Two Stories from the Last Two Days

I have two brief experiences from the last two days to share.

Nader’s 20th Anniversary

This past Friday marked the 20th anniversary of Nader’s arrival to these United States of America. There is a Lutheran church in Gilbert that sponsored Nader’s immigration. They invited him to attend the church service on Sunday to help celebrate the anniversary.

Nader called me and asked me to give him a ride to Gilbert and sit with him in church for this celebration. I knew I would be sad to miss my personal church service, but I figured it would be a good chance to experience a Lutheran church service. That isn’t something I’ve been exactly hankering to do, but I do kind of want to go to a Quaker service sometime.

It turns out that they had forgotten that they had invited Nader to church and were mostly confused by his presence until he explained to them why he was there. They apologized and were embarrassed and promised to have Nader back up for a proper celebration soon.

We sat down in the very back row of what looked like a very new sanctuary. However, the new digs did not translate into comfortable pews. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such uncomfortable pews. Perhaps the pews in the Lutheran church up in Boxholm are close, but not quite as bad as these.

I don’t want to bash the Lutherans because religious intolerance isn’t my bag. I will just say that the service wasn’t very exciting. About halfway through the service I looked over at Nader and saw that he had fallen asleep.

I was impressed. I have known that his capacity for dozing off during a boring movie is unprecedented, but I didn’t know it would translate to the ability to fall asleep during church. Especially in the world’s most uncomfortable pews.

I can’t blame Nader for falling asleep. He isn’t Christian. I’m not sure he has even been to a church service since before the Islamic Revolution. (Before the fall of the Shah it was okay for Muslims to attend a Christian church service. After the fall of the Shah it was a punishable offense.) The service wasn’t all that compelling. I decided to let him sleep and envied him slightly.

The Pastor began the sermon and Nader still slept. The sermon was on the parable of “The Prodigal Son”. Nader still slept. The Pastor tied the parable in with the accepting of new people. Then he referenced Nader. Everybody in the sanctuary looked at Nader. He was blissfully unaware in a state of sleep as his closed eyes pointed towards the ceiling.

After everybody looked back to the front of the sanctuary I gave Nader a shove to wake him up.

“The Pastor just mentioned you in the sermon and everybody stared at you while you were sleeping.”

“They’ll just think I was reading the program.”

“Except your program wasn’t on the ceiling.”

At the front of the sanctuary they were preparing for the sacrament of Communion.

Nader asked, “Is this about over?”

“It looks like they are doing Communion. We could be here awhile.”

“Want to sneak out?”

In reality I did want to sneak out, but I knew that Nader still had to meet with the Pastor after the service to discuss his 20th anniversary celebration.

“No, we better stay. Just don’t fall asleep again.”

Another High Quality Bowling Memory

My Monday night bowling league has started up again. I’m not particularly possessive of this league, it is merely the league that I am in. I’m not a good bowler nor do I even have a passion for the game. It is something to do with Jim and I get more than enough residual entertainment out of these nights to make it worth the effort.

Last year we had a pretty good team. We finished third in the league. However at the end of the season two of the people from the team decided to move on. I actually figured this might be the end of my bowling career. I was okay with that. I would walk away with my lowest career average, but also my highest team finish.

Jim asked me if we found a couple other guys if I would be interested in continuing. I considered the options and decided I would continue if given the opportunity. However, despite being down two guys, neither one of us did any recruiting. We decided just to tell Darryl (The Lord of the Imperial Lanes) just to give us any two guys that walked in the door. We would make them champions.

Truthfully we never claimed that we would make them champions, but we really said that we would take any two guys. Now I’m not saying that Darryl gave us the dregs of society. He didn’t. These two guys seem perfectly nice. However, they aren’t what I would say that I normally look for in a companion. Perhaps that makes me an elitist, but I can handle that label just fine.

For starters, I spent almost the first week after the first night of bowling half convinced that one of them was a murderer. I couldn’t quite remember how I knew him or his name, but I was half convinced he was a guy that murdered somebody back when I was at dear old BHS.

It turns out after some crack detective work by Lowell that he isn’t a murderer. He was just friends with the murderer.

Then during the second week of bowling one of the bowling alley employees called me over for a private conversation. She wanted me to tell the two new guys on my team that they need to improve their hygiene because they were stinking up the joint.

By their physical appearance, I would have guessed that she was probably right, but as soon as I walk into the cancer factory known as Imperial Lanes, my olfactory nerves call it a night and I can’t smell anything.

Last night was the third week of bowling. One of the new guys didn’t show up. However, the other new guy did show up and he brought a friend. Around the end of the first game, I heard the following conversation. I’m cleaning up the language and leaving vast amounts of details out just because I don’t need to relive them.

“This sucks.”

“What sucks?”

“I have to get rid of the porn on my phone.”

“That does suck. Why would you have to do something like that?”

“My kid was playing with my phone and he found the porn.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah, I know. Plus some of that was really good stuff.”

“Like that one where that girl [CENSORED].”

“I know I love the one where the girl [CENSORED] is awesome.”

I’m not what you would call an “expert” on pornography. So I was quite surprised that you could even download porn to your phone. I haven’t quite figured out what the practical purpose of having pornography on your phone would be. If anybody out there knows what it is, keep it to yourself.