January 8, 2010

At 2 in the afternoon, lunch places are always filled the most random groups of people. Not people who would ever intentionally gather together, but more of the group you might come across at the DMV, collectively eying the clock and grumbling how there’s 34 more numbers until theirs is called.

These people aren’t angry, though. Why would they be? A full salad bar and 8 different soups to choose from. Who could be angry with that?

“It’s funny, I used to work here in high school and there are a lot of the same people still working here. That lady that rang us up at the cash register… she is crazy. Like, one day she tried to get me to watch her cast a Wicken spell.”

For a girl so young, Sarah has so many life stories. Interesting stories. She once told me about visiting Scotland to open a new restaurant for the company she was working for. Why they need a rib joint in Scotland is beyond me. I guess the Scots need all-you-can-eat ribs on Monday, too.

“So, wait, because she has a different religion than you that makes her crazy?”

“Because she thinks she can cast spells, THAT makes her crazy.”

Comparing religions is never uninteresting.

“What’s the difference between her reading a sentence or two out loud and thinking that will cast a spell and you asking to an invisible man in the sky for help?”

“…because mine works.”

I’m wondering if there is a difference between faith and self-deception. Not that it would matter.

“Well, I guess it’s the same as any two different opinions. I mean, she could believe the Earth was flat, and you could believe the Earth is round. While these are two equally valid opinions, the fact of the matter is that one of you is right, and the other isn’t.”

It’s a good thing religions don’t need evidence.

“You talk yourself out of everything.”

“I know. Ah, what are you gonna do?”

The soup bar is looking at me again. I just hope I don’t run into another senior citizen asking for soup without meat, tomatoes, potatoes or anything else that resembles whole food in it. This isn’t a broth bar, Ms. I couldn’t tell if the Spanish lady wiping up ladle dribbles didn’t speak well-enough English to help the old woman, or if the old woman’s question was too annoying for her to deal with. Tough call.