Monday, October 10, 2005

Crazy as a Loon

I met one of my best friends from college in a class. A class taught by a man who insisted we call him Dr. Joe. After that, my friend and I always wanted to take a class together. Since we had radically different majors, the only thing we could find to take were philosophy classes. We could each fulfill our humanity requirements AND take classes together. We took two.

The first was Philosophy of Punishment with Dr. Stuart. He looked like William H. Macy. When we read articles written BY HIM, he would say, “and as Stuart says, blah, blah, blah.” He would refer to himself in the third person. I thought that was great.

(This is a slight tangent, but ever since these classes I have 1) wanted someone to call me Dr. NGS and 2) wanted to be able to refer to myself in the third person IN FRONT OF A CLASS.)

The second class we took together was Philosophy of Death and Dying with Dr. Dixon. The people who took this class were mostly gerontology majors. And the political scientist and the creative writer. Crazy. We just didn’t belong. And Dr. Dixon. She didn’t belong in front of a classroom. She was too nice. And sensitive. I know that the topic of death and dying is hard, but she was a little crazy about how sensitive she was about it. She let people redo their assignments if they got grades they didn’t like. She was a Midwestern lady with gray hair, slightly overweight, with just the slightest hint of sibilant s’s. Anyway, one day, she told us the following story.

Where I used to live, there was a huge oak tree in the front yard. And I would go and read under the tree during the summer, build snowmen under the tree in the winter, and I loved to rake the leaves in the fall. I just loved this old tree. And one day the city came in and said that they had to take down the tree for road expansion. And I didn’t want them to. And one day, I came home from work and the tree had been taken down. The workers were just cleaning up and removing the branches and I just sat down by the stump and cried. And cried and cried. And the workers just looked at each other as if to say, “lady you are DER-RANGED.”

The way she said deranged. As if she had suddenly popped in from southern Tennessee.

Flash forward five years. I am in love with my pickup truck. It is cute and a little pickup and is so happy. But the maintenance on it is killing me. It would be cheaper for me to pay a car payment every month than to pay the monthly bills for the upkeep on Magenta (the cute little pickup). When my father realizes this, he insists on TRADING IN Magenta and giving me his HUGE ASS MONSTROUS truck that is practically brand new. On the day when my father took the key from me and took my cute little truck to the dealer to trade in, I CRIED AND CRIED AND CRIED.

When I called my friend, the same one from the philosophy classes, as I’m sobbing, sad about the loss of my good friend Magenta, what did she say?

Lady, you are DER-RANGED.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear about the passing on of your beloved truck. FWIW, irrational affection toward vehicles is the first step to becoming a gearhead, just as the first step to becoming a veterinarian is a love for animals. Just ask BB.


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