Weird Thursday

Is Thursday universally regarded as the weirdest day of the week? It should be, and not just because of the bizarre stuff that’s happened to me today. I mean, it’s right there in the name. “Thursday.” That is an N and a G and an E away from being an anagram for “Strange, Hudy?”. Come on, people. Preach the controversy.

Anyway. About three occurrences in I decided to keep a running tally of how many offbeat things I encountered or happened to me today. I reached five. Here they are, for your reading amusement, in chronological order (except four and five, because four is better and I wanted to end on it).

1. Mysterious Bathroom Smells!

And with that single line, half of you have closed the window and moved onto someone else’s ramblings. That’s called power.

But really, there are just some smells you don’t expect to encounter in certain rooms in the house. For instance, incense in the garage would be weird, right? Well, so is the smell of sweet and sour sauce in the shower. And for five terrifying seconds, I was sure I was having a stroke.

Basically this, just my brain instead.

Then, when bodily functions remained on schedule, I spent the rest of the shower thinking there was something terribly wrong with the shampoo. It was only when I got downstairs and discovered my housemate Sai had been actually cooking sweet and sour… something, I assume cat, that I figured it was just the vents that had gone terribly wrong.

2. Skydozer!

I live pretty close to the Renton Municipal Airport, so planes flying overhead is pretty par for the course. One just did it now. And there’s another. God. They’re like children. What I’m saying is, it’s not that strange for me to leave the house, look up, and see a plan flying pretty low overhead. Except this morning I saw this:

Except not on the ground. IN THE SKY.

Still not sure how to deal this one. It clearly had a sort of protrusion on the front of the plane, yet it was also clearly a jet engine craft. No propellors. Still no idea.

3. Gas Pump Troubles.

Somewhere, there’s a blues musician who’s mad at me because I just stole the name of one of his songs. This wasn’t weird, so much, as it was annoying as balls. On my way to work, I stopped by the gas station to put gas in my car. A novel concept, but I like to skirt the edge. I pull up to one pump, go through the payment steps, start pumping away, and it stops at 55¢. Refuses to continue, like I’m some sort of turtle at a harlequin party. Well, nuts to that, I say! Nuts indeed. So I went to the next pump. Went through all the exact same foreplay, and when the time came, 55¢.

As did the third and fourth pumps. I gave up, and went on to work.

4. What?!

Work was pretty average, which is to say, odd. I work with odd people with oddly arrested senses of humor, so even the strange stuff they do is still pretty run of the mill. I gotta say, though, I had fun when I discovered someone’s label printer, and was able to go around renaming everybody’s computer monitor brands. My personal favorite was “Buttstuff.”

That’s a tangent. The real “What?!” moment came at the end of the workday. As some of you surely know, every Thursday I run a kid’s group at the MSC emergency shelter. Tonight, however, St. Columba’s Episcopal church hosted a dinner for all the families, so there was a big hectic event, plenty of kids, lots of fun. I took a couple pictures, they’re up on La Cara Libro. But worth mentioning is that the emergency shelter’s community center is not a large building. In fact, it’s no bigger than any of the houses, it’s just had a few walls rearranged. So it’s crowded, and my job is to be smoozin’ everybody to make sure the kids come back next week for the regularly scheduled programming. So I’m all over the room, the whole night. But at one point, one of the deacons of the church (a group of six awesome overweight old guys), pulls me aside and lets me know that:

“In the court system, we say that someone your size could eat the hay off the top of the bale.”

I get it. I’m a big dude. I can rock the house. Maybe put a guy in the hospital, if it came to that. (Unofficial weird moment number 3.5: Catching my reflecting in the window, and thought to myself, “I’m not half as ugly as I thought I was. Oh look, if I stop slouching, I actually look like a man!”) But what makes this quote so fucking bizarre is that he said “in the court system”! If it had been, “Back on my daddy’s ranch, etc., etc.” then sure makes perfect sense. But how many hay bales are you running into in the municipal building?

5. Talkin’ Dirty With A Holy Man

Like I said earlier, this happened before #4, but it’s just such a topper. Shortly into the start of the dinner, J.R. (didn’t catch his last name, and I can’t be bothered to grab my wallet to look at his card), the pastor at St. Columba’s, showed up and joined in the festivities. Polite introductions are made, blah blah blah, grew up in Ireland, parents were missionaries, went to SPU, you know the drill.

“Oh?” he says. “I just read a very interesting article about SPU in The Stranger.”

I immediately pick up on this thread, and we commiserate on how we’re both pretty sure we know people whose stories show up in that article. It was great. And I don’t know how we got there, but somehow the Holy Land came up, and the padre mentioned that every couple years he takes a group of students there, and they meet other students from around the world, and one time, one of the foreign students comes to his and asks, “J.R., what is this work, ‘fuck’? It seems like a very useful word.”

It is an incredibly versatile word, I assured him, and he agreed, to the point that it has become an injoke amongst him and his colleagues that, when they’re in the mood (a foul one, generally speaking), they just say “Now seems like a good time for a really useful word.”

And then, in the middle of this story, one of the kids who came along with the church group comes up to us and asks, “What word is really useful?” We didn’t tell him.

Later, when I told the Padre about my running tally of strange things, and how our conversation pretty much topped them all, his only answer was, “Well, I mean, we’re Episcopalian.”

You are indeed.

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