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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
who here has read "the cow in science hall" by karl schlabach? it sits by our toilet!

5:30 p.m. a pleasant january evening in the mid-atlantic. all is quiet in a messy yet quaint bike shop in historic federal hill, baltimore.

a young woman sits in a nearly broken orange swivel chair, watching a documentary on waco and alternately playing a game on an imac that shares the small desk with the tv, possibly as old as the chair. to the right, a cold pot of coffee sits atop a microwave on top of a mini fridge, strewn with discarded tea bags and plastic creamer containers.

a bell rings, a tall man is standing in the doorway. immediately she pauses the satellite tv feed. "is there anything i can help you with?"

"yes," he says, "i'm here to pick up my bike. the name is Yoder, Y-o-d-e-r."

She stands up, "I'm sorry - that's Yoder? Y-o-d-e-r?"

"That's right, it's a red Fugi"

She heads for the back, holding back a giggle. She has the puzzled kind of grin usually reserved for department store bikes looking for a "tune-up." She is rehearsing in her head a way to nonchalantly explain the joke the man has inadvertently made.

After a few minutes she returns, bike in hand. she passes the large road bike to the man and heads behind the counter to the register. his ticked reads jonathan yoder, 123 Eutaw St, Baltimore. still grinning, she asks "i'm sorry, but there was this joke at the school where i went, where this guy comes in from California, and he's registering, and he's like, 'my name is Yoder, thats Y-o-d-e-r.' which is funny, because who doesn't know how to spell 'Yoder' because there were like a million Yoders that went to my school." grin

"oh" he says. the employee directs her attention to the repair ticket in hand. "what school?"

"um," she replies, skipping the usual 'you've probably never heard of it, it's in a small town in northern indiana,'"Goshen College."

"oh" neither fully acknowledging the clear cultural bond. "actually, i was in Guatemala this summer with some Goshen students. Brooks (Last name?)."

"oh yeah, um. o forget where he;s from, with all the hair, right?"

"Oregon, I think."

"Actually i was in Guatemala earlier this year! where did you go?"

"I was in Guatemala City for a few weeks, then i went to San (someone?) de Atilan."

"No way, did you go to San Pedro? That was a highlight of the trip, for sure"


"Believe it or not, the owner of the shop spent some time on the lake too in the eighties i think! .... yadda yadda....


okay, anyway, so that ended up being a boring story, but the beginning was interesting? right? well i'm going to bed so i;m not going to do anything about it. i have the day off tomorrow if anyone is bored. plans include roaming the town for coffee.


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