My family and I returned last night from a wonderful week with my parents in Florida. I blogged once last week to make it look like I was still around, but actually I was finding shark’s teeth at Blind Pass, floating Chinese lanterns at Siesta Key, and meeting my Mennonite cousins who winter or live in Sarasota. I could announce when I’m going on vacation, but I’m afraid that someone might break into my house and steal my baseball card collection. If you don’t understand why that is important, then you must not possess a rookie Joe Charboneau. If you don’t understand why he is important, then your sports teams have fared much better than mine. Congratulations.
Here are a few observations/thoughts from this year’s trip:
1. On the belief that what happens in Sarasota stays in Sarasota, the vacationing Amish there tend to let their beards down. Some of them rent houses with televisions, and a few even wear bikinis on the beach. And you don’t want to know what their women wear.
2. Mimes can get away with anything. The mime at Sea World played on all the stereotypes, bowing to an Asian man, sagging his pants at a black man, and prancing like a hussy when a provocatively dressed woman walked by. In the history of the world, no one has ever punched a mime. So if you have something offensive you want to say (Rush Limbaugh, I’m looking at you), paint your face white and people will think you’re funny (though they may not be able to hear you).
3. I saw an 85 year old lady answer her cell phone in church, twice. Remember when people were so embarrassed by the ringing of their cell phones that they would shut them off immediately? Eventually they learned to stop the ringing, then sneak a peek at who was calling. Then they decided it was okay to silently text them back. Now they are answering the phone—during church—and hanging up only so they can receive more calls.
4. Churches in the South seem to be more patriotic than churches in the North.
5. Restaurant staff in the South are much friendlier than those in the North. Three different people in a Cracker Barrel greeted us before we got to our table. And God bless Chick Fil A: great food, great people, great mission.
6. Disney played its theme song as we were leaving Epcot, “In everything you do, celebrate you!” What a shameless money grab, appealing to people’s narcissistic tendencies to get them to buy more stuff. The very thing that Disney encourages is what the Bible calls sin (see Col. 3:17, 23 for God’s take on “in everything you do”). And judging by the divorce rate in this country, I’m pretty sure that Disney’s advice is unworkable. If I continually celebrated myself, I think I might be hard to live with.
7. I don’t understand the cult of Mickey Mouse. My children have no idea who he is, and I don’t remember a single episode or memorable thing he ever did. Is he merely a vacuous symbol, upon which people can project their own ideas of happiness? I’m probably thinking too hard on this one, so moving on.
8. I loved the Chinese exhibit at Epcot, but it lost a bit of its charm when an employee opened the “cast member only door” and I saw a loading dock outside. I’m sure there is a sermon illustration in here somewhere, but I don’t have time right now to figure out what it is. Back to work.