Monday, April 9, 2007

Stevie Joe's Easter Parade

I have finally returned to Junebug Holler from my long Easter weekend. Despite the fact that most of our relatives are right here in the greater Junebug Holler area, Mrs. Stevie Joe felt it necessary to visit her aunt and uncle way, way up in Chicago. North Shore, actually. See, Mrs. Stevie Joe's uncle has made himself a fortune in the novelty product business: rubber dog poop and what not (still proudly made in the US of A). So, he has himself a large spread up in one of those suburbs where John Hughes likes to make movies.

I would like to state right up front that I believe the drivers in the Chicago area to be absolutely nuts. Now, I am no slowpoke. I drive faster than most folks in Junebug Holler, and the Big Blue Wagon has the benefit of some significant engine displacement. However, I must admit to having a bit more sanity than most motoring Chicagoans.

Going through one of the many construction zones on the tollway, I found myself being passed by every other car on the road while receiving multiple single finger salutes. These zones are clearly marked with a 45 mph speed limit and a sign indicating a minimum fine of $375 for speeding. Still, I was going 65 mph in the Big Blue Wagon which apparently is considered far too slow for the locals.

Even worse, this continued to happen even when the Highway Patrol was parked right there on the shoulder with a big old radar gun hanging on the side. As far as I knew, they were flipping off the cop, too.

On the morning of Easter Sunday, I was informed by Mrs. Stevie Joe's uncle that they were all going off to church, and, of course, I was invited. The problem here was that Mrs. Stevie Joe's aunt and uncle are Roman Catholic. While I hold no personal animosity against the Roman Catholic church, their services are so boring that they make Pastor Luke's sermons seem like a Gallagher show.

That is when it occurred to me that we had passed the Lake Forest Friends Meetinghouse on the way to Mrs. Stevie Joe's uncle's house. Remembering the sweet, sweet silence of Len's Quaker meeting, I decided to go on over there.

The Lake Forest Friends were, well, very friendly. They invited this stranger right on in, introduced me around, and then, as Quakers are known to do, they shut the hell up. For one blessed hour during a crazy and chaotic weekend, it was quiet. No Mrs. Stevie Joe telling me what to do, say, or wear. No boring stories about how Mrs. Stevie Joe's uncle invented the electric whoopee cushion. I just had to look up and give a wink to old JC for making it all happen.

Thank you Easter Bunny!
Stevie Joe Parker

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