No Feast 'til Brooklyn
There's always time to kill before a feast, since our band leader usually has us arrive far too early. We arrived at 10:30 AM for a 12:30 procession, briefly playing one tune during the 11:00 AM mass. Sitting around I got into an interesting discussion with my friend Bill, a veteran trumpet player well into his 70s, a little older than my dad. He was insisting that cigarette smoking is not addictive, because anyone who inhaled secondhand smoke would have a desire to light up themselves. It was thin “science” at best, and surprising since he's knowledgeable in most other scientific areas. I think it's mostly denial about the fact that he can't quit. He further argued that he can give it up any time, and that's another reason it's not addictive, since he has given it up before. When I asked what was the longest period of time he gave it up for, he shrugged and said, “about a few hours.”
Once the procession got under way, the day moved quickly. It's always fun to walk in the street, although at one point I got melted tar on one of my shoes. We played a lot of songs which was rough since this is only the second time I've picked up the instrument this year, but I managed. At the end of the gig we were invited in to the church's adjoining school, where refreshments and food were being served to the congregation in the auditorium. We sat in a nearby classroom, when a quartet of small boys came in looking for trouble. They ignored us when we cautioned them against going through the teacher's desk drawers. All they found was some construction paper and a collection of small plastic straws, but one boasted about finding a knife last year. I can only hope he meant a letter opener, and that the object was not taken by him. They next found some wooden rods and at first one played the role of teacher, writing the word “detention” on the board and striking it with the stick, no doubt reenacting a personal experience. It wasn't long before they were dueling, rolling around on those cool sneakers with hidden wheels that I wish I had when I was a kid. When they nearly broke our snare drum, we all yelled at them to leave. After finishing our cookies and soda, it was time to head home, and passing the imps in the hall I heard one gleefully tell his crew, “Oh good, they're LEAVING!” I can only assume the Sunday school teacher is going to find the room trashed, and I have no idea where any of these kids' parents were.
Driving home the traffic was as good as it was coming home. Gas prices around here have skyrocketed recently, $3.19 in most places for the cheapest octane. Listening to the radio yesterday, I heard The Radio Chick outline the equally useless solutions being presented by our government. The Republicans want to issue a $100 rebate check to consumers to normalize the jump, which one of the Chick's sidekicks was quick to note would cover TWO tanks of gas for him. Just as useless, the Democrats are proposing lifting the tax on gasoline for two months, allowing gas stations to charge lower prices. Of course, after two months the prices would go right back up. Bill tried to draw a comparison for my dad and I between gallons of gas and gallons of anything else, from milk to spring water. However, while the price has gone up for those items, it's been a gradual result of inflation and not a sudden leap of 15 cents overnight. Also, I don't go through a gallon of milk anywhere near as fast as I go through gasoline. Feast season has officially started though, so I'll be driving to Brooklyn and other locations quite frequently the next few months, going through even more fuel.