I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Just Where are You Lookin’, Buddy?

The man on the corner of 9th and Nicollet is standing on an overturned milk crate.  What is probably a bible of some sort is held overhead, with one hand, while the other gesticulates wildly at the throngs of people passing by him.

It is summer in Minneapolis, a glorious and brief three- to four-month fete of green Green GREEN, of dresses, of sun-hungry skin and ridiculously thin-soled shoes. We spread our arms and fly through the long days, our eyes open, the corners of our mouths up.  Bright-eyed and brimming over with the unfettered simplicity of summer, our shoveling/car-engine jumping/have-you-seen-the-heating-bill exhaustion of winter behind us, we breathe in every moment of warm air as if it were a gift.

We are light-headed and woozy, in love with the easiest of seasons.

It is the lunch hour, more or less.  My heels click on the sidewalk as I approach the corner of 9th and Nicollet and the man on the milk crate.

“Cover your shame!”

I look up, point at myself:  Who?  Me?

“Yes, you!” he shouts.  “Cover your shame!  For the Lord sees your shame and knows your wantonness!”

I frown, pausing, the click of my heels slowing.  Wantoness! I think, Holy moley, what’s he lookin’ at?   I glance down at the front of my shirt, at the length of my skirt.  This skirt, after all, tends to slowly rotate, clockwise, when I walk.  Too long a walk, and eventually that cute little slit in the back works its way to the front…

I reach to feel the seam that should be running down my backside. 

It’s still there.

There is nothing wrong with this outfit.

I look up at him as I pass. 

“It is upon the flock to bring the wayward woman back, to call her to return!” he shouts. “Cover your shame!”

I give him a thumbs-up, call out to him.  “You’re doin’ a helluva job!" I say.

But he has moved on already, and I am just another nameless, errant woman.  “Cover your shame!” he bellows toward the woman behind me, another woman in a skirt.

And switching her attention from her phone to where he stands on his milk crate, the woman behind me flips him off.

31 comments:

Shelly said...

The opening of summer is also the opening of mating season for weirdos. You did well to resist his charms.

George Turnbull said...

Got any pictures of where he was looking? I'll check for defects hurhurhur!

Steve said...

Good read.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Not me, I'm not covering my shame! Here it is, buddy! Look at my shame!

Delores said...

It was a long winter...he probably went insane waiting for spring.

Pearl said...

Bless his heart -- as my friends in the South say! -- he's out there every Thursday once the weather allows it. I appreciate his sincerity, I just wish he'd shut up sometimes.

ellen abbott said...

He should practice what he preaches and cover that mouth of his.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

That dude needs a girlfriend.

Douglas said...

He obviously isn't sincere... otherwise he'd be there even in the worst of winter. Summertime preachers are like "Summer soldiers" or "sunshine patriots."

Franklin Bruce Taylor said...

You wouldn't want to flip off one of those guys in Arizona. He might be holding a gun in his other hand.

vanilla said...

You took the high road; the woman behind you apparently missed the turn-off.

Or, you saw the humor; she was turned-off.

Geo. said...

There's a line vaguely like that in Psalm 44, but your street-preacher's version is mixed up. Probably just his way of saying hello.

jenny_o said...

Seems like the operative word for that guy was "woman", nothing else. If you're a woman, you're sinning.

Nah, we're not, fella.

Great comments, by the way!

Mandy_Fish said...

I recall running in a sports bra and shorts and some dude yelled at me from a passing car, "I LOVE YOUUUUUUU!"

I also recall shoving my driveway in baggie snowboarding pants, a huge, oversized snowboard jacket, a face mask and a hat …. and having some dude yell, "WHOOOOOOOOO!" at me as he drove by in his car.

I think my shame was pretty much covered. But tell him that.

Mandy_Fish said...

"shoveling my driveway"

I typed too fast.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Some people have no shame.

bill lisleman said...

That was a great come-back to say. It would be fun to go up to him and ask for directions to a random place.

Diane Tolley said...

Glad I missed him. Wouldn't mind seeing that circumnavigating skirt, though. I have a pair of pajama bottoms that do the same thing. To a point.

hoodyhoo said...

This is why you're such a better person than I am, Pearl... the last time someone told me to cover my shame, (and in WBGV, it happened a lot, usually followed by, "you harlot!") I took my top off.

Elephant's Child said...

Somehow I get the feeling he doesn't make a lot of friends on that street corner. Though rather a lot of cousins follow his lead.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Definitely, you are a far far better person than I!

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

Wacko religious zealots can be so weird.

Gigi said...

I have the same skirt!

Joanne Noragon said...

He's a well balanced man, actually. I could not take the milk crate dais, except to perdition, and the fall would be mighty.

Lin said...

What an idiot. I'm with the gal behind you.

HermanTurnip said...

By "shame" I think he means ankles. Don't you know how scandalous you are flashing them in public?

Rose L said...

He was standing on a crate,huh. I am surprised you did not say something witty, like: "Your shame is at my eye level!! Trying to show off?"
You missed the moment!

lgsquirrel said...

I suppose that in the winter time, everything would be well covered up!

Linda O'Connell said...

you should have knocked him down a notch off that soap box milk crate. Best to smile, nod and move on.

Daisy said...

I am so ready for the kind of summer you describe and the way summer makes me feel. I may have to go back and read that part again. I loved that. As for the man yelling from the street corner, I don't think I would have even noticed him because my head would have been too full of summer thoughts. :-D

Chicken said...

From the dawn of time some men have blamed women for their shame. Not most, fortunately.