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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ma’am, Do You Have a Permit to Carry That?

Sometimes, on the bus, you want to look anywhere but, oh, ahead, up, or over there. The antics of human beings, even if said beings are fascinating creatures and our brothers and sisters in a Brotherhood of Man sort of way (a phrase I always see in my head as capitalized, no doubt because of my hippie-infused, 70s-style education) sometimes do not bear close inspection.

Not that I’m judging.

Still. It’s a city bus, and when you can no longer bear noticing that little Ray-Ray’s being supplied a baby bottle full of Tahitian Treat, that the guy at the front of the bus just may have a sinus infection of some sort, or that the girl standing in the aisle next to you is wearing a stained pair of pants whose bottom ironically proclaims itself “Juicy”, then you do, no doubt, what generations of cave men did before you.

You go searching through your purse.

How long, for example, has this receipt been here? Did I really buy a pound of bridge mix? Whose phone number is this? Should I call it? How old is this gum?

And where did I get this rock?

It’s a rock. I stare at it, careful not to pull it out of my purse, fearful that it be deemed a weapon by some heretofore missing Bus Security.

It is the rock my father gave to me for Easter.

“Pearl, Pearl,” he proclaims, enjoying himself. “Your mother and I have too much stuff for the house but not enough for a garage sale. You want any of this?”

Hmm. A sun hat. A pair of shoes. Drinking glass holders that screw into the ground. A popcorn popper.

And a rock.

“What the –“

“Isn’t that nice?” Dad holds it up, examines your standard sedimentary rock. “Your mother just loves rocks, you know.” He shouts into the kitchen. “Isn’t that right, Midge? Don’t you just love rocks?”

“For cryin’ out loud, Paul,” my mother bellows back. “You’re gonna make the cat go into labor.”

As a quick aside, it appears Midge’s Home for Wayward Kittehs is back in business. The current abandoned cat, a sleek black teenager who goes on to have a litter of five two days later spends the day waddling from outstretched hand to outstretched hand, hoping that a slice of ham will fall from it.

I pick the rock up. I suspect my love of rocks is an inherited condition, like high arches or chancre sores. There were large walls made entirely of rocks at my grandparents’ farm. My mother, sister, and I all have rock arrangements in our gardens.

“I’ll take the rock,” I say, shoving it into my purse.

“Pearl’s taking the rock, Momma!” my dad yells.

“That’s great, Paul,” my mother deadpans. “You feel free to keep that to yourself now.”

My dad winks at me, places an index finger along the side of his nose in an old-school sign of acknowledgement. “She loves it, your mother. She loves when I yell at her from another room.”

The rock is still in my purse, and I find myself smiling absentmindedly.

I got a rock for Easter.

45 comments:

Daisy said...

I'll never look at another rock without thinking of you Pearl! I have a little collection myself!

Simply Suthern said...

LOL, I come from a family of hollarers on my dads side. They were all in the same room when they did it and no one listened to the other.

I would have thought it was a sinus infection of some SNORT?

Your mom was a strong woman. LOL

haphazardlife said...

I always end up with my bag or pockets full of stones. I imagine I just absentmindely pick them up - or else they just jump there on their own.

- Jazz

The Jules said...

You just made me glance at the small but aesthetically pleasing rock collection on my window sill that has now been claimed by my 4-year-old son.

Rox is purdeh.

Drake Sigar said...

I had a pet rock once, it’s name was bob.

Joshua said...

Didn't Charlie Brown get a rock? That was for Halloween.

jabblog said...

Your family sounds so interesting. Well, they must be, or where would you have come from?

ellen abbott said...

we had quite a rock collection when we were doing traveling vacations. they have all sunk into the earth, back from whence they came, by now.

Leenie said...

It's already been a crappy morning. Thanks for the smile. WAY and Rock On.

Bossy Betty said...

You are granted permission to carry that rock with you the rest of your life, honey.

Oilfield Trash said...

A rock for Easter is more than what I got.

Grant said...

Nobody ever gives me a rock. My life is so sad.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I found a heart shaped rock in my basement and set it carefully aside, imagining myself using it in some kind of youth teachign encounter or sermon illustration. Which is odd, considering I'm a 911 dispatcher. And a Catholic.

Susan in the Boonies said...

On my last expedition into the frightening world that is my daughter's bedroom (it's the mess that's is mind-numbingly, paralyzingly frightening), on examining the underbelly of her bed, I found enough rocks to have caused the second floor of our home to collapse into the first floor of our home. We gathered them up, took them downstairs to the porch, and had a huge "The Yarding of the Rocks" celebration off the edge of the porch, into the woods. (I live, after all, in the Boonies. We make our own fun here.) There's nothing like getting stoned with your daughter, I always say.

