Nearly a month ago, the youth group went to an event that involved several other youth groups in the area. Now, two things are inevitable in such mass gatherings. One, is nametags. I don’t like them. I’d rather talk to you and find out your name naturally. It also totally unnerves me to have someone I don’t know and to whom I have never been introduced just walk up to me and starting talking to me by name. Maybe part of the problem is that I truly forget I have the darn thing on more often than not and spend several minutes trying to remember where I must have met them before – since they used my name and all. Oh, the frustration.
The second inevitable thing is a game. I don’t know who made up the rule that youth gatherings need to have games, but I hate it. Always have. When I was a youth-type many moons ago, I despised these inevitable torture-fests that someone declared would be fun. Fun?? The only game I ever recall perceiving as remotely fun was in-the-dark capture the flag when played at midnight. And even that eventually would just get creepy.
So we endured receiving the nametags. Then came the forced recruitment into gameland. Someone bellows everyone outside for a game. And the bellowing continues until everyone is indeed outside for the game.
Unless you’re a bit rebellious …
This was a particularly splendid spring evening. Brilliantly sunny, but with a slight breeze. On that tiny breath of wind, I felt an excuse coming on.
“Hmmm. Little chilly out here,” says I.
MG and RS, two of our older youth who I suspected were not thrilled at the prospect of the impending gamage, gave the typical non-committal teenage harrrumphs of agreement.
“I think I need my jacket out of the car.” I say, turning to them directly. “Anyone want to come help me find it?”
The smirk in my voice must have been noticeable because both of them caught on to the ruse immediately. And off we went in search of said jacket.
Mind you, my car is not large. It was described by one of the youth as a “soda can”. Ergo, finding said jacket in car should not have taken three people.
So, there we were sitting in the soda can talking about all sorts of things, most of which I’m not sure I remember in their entirely. Besides, what’s said in the soda can, stays in the soda can.
Never did find the jacket.
Here’s what we did find …
… None of us like the nametags and to this day they are still attached to the dashboard, engaged in an endurance contest to see whose nametag can hold out the longest.
… We all like certain songs as they cranked through the MP3 player using the car’s surprisingly decent stereo system.
… Goats fight each other for the highest point in their little gathering area.
… And, if you shift position at exactly the wrong moment, you will hit the horn with your knee and be discovered.
So, MG and RS, anytime you need to be excused from a game, just ask me if I need my jacket out of the car. I have some new songs on the mp3 player and who knows what topics might be bounced around the interior of a soda can this time.