Sunday, April 25, 2004

Mark Shea gave me his pineapple!

Perhaps I should explain. On Friday last, I received the rare treat of meeting and listening to Mr. Mark Shea. It was a presentation so full of wit and Catholicity that to hear one better would involve the harvest some white dwarf matter, the application of a graviton generator, and a Evac Suit from the Space Shuttle, so that I could go back in time and visit with G.K. Chesterton. Yes, it was that good.

At the dinner following the first lecture, Mark sat next to me and we had a marvelous conversation. We both did our level best to include others in the conversation, but probably failed more than succeeded. Anyway, when the main course was brought out, a thoroughly leathery piece of chicken with adequate rice and vegetables, I deduced correctly that Mark must have children at home. How, you ask?

The chicken in question was adorned with a ring of pineapple that would have made the Dole packing company proud. It was a perfect circle like only a jigsaw can make. Without missing a beat, Mark turned to me and asked, "Father, do you like pineapple?" Being the occasionally cultured and sophisticated Ragemonkey, I proffered my plate and let him deposit the iridescent fruit object. Only the parent of small children knows that it is better to pass the grub than let it go to waste. And I am certain, given my experience with my niece, he has salvaged many meals which might have descended into a wail of incoherent fury due to an offending food substance by offering up his plate as a dietary landfill. It was only right to return the favor.

So that's how I got Mark Shea's pineapple. Of course, if I had been prepared and had known I would be the recipient of this heirloom, I would have dried it and had him sign it. I had to settle for a signed copy of By What Authority?.

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