Courtney said...

There's probably some Christian symbolism to getting a rock for Easter. St. Peter ... Peter Rabbit ... see, it works on both secular and non-secular levels!

Marianna Annadanna said...

Such a cute post! My "Commuter Chronicles" are not nearly as sweet.

Doubting Thomas said...

Awesome. Just Awesome. Do you loan out your parents for the weekend? My aren't nearly as much fun. I can provide the bus fare ;)

Eva Gallant said...

You are so unique. As is your family. I suppose that explains it. Don't ever change.

Glen said...

Everyone loves rocks!

SeaD said...

I love rocks! I also love your bus stories. My bus is very similar, but I could never put it into words as well as you do, Pearl. Thanks for the laugh.

Pearl said...

Thursdays are always difficult days for me, on a work level. These comments have me grinning over here.

I better cut it out before someone suspects that I'm up to something. :-)

Donna said...

Thanks Pearl for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog...I was in Serious need of a Good story!Hahaaa....loved it!
hughugs

becca said...

my son loves to collect rocks

Jhon Baker said...

Always good to have a rock around.

Gigi said...

Ahhh rocks! You take me back, Pearl. Back to the days when Man-Child was a little guy and would collect all sorts of rocks and tell me, "Here, hold these." handing me his treasures. Which I would then have to stuff in my pockets and carry for the rest of the day. Yeah, rocks are good.

Julianna said...

I gave Almost Hubs a brick for Christmas last year.

Of course it was a comemerative brick, at the Nascar hall of fame, inscribed with his name, built into the building's walls....

...but when people asked, he simply said

"Juli gave me a brick."

David L Macaulay said...

probably a northern thing - I had a hippie influences 70s enducation - I'd get told of by teachers if I suggested Romania was anything other than eutopia.

David L Macaulay said...

told off and utopia even - doh, so much for my crap education.

injaynesworld said...

A rock. You can even make a damn rock seem charming. And I think I love your dad, too.

Bambam said...

Rock on, Pearl!

Lazarus said...

You have cool parents Pearl!

Cloudia said...

you have so much texture!


Aloha from Waikiki


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24 Corners said...

Well I'm a rock hound too Pearl, glad to know there are others who also appreciate these beautiful chunks of earth! Midge and Paul had me laughing out loud, had to put my hand over my mouth...they should have their own show..."The Midge and Paul Hour", it'd be a hit, and you could help write for it, although improvisation might be the ticket with those two!
Glad you had such a nice Easter...they make chocolate rocks you know!
xo J~

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Pearl:
What an absolute treat your stories are. Witty, succinct, poignant, intelligent, and very cleverly written. We must have more of them, and so have signed up to Follow!!

We loved what you say 'About Me' - and have laughed a great deal at your engaging style.

Thank you so much for the comment left on our latest post, and for the prvious one. We shall very much hope to see you again.

Pat said...

We all need the odd rock in our lives. I'd be lost without mine.

the walking man said...

A rock is better for your waistline than Easter candy but harder on your teeth.

Bushman said...

Simply put, when I read your posts a movie plays in my head. Great stuff. You have a talent here and I thank you for sharing!
(sharing for free---for now:)

Betty Davis said...

Cherish your Rock, Pearl. It is a very special rock because there is a memory attached to it. Whenever you pick this rock up and hold it in your hand you will remember the day you got it and the wonderful parents who enriched your life.

Love your blog. Reading it in the morning means I start my day with a smile.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Actually, a rock is a pretty symbolic gift to receive at Easter! Funny;)

The Inside said...

I like rocks so much that I've got them in my head! :)

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! Our Lord and Saviour got a rock for Easter, too. But yours is slightly easier to move. Indigo

Pat Tillett said...

Great post Pearl!
A rock feels no pain and an island never cries...

River said...

I have a small rock about 2 inches by 2 inches, it's Australia shaped, with happy mother's day painted on it in red.

Red Nomad OZ said...

I guess you're not going to die wondering if Easter eggs and/or chocolate are the only gifts worth getting then ...

And who knows when those Pet Rocks from the 70's are going to make a comeback?!?!

imtsmom said...

Oh Pearl, you're so fun!I've come to believe that Florida doesn't make it's own rocks - just shells and coral. Why would that be? I love rocks. Can you bring some down? I'll trade you for a pretty shell...