Sunday, July 22, 2012


"I haven't the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out." - David Sedaris

I just got back from a week of intense philosophy-learning at debate camp in Oklahoma (hate Kant, love Rousseau), and that was very interesting and full of adventures, but I really want to talk to you guys about one of the people I met there for completely unrelated reasons.

In fact, I met him because I was sitting on a table in a laundry room attempting to play Oblivion with a track pad.

His name is Hazel (but all of the college students call him Pops), and he's the head of security (or something like that) at the university I stayed at. He's also a retired pilot who fought in Vietnam, and has been all over the world. He wasn't busy doing much of anything so he decided to hang around and tell us stories about his life, local history, and dumb college students he's had to help.

One of them honestly didn't know what an elevator was, or how one would go about getting to the third floor of a building. I ask you.

My one friend's been joking with me a lot this week saying "oh my god, your life is a YA novel." This part actually sort of was. He's a super old, knowledgeable guy who's seen practically the whole world and looks a little like Morgan Freeman and was totally willing to just hang out and tell us stories and is basically just fantastic. It was so cool.

And then we saw him again this morning as we were once again sitting around in the laundry room waiting for our ride to the airport and he came in to do his morning ritual of putting ten bucks into the vending machine to get back dollar coins to put into his Savings Tin Can.

I now have five dollar coins in my wallet.

He also taught us how to identify drag queens by looking at their hands (biological males' middle fingers are apparently proportionally longer?), and is the only politically correct Oklahoman I met on the whole trip. Or at least, the only one who cares about being PC.

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