After we had come back to the car from our walk up and down the mighty hill on Saturday, our friend told us about a young man who listened to her talk about Catholicism for hours. She was very impressed that this young man, who is not a Catholic, hung on her every word. And then he said:
"I've known God exists ever since I learned that the world is flat."
He was dead serious.
My friend was nonplussed. He had listened to her for three hours, she said, so she didn't feel it would be polite to argue him out of his flat-earth beliefs.
In the car, we all pondered why someone might believe that the world is flat. The young man had read about it online, apparently, but the ancients and mediaevals knew that the world was round. All the same, when B.A. began to talk about where the world might seem to end in flat-earth theory, I said, "How do you know there is a Russia?"
At the time, that was a really very funny joke. Three of us laughed, and B.A. sighed, and I felt both happy and comfortable to have made a witty (if transitory) joke at my husband's expense.
This has nothing to do with joy or jokes but today I was in the dentist's chair having a filling replaced, and "Teenage Dirtbag" appeared on the radio.
I could tell that the three women in the room--the assistant, the dentist and I--were all silently dancing inside to Wheatus as we fulfilled our functions of hoovering spit, packing a tooth and stoicism. Inside we were all about 20 years younger, too, which made the dentist 14 or so and the hygenist 6.
Actually, come to think of it, "Teenage Dirtbag" has a lot to do with joy, especially since it has that transformative power of erasing 20 years.
When the song came to my second favourite part, which is "Her boyfriend's a d*ck, he brings a gun to school", the music played on but the lyrics were wiped out. To my amazement (possibly because B.A. listens only to BBC 4), the Scottish radio station would not air the words "he brings a gun to school."
As I lay there in the chair, with a 6 year old assistant on my left and a 14 year old dentist on my right, my mouth open and various instruments of torture shoved in it, I felt mildly cross that some Nervous Nellie thought that children would be adversely influenced by the revelation that Noelle's boyfriend brings a gun to school. After all, this is what clearly makes him a
d*ck. oaf. It's an anti-bring-your-gun-to-school song. Driving an IROC, which is what boys who roared up to my school to pick up their girlfriends drove, is annoying but not as oaffish an oaf move as bringing a gun to school.
Not to blow the plot of Teenage Dirtbag, but as my dentist, her assistant, and I all know, it ends well and is in fact quite a joyful song. I shall now link to it in celebration of the bars that almost always make me sing along. Naturally I was not in a position to sing along this afternoon, but I can now! Dirt ba-a-agg!