Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I didn't use to DO holidays


I don't DO holidays -- at least I didn't DO holidays in NYC. Ignoring them was a pleasure. Here I am in the land of men in aprons cooking hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, women cutting watermelons into dozens of neat slices, chips and puffs and dips and salads. So much good clean fun -- these are seriously religious people who don't DO beer or wine let alone anything harder. But they are both good and nice people although a seriously competitive spirit erupts in croquet -- although no gloating by the winners.

The sun was high and hot in the late afternoon and by the time the cookies and coffee appeared the shadows were chilly and out came the hoodie sweatshirts. This was the essence of American "good life", everyone attractive, soft voiced and polite. For my taste it went a bit over twhen the minister whose home we were at, related that he ha only smoked a cigarette once in his life when he was six and his eight year old brother was afraid to try it so got the innocent babe to take a couple of puffs, which made him very sick and which his mother happened to witness and gave him a serious spanking. Likewise, he only once said a curse word -- "and that was the worst one" said he, but didn't say which. And again Mom heard him, told him what it meant and why he must never use it again -- and he hasn't. "If you hear anything more about me it's all untrue," said he. I don't remember the possibly ironic, possibly slightly insulting, apparently not humorous remark that escape my uncensored lips. Any man somewhere in the middle of life who has only those two "sins" to confess to is either lying or insufferably priggish and unimaginative as well. I suppose whatever I said - I honestly don't remember, it was relatively mild like "well, there's certainly a lot one could make up" -- got immediately repressed as all negativity seems to be.

I guess I'm hopelessly subversive for the only reasonably interesting conversation I had was with a woman who has done long mission stints in Southern China. I said I deeply dislike the Chinese government especially for their treatment of Tibet. She did not defend the Chinese government but also seemed unaware that they take a dim view of Christians, not quite on a par with the Falun Gong. Real politics seemed not to figure into life. I guess I forgot about the goody-two shoes life a long time ago. Yes, indeedy-di, we aren't in the gritty Big City among these well kept houses and the family-size vehicles.

Oh, I guess I was even a bit more subversive when I asked about a much advertised local event called Fugawi weekend, which includes a sailboat race and a gala -- all to rsise money for charity. I assumed others had heard how or why some group chose that name. A couple people said to me with perfectly straight faces that it was the name of an Indian tribe. "You haven't heard the joke?" I asked. Well, one guy had but he supposed there was a real Fugawi tribe. This level of innocent boggles my mind -- to the extent that I Googled the word and found that the only Fugawi Tribe is a motorcycle group -- which makes sense. At any rate there are apparently elsewhere in this almost lily-white community some people who know the joke and think it good fun to have a Fugawi weekend festival for a good cause. I hope someday to meeting someone who knows the origin or orignator of the local event.

1 comment:

Helen Conway said...

I don't know the joke but once I muttered the name out loud I was thinking that maybe I could guess the punchline! Is it similar to the joke about Wigan a fairly dismal industrial town near me? Prince Andrew is invited to open the new golf course., He turns up wearing a big Fedora made of fox fur with a tail down the back. No one says anything and he plays all 18 holes wearing it. But,as tongues loosen in the 19th hole someone is brave enough to ask him about it,
"Oh," he says." The Queen asked me what my duties were today and when I told her I was coming here she said,'Wear the fox hat'."

Keep up the subversiveness - it is such fun. And who is that(lying) minister guy you got there: some descendant of George Washington or what?!