Rory and Allen Get “Principled” (#16)

RORY:

What’s that on the floor?

ALLEN:

Mac and Cheese, Patti Labelle, I think. In my opinion it’s really good, try it.

RORY:

Let’s go back in the woods to eat and drink some of that stuff. Something crazy will happen.

Rory and Allen headed back into the woods and did exactly as the menu said. This time, though, they added in the mac and cheese.

RORY:

Allen, do you think there are narcotics in this? I hope not.

ALLEN:

I doubt it, but it kind of smells like a margarita. I think I’m going under its influence.

RORY:

Me, too…

The message from the goats would be different this time. Rory and Allen were taken from the James River and transported to the 9th Ward in New Orleans.

RORY:

Why are we here?

ALLEN:

I don’t know. Is this a bayou? I’m kind of clueless about this stuff. Look at that guy selling t-shirts over there.

RORY:

He looks like the carpenter from my last trip. I’ve got to know.

Rory and Allen crossed the street and approached the man selling shirts. He was wearing loose clothing and orthopedic sandals. He will not speak to Rory or Allen, but he directs them towards a fire hydrant.

RORY:

I wonder why he didn’t speak to me this time. Last time he told me about empathy. This time he blew us off.

ALLEN:

I don’t think so. Look at the fire hydrant. There is a hawk there. That has to mean something.

RORY:

Man, this is confusing. At least the goats took me right where they wanted me to go.

The hawk landed on the fire hydrant and eyed Rory and Allen like he was an assassin aiming for a shot.

THE HAWK:

Rory and Allen, I speak from your past to inform your present so that your future may influence the world.

RORY:

He talks?

THE HAWK:

Yes, I talk. Stay here (points to his eyes). Both of you know the value of shade. Both of you can see the failures and corruption of the 9th Ward. Neither of you has yet seen Marvin Gardens. Go, your “principles” are ready.

The hawk flew away and Rory and Allen awoke back in the woods at Carter’s Grove. They felt clean from their auras to their colons.

RORY:

You know what this means?

ALLEN:

We’ve got to get more mac and cheese and my goats are copacetic.

RORY:

Yep and we’ve got to go to James Blair. Something is happening there.

They got in Snowball, the old Dodge, and headed across town.

Same Names, Different Names

The people make teaching fun:

Me: What was your dad’s name again?

James: Uh, James McDevitt. James McDevitt.

Me: Did he go to school here? A long time ago, I taught a James McDevitt.

James: Uh, no. He’s from Maryland. That was his cousin that went here.

Me: What was his cousin’s name?

James: Uh, James McDevitt.

Cody: Is everybody in your family named James?

James: Uh, only on the McDevitt side. Ever since the Civil War James has been a family name.

Me: So that makes you James the tenthish?

James: Uh, no, my grandfather’s name is Earl. He wasn’t named James because his brother was James. But he named my dad James. That makes him James McDevitt, Sr.

Me: The first…

James: Uh, yeah, so I’m James McDevitt, Jr. The second.

Me: Will you name your kid James?

James: Uh, if it’s a boy.

Me: If it’s a girl will you go with Jamie?

James: Beatrice.

Priceless. School is about people…

Tee What Up

Young Kid: Ahhh, long and straight. It’s time for the whoopin’ stick. Can I try your driver?

Old Guy: Sure. Just be careful. You don’t want to screw yourself into the ground. I’d wait until that group clears. Looks like they’re looking for a ball.

Young Kid: You’re right. I just hate sitting here. I’m ready to play.

Old Guy: Nice day, cool breeze, easy time. Enjoy it. Sometimes it’s good to be still.

Young Kid: That’s what my dad says. He’s like, “if there’s too much going on, you’ll get worn out.”

Old Guy: Good for your father.

Young Kid: But then he starts preaching all of this religion stuff. I don’t buy it. What about you?

Old Guy: When I was your age I didn’t. I couldn’t make the connection to stuff I couldn’t see. Now, I’m not sure. There’s too much that I can’t see that I accept, so I’m caught wondering how is that different than having faith in something?

Young Kid: I know, but come on, who would let their own child be killed? Child services would be on him in a flash. Really?

Old Guy: I’m on your side there, but could it be that people have organized their religions around themes that are not consistent with there being a god? Could there be something that we should believe in without someone else telling us what to believe? Why does your ball curve when you hit it?

Young Kid: Physics.

Old Guy: Who invented physics? Scientists only recognize it’s existence. It already had to be there for them to find it?

Young Kid: Okay, I’ll give you that, but what about evolution. Are you going to tell me that is some being playing Lego with us and that’s how we came to be.

Old Guy: I can’t discount evolution any more than I can discount Christianity. In a way, isn’t science it’s own religion? It just has commandments called objectivity and empiricism.

Young Kid: Alright. What do you think about heaven?

Old Guy: Maybe. Maybe not.

Young Kid: You don’t seem to care much about this. My dad is worried about being saved and respecting his calling.

Old Guy: Good for your father. I mean that in the nicest way. People need to believe in something. For him it’s in God and a better place. For you it seems like you need proof of something. I really just want to lead a good life. If I am doing the best I can for my family and the people that I come in contact with, then I am in a good place. Heaven? Hell? What’s the point? And if I have to believe in a god through fear, that’s not what I choose to believe. Hell, I can watch the news or listen to the politicians for all the fear mongering I can handle. As my friend says, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.” Cliche, but a totally good way to live. No malice, no floods, no plagues, no spectres. Simple living within my means. That’s what I believe in. Now get up there and hit that ball.

(The kid hits it long and straight down the fairway.)

Young Kid: WOW! Did you see that?! How’d that happen?

Old Guy: Divine intervention, I suppose.