Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Day

Most of today's post will be music in honor of Martin Luther King and the things he stood for and fought against. How fitting that the observance of King's birthday is today, the day before we inaugurate Barack Obama, who's jubilant elevation was made possible by King's work, among others. It's very satisfying to celebrate both men at the same time.

It was a good weekend. The stairs are refinished and stunning. We spent Sunday afternoon watching the spectacular concert from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We didn't wish for a single second that we were there among the crowds, as happy as they seemed to be. The show was made for TV and we had better seats than the Obamas, enclosed as they were in bullet proof glass. The show was extremely well done considering the short preparation time allowed, and it was a good mix of great celebratory music and civic religion. These things can be hokey, but this wasn't.

I had two back-to-back "what are we coming to?" experiences at stores yesterday. I went to the Home Depot looking for tack cloth. I'm sure you know what tack cloth is: cheesecloth impregnated with sticky stuff that you use to remove dust from surfaces you've just sanded. Well, the lady at the Home Depot, who even spoke English as her first language, didn't know what it was. I repeat: a harware store employee had never heard of tack cloth. Now, she had heard of sandpaper, and she was quite agressive in her repeated suggestions that I buy that, as she led me all over the store looking for this other item she'd never heard of. Maybe she wanted me to praise her for knowing about sandpaper? I finally found the tack cloth myself and showed her what it was. For all her concern for my welfare, in the end she couldn't have cared less.

From there I went to the grocery store, where I tried to get my customary amount of cash back at the do-it-yourself checkout. I wasn't allowed, the limit having been suddenly drastically reduced. I asked the cashier on duty at the DIY stand if this was some new policy or if, perhaps, there was a temporary cash shortage. This question was, however, apparently much too complicated. With great pride she explained to me all the wonderful services the store provides, never once understanding what I asked her, even in my best English for foreigners. The only way I'll get an answer will be to try again. Aarrrggh. I welcome immigrants. I was one myself in another country. I know their trials, I feel their pain. But please.........

3 comments:

Zoey and Me said...

I thank you for your comment over at the Cat, good one! I agree. and isn't it cool to have MLK and a newly elected, first black, president at the same time. Was it planned?

Ralph said...

Z&M: Planned? How nice to imagine...

Eclecticity said...

But they got a job... sha na na na...