in line already it makes the wait that much longer. If they would simply get into line at the rear, it would move faster for everybody. But those folks don't work toward the greater good -- they concentrate on the individual good. And the rest of us sit in line.

On the other hand, exiting the parking lot, I found a line which moved quickly to the main lane leading to the street. Near the head of the main line was a car who was just sitting there, in no hurry. She was in the way of other cars who were trying to form two exit lanes. The traffic was slow because this driver either didn't know what she was doing or didn't care to follow instructions. I guess it works both ways.

While driving home on the interstate, I saw a car on the shoulder of the oncoming lanes driving with his flashers on. As he got closer, I could see that he had no right front tire. Period. He was driving on three tires and the right front rim. Not only did he have a messed up tire, but because he chose to continue driving he surely now has a messed up wheel and possibly a few other problems. I've had the choice of what to do when I had a flat and no spare, but I've never made the choice to roll down the highway on the rim. I've got to wonder what the reason was behind that decision.

Finally after a short night of sleep Sunday night, I was off to an extended day of work on Monday. I work in the heart of Amish country, so I'm used to the sights around the area. I even discussed a couple in the post and comments last week. I've seen many strange things. Monday is usually laundry day for the Amish. While driving past, you see the neat rows of clothing hanging on the line. There is a row of dark pants, then a row of underwear, then socks, all neatly arranged on the clothesline. I drove past an Amish house Monday with the lines almost completely full of drying clothes. Everything was lined up. Then I noticed the clothes nearest the road -- a line of white t-shirts. All plain. Except the one on the near end. Across that shirt was the logo for Hooters Restaurant! I wondered if the family knew what the words on the shirt meant. Probably not. But still. . .

One more day of work, then I can rest my eyes. Thanks to all those who left comments and suggestions for more writing. I'll get to it when my mind clears!

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