Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Das Boot ("A journey to the edge of the mind")
This morning, boys and girls, I want to tell you all about the 'mini-drama' that happened in the midst of some serious Diocesan Convention drama.
I had worn my black boots to Convention because I knew we'd be walking from the Robert Treat Hotel (where the business portion of Convention was conducted) to Trinity and St. Phillip's Cathedral, Newark, for the opening Eucharist.
It was C.O.L.D. and they kept my feet warm. I was glad I wore them. My heart and soul were even more deeply warmed that we had such a wonderful witness on the streets of Newark.
When we got back to the hotel, however, it didn't take long for my feet to get hot. So, I took my boots off and put my shoes on. I knew we'd be coming back to the same table for dinner after the hearings, so I slid my boots under the table. I thought I'd take them home with me at the end of the evening.
Except, when I got back to the table for dinner (which was TWO HOURS LATE), my boots were gone. I checked with the folks at Convention Arrangements and they assured me that I could get them in the morning at "Lost And Found".
Saturday morning began with the Women's Commission Brunch at 6:45 AM followed by Eucharist at 8:30. I began checking Lost and Found around 10:30 - without any luck.
It was only after it was announced that lunch would be an hour late (indeed, that some of our Diocesan staff were "downstairs" helping to make sandwiches!!!), that I started to fear I'd never see my boots again.
The Secretary of Convention, who has been organizing our conventions for at least 20 years, got so frustrated that he actually announced, "I've learned something this week end. I've learned that 'incompetence' is spelled R-O-B-E-R-T T-R-E-A-T."
By 3 PM, I decided to go directly to the management office at Robert Treat. A very well dressed and neatly coiffured woman behind the desk starting dialing Housekeeping as she listened to me tell my story to the Manager.
"Good news!" she called over from her desk. "We found your black boots."
"Wonderful!" I said, "where can I pick them up?"
She looked over at me, smiled, looked me in the eye and actually said these words: "She said she gave them to a man with a collar."
My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe my ears. I looked at her. She was still smiling happily, like she had solved the mystery and done A Very Good Thing.
I gulped and said, "Um. . . a man with a collar? Did you get a name?"
Our Little Ms. Chirpy Clueless, looking a little confused and befuddled by my reaction, said into the phone, "Did you get a name?"
When the voice on the other end of the phone responded, it finally sank in. She looked at me and said sheepishly, "Um . . Father?"
I am not making this up.
See comment above about how to spell 'incompetence'.
Well, all's well that ends well.
I got an email yesterday afternoon. My black boots had been found. Thanks be to God!
I mean, it's not like they were brand new. In fact, I think they were old enough to vote. I remember getting them on sale for like $15 or $20. That's not the point. There were lots of memories in those boots. We had walked many miles together over some pretty rough times. And, they were Very Comfortable.
Good thing they were found. I had gotten the name of the Director of Best Western Hotels (which "owns" or manages the RTH) and was planning to write a scathing letter about the Really Bad service we had gotten.
Instead, I wrote this post because I just had to tell someone. As I've said so many times before, writing is a way for me to stay sane. Some might argue that it doesn't have much efficacy. You should see me when I don't write.
Sometimes, life is more interesting than I'm ready for. People, on the other hand, never fail to be fascinating.
No wonder God created us. Our entertainment value alone makes us priceless.
Problem is, we are not God and we are often not amused by each other.
Which is why, I think, God created chocolate.
More on this great theological insight later. I'll say this much: Forrest Gump was right. Life is like a box of chocolates. Some times you get a sweet cherry. Sometimes you get a nut. And sometimes, you get a gooey, sticky mess.
Good thing I love chocolate.
Right now, I've got to find another pair of boots to wear in this morning's snow. I'll be so glad to get my old pair back this afternoon.