Perhaps I mentioned in a previous post that Mondays are very busy for me. Checking post office boxes, posting my blog, leaving comments on other blogs, adding words to books in progress, spending an hour at Sun Sounds playing the part of Retail Man as I host the weekly program known as Retail Store Ads; these things really do fill my day. And then there is the Webinar at 7pm and the gym if I can fit it in. The latter sounds as though it might be the least creative of my activities but it is often quite the opposite. I have a routine and the other people seem to be oblivious to the needs of those who plan the events of their day and I find myself having to be much more flexible than at any other part of my life.
And, as I spend an hour on a particularly boring machine, a treadmill perhaps, I write and rewrite in a head that is not known for memorization skills, developing at best an outline for my next visit to Microsoft Word. Sometimes I must leave the treadmill to jot down keywords into my tiny spiral notebook and then return until I reach my goal. Today my thoughts were as usual, on my favorite subject, learning.
I was considering the value of those of us who spend most of our thinking time apart from the herd. I get impatient with the many who substitute rote memorization of the conclusions of others as opposed to actually doing the work themselves. I work hard for the stuff between my ears. I believe that it is dangerous hanging out with those who Know. Though these memory champs are easier to be around I am much more comfortable with and in awe of those who Know How.
So, as has been the case in the last several Mondays, I did not have time for the gym. I chose my usual alternative and took a one-hour brisk walk through Scottsdale Fashion Square. The crowds were beginning to be a nuisance. They reminded me of the randomness of community behavior at the Scottsdale Community College Fitness Center. Here I was once again, seeking unsucsessfuly to find my way through a maze of friendly, happy people as they exhibited their unpredictable, random acts of curiosity and I imagined the kind of thinking that must be going on in the mind of each person to whom I had to clap my hands or say “excuse me”. And suddenly I remembered last week’s experience with the clerk who had asked me if I was finding everything okay and how when I ran into her again later had changed her approach entirely.
As I did so I suddenly became aware that there were five chatting ladies pointing to this and that and who were walking a breast of each other, (no that wasn’t a silly male pun) and I clapped my hands and said “Excuse me” and the woman directly in front of me stopped and whirled around. “What’s your hurry?” She demanded. “What difference does it make?’ I replied. “You are blocking the way.”
“So why don’t you slow down and enjoy the Christmas Music?” I considered her suggestion for a moment, replied that I am tired of Christmas music and that it would suit me fine if I never had to listen to any of it ever again. “Where are you headed” she was really nosy, this one, “Where is it that you are in such a hurry to get to?” By now her friends and an audience of twenty other herd members had their eyes upon us. And, just as I was about to come up with a clever, crowd-pleasing response she jumped back and raised her right hand (I thought she was going to punch me) and pointing her finger in my nose said “You aren’t shopping at all. You’re forehead is covered with perspiration. You’re just exercising and you want the rest of the world to just jump out of your way.”
Inspired, I grabbed that hand of hers and squeezed it and with my other hand on her shoulder turned her a bit and said, “See that camera over there? You’re on the Stuff and Such television show” and before she could quit stammering I had found an opening in the crowd and moved on.
And now it is time for that dad gummed Webinar