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Wednesday, April 13, 2011



At Selma's twice today for morning coffee and an afternoon mocha. I can't go through Sparta and not stop at Selma's. Saw Dudley this morning and Joe came in after he left. Later, in the afternoon, Joe came in after awhile and asked if I'd been there since the morning. I told him I had, and Selma affirmed it. He had a hard time believing it, but there it was with witness. We bantered some more about it and finally he said, "Really?" Selma and I laughed and told him we'd made it up. I'd been away and just came back. That's the kind of fun we have. It's like games cats play on each other. A cat gets a kick out of seeing another cat jump. It amuses them just like it amuses us to see a cat jump. We just made Joe jump, had a good laugh and went on like nothing happened.

Cats really do have a sense of humor and so do dogs. They laugh too. They laugh like they talk, silently. Dudley, who was there this morning, would go with animals having a sense of humor. He made reference to himself as the unrepentant nerd. He asked what a repentant nerd might be. I couldn't answer it. The word nerd always carries for me images from the movie Revenge of the Nerds, a movie that made me laugh like PeeWee's Big Adventure did and Ernest Goes to Camp. Nutty, goofball movies with slap stick comedy that is still funny to some. Nerds come in a wide variety. The nerds are the people who haven't figured out what it takes to be cool, which comes apparently natural to most, or so it seems when you're a nerd. I've an idea there are as many nerds per class as there are cool kids. The nerds are more fun, because they're not straight-jacketed by attending to their cool quotient. The nerds are nerds often because they're interested in something besides sports.

As an unrepentant nerd, like Dudley, I look at the jocks as the nerds. What's so interesting about them? They practice rigorously every day chasing a ball. It never made a lick of sense to me. Perhaps that right there is the definition of a nerd. Doesn't see the sense in running with a ball or hitting a ball or bouncing a ball or kicking it. Doesn't get it. I never saw the thrill in shooting guns at other people with intent to kill. Why? If somebody makes you mad enough, that's pretty good reason until seeing in the mind's eye a prison cell from the inside. Nerds don't kill. Nerds sometimes get drafted and are forced to, but they hate it.

This night at an event I was talking with Hillbilly Wes about his act, what a good time he's having with his comic persona. He was saying he won't accept money for his mc act. The money would spoil it. He's doing it for the spirit of the fun in it. He was noting that the way things are now, we need to laugh. He goes up on stage and makes people laugh. That's important in this time. His small gesture to make his world a better place. Levity for the spirit. And there's enough greed in the world and everything having a dollar value to choke down the spirit in anybody. Doing his show for no pay he's breaking the cycle of money being the almighty, allowing the spirit of laughter to come through. I can't help but think as we get deeper into hard times that more and more people will be wanting to do things that help people in some kind of poverty, of the spirit, of the bank account, both. When times are rough, people tend to gather and do for one another and feel better about everyday life.

Hillbilly Wes gives a good show when he carries on as comedy mc. He's been in the Marines, did his time in Iraq rescuing people by helicopter in difficult zones. In his comic act he rescues people from the blues. The Wes Brinegar I know working in the Post Office has the same kind of heart as Hillbilly Wes. You'd think they were identical twins. They look just alike and talk just alike. They must have been twins separated at birth. I need to ask Wes about that. He's a valuable citizen in the Alleghany community.

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