I saw a middle-aged priest in the grocery store last night, and that was not the strangest part of it. I mean, really – seeing a priest in a grocery store is not all that odd, and he was not all that odd-looking of a priest, either. He was a normal-looking, generation-x aged priest...black shirt, black pants, black jacket, white collar. The strange part is found at the intersection of the priest and the grocery store sound system.
“I Wanna be Sedated,” by the Ramones was playing over the in-house sound system. This was a tune I used to bash out of my guitar in my first high-school garage band...and here it was being piped through the speakers of a typical, clean suburban grocery store. People were strolling down the cleanest, widest aisles in the civilized world (let's be honest, folks, the average suburban American grocery store is cleaner and has better lighting than most hospitals in the rest of the world – the average Sainsbury's in the UK having my vote for inclusion in that set), looking at more products than any person could ever use in a lifetime, and all the while the dulcet tones issuing forth from the larynx of Joey Ramone soothing their shopping nerves. How very odd.
And along came this priest. We passed in the pasta aisle. As I stared at the ancini de pepe, I could not help but notice a clear tenor voice that was probably more used to singing the Sursum Corda - “Just get me to the airport put me on a plane; Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane.” Yep, Father Linguini-purchaser was singing along with Joey. I turned to look at him, smiled and nodded.
“I can't control my fingers I can't control my brain,” I returned along with Joey, in my own scratchy Tenor.
Father Linguini-purchaser beamed a genuine smile. We nodded again to one another and parted ways. When I got home, Shelly put that ancini de pepe into some of the finest Italian wedding soup you can imagine. I don't know what Father Linguini-purchaser had for dinner that evening. I can guess, of course, but I was more curious about what dinner-music he listened to.