Sunday, April 12, 2009

Peaceful coexistence with nature and the Earth

Why do these people always talk to me?

On my lunch break today I decided to take a quick ride to the stream to collect some small river-rocks and pebbles for my planted aquarium that I’m building for my dad. Unfortunately, the plant order I placed did not arrive before Father's Day, but it's not a big deal. The choice location is under a train track bridge, which usually does not get any foot traffic at all. But with some recent rain showers, the paved trail was muddy and a few people decided to bypass the trail via the riverbank. As I'm walking around looking for flat, round stones and pebbles with reddish hues, this guy walked up to me – sans shirt, with man-breast and spandex shorts - and asked what I was doing. Naturally, I told him about my little project. Then he started talking about how some construction company was taking truck loads of river rocks from the site for years until they were fined by the DNR. That's great you notice the small pebbles in my hand?

The conversation then began to open up when he asked about my job and he told me about his subscription to Mother Earth News. Keep in mind we're under a train track bridge and there're both metro and commercial trains going through. This guy continued to talk about how houses build these days aren't as good and about alternative building methods. When the next CSX train passed through, he switched conversation to how well train engineers were getting paid, and how the train company no longer has lookout towers to ensure everything is functioning properly – basically ends with his statement "that's why they have all these accident now...and terrorism". I failed to bring up the point on automation and computers. After a semi brief period of train talk he was back to construction and development. He started to relate weather into the topic of conversation. No doubt in my mind this guy meant well and was genuinely concerned about responsible environmental management, but he should've limited the conversation to only one topic. According to his prediction, there will be more severe storms in the near future, including a line of multiple tornadoes that will wipe out this area similar to what happened in Texas a while back. There was some pseudo-science thrown in his reasoning, but nothing groundbreaking or substantial. The images from that horrible movie Day After Tomorrow crept back into my head as he continued to explain tornadoes to me. According to that guy, the native American Indians must have been aliens and they were trying to impart their "religion' or belief in a peaceful coexistence with nature and the Earth because that was the only way change was to take place...through religion, no joke. Was that a run-on sentence? Anyway, I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to ease myself away from talking to this guy...mainly because he wasn't very good with maintaining personal space. I didn't really mind the crazy talk.

At some point he ran out of things to say about environmental catastrophes, and started talking about this awesome girl he met that he once knew twenty years ago. But, it turns out that she’s a stripper now and she doesn’t want to see him anymore because of her job. What do I say? "Daddy fugged up and now his little girl is dancing on a pole?" Except this dude is a 47-year old Italian and she is around 40. Thankfully, my Nextel radio beeped with an incoming call. Hurriedly, I told the guy I had to get back to work and he sped off jogging...breast flapping. Guess I have to get back to the stream tomorrow since I only collected a few rocks.