Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Place of Graffiti and Snake Handling Kids


So yesterday I gave a reading at a great coffee shop called Bohemia Coffee in West Jefferson, NC. There was a fun crowd, and I got to read with my friend Julie Townsend, who years ago hosted the first coffee shop reading I ever read at. I also sold a couple books and got to hang out in the mountains. Julie wants to live in the mountains. I tried to imagine it, but I judge a place based on its graffiti.

A comparison of graffiti:

Charlotte, Picasso's Sports Bar: "I'm like a Red M&M, I'm misunderstood."
Nashville, Fido coffee shop, over the automatic papertowel dispenser: "'Hal, please give me another towel.' 'I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.'"
Greensboro, coffee shop: "Wait here. I'll be right back. --Godot"
West Jefferson, KFC: "Democrats=Blacks, Gays, Natsi Women"

Yeah, it's not exactly scientific, but I'll pass on the West Jefferson. It also reminded me of the snake handling lecture I went to last week at the University. Norris Frederick, with wit, delivered a thoughtful look at the question of whether we can consider snake handling a language of God, using as reference William James. Later one of Heather's friends stopped us outside the grocery store. As the friend's son spun around in a circle with a pizza box held above his head, all I could see was that lecture's video. The expression on the face of the faithful and this kid were the same. I always suspected kids are snake handlers.

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