An Overheard Conversation24 January, 2010
I both love and hate cell phones. I hate the damned things because, when I had one, I couldn’t get away from anything. Boss has a question? He can call me while shopping. Or driving. Or whatever. I hate the damned things because I find it extremely rude when someone interrupts a conversation with a living, breathing, and present person to talk to someone who isn’t even there. I love the damned things because some of the conversations (or half-conversations) I overhear are funny as hell.
On Friday, (((Wife))) and I were walking into an overstock store (Marshalls or TJMaxx or some such (don’t laugh — I can get some good spices cheap)) to pick up a disposable pan (all my pots and pans are Calphalon, non with non-stick coating; I like having one cheap non-stick for certain situations and, when it is no longer non-stick, I just toss it). As we walked across the parking lot, I overheard one half of a hilarious cell phone conversation:
“I haven’t. In twenty years. What would I say?”
“Why the fuck do I have to tell the priest?”
“No. Seriously. Why can’t I just apologize to God? Why do I have to go through the damned priest? And how’s that gonna sound? ‘Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been twenty-one years since my last confession. This’ll take a while. Do you have an hour or two? Or should I just type it up and slide it under the screen?'”
“I know. But why can’t I just apologize straight to God?”
I was, literally, biting my knuckle (I don’t want to bite my tongue anymore (I’m surprised any of my tongue is left considering how often I have to bite it)) to keep from either saying something based on my worldview or laughing out loud. (((Wife))) even grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the store to get me further away from the woman on the cell phone.
What did I really, really, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top want to say? I wanted so much to turn to the woman and say, “You tell the priest because priests actually exist. There’s even proof that they exist. There’s no proof beyond myth and self-delusion that god or gods exist.”
Alas, I held my tongue. And (((Wife))) held my arm. And dragged me to the pot and pan section where I picked up an Italian-made non-stick pan manufactured with green technology. Which I am using tonight to brown carnitas.
(((Wife))) keeps me out of so much trouble.