She stood on our front porch with a burlap shoulder bag hanging across her chest and resting on her hip. One ear held a stretching plug while the other sported a dangly earring. A beautiful nose ring, that any bull would envy, looped from nostril to nostril. She was an activist. I could tell immediately. Because the clipboard she held had the word ACTIVIST clearly taped to the back for me to read.
She announced herself as a member of Friends of the Lily Pads… (The real name of the group will not be used due to lack of paying attention.) …and started reading from her prepared presentation. “How do you feel about Lily Pads? Did you know they are under threat of devastating disaster and annihilation, along with the rest of the planet, if we allow rampant capitalism to continue?” (I’m paraphrasing here.)
At this point there were a lot thoughts running through my head, however, the plight of the lily pad wasn’t one of them. But I did blurt out the first thing that came to mind…
“WOW. Those are some pretty dramatic words you just threw out there.”
She looked at me puzzled and stammered, “What do you mean dramatic?” I could tell I had taken her off script and was confusing her because she kept looking at her clipboard trying to figure where to jump back in to regain control.
I smiled at her. “Oh, you know, throwing out those trigger words like disaster and annihilation all meant to panic a person. You see, I’ve done a little writing and I know how to use words to manipulate also.”
The tables had been turned and now she was a little panicked. I let her off the hook when I told her I needed to get back to my dinner.
What she didn’t understand is, she was talking to a person who came from a family that survived the depression, conserved to the point of not using all their war rations, had a milkman, Ernie, who picked up our empty glass milk jugs while leaving full bottles on the porch, we planted gardens, canned food, lost a job to the spotted owl and just got a dishwasher for the first time 8 years ago. (…which I will gladly sacrifice a lily pad to keep)
I wish this young activist well… along with some life experience. It will help the next time she lands on the porch of an old, crabby lady who just wants to eat her dinner before falling asleep on the couch…
… perhaps to dream of lily pads.
Until next time… Cheers!