Ducks. This all starts with ducks. That and a need for movement. I try to get four or five miles of walking in every day if I can. If not for my health, then to give myself a feigned sense of not being sedentary. Some days, it works. Others, it does not. So to play a bit of catch-up due to my “lack of movement” yesterday, I decided I would take a walk. I’ve grown a bit bored with seeing downtown on my daily strolls, so I opted for the park on the other side town. There is a nice pond there where folks fish and ducks and geese chase folks around. It makes for a good time. I already knew this particular walk through the park, past the baseball fields and rv park, would be a slight departure due to the fact that all the ducks seemed to be way on the other side of the pond (no duck pics for me this time, I guess). As I walked past the pond, a teen on a bike called to me. “Sir,” he said, “do you like to read?” I looked at him funny, I’m sure. I’m not exactly the biggest people person, and I’m usually in my head thinking, so I imagine I looked at him a little funny. He repeats: “Excuse me sir, do you like to read?” I respond that I do and ask what he’s got. He asks: “Do you believe in Jesus?” I figure this is a harmless question. I grew up in a southern baptist church for the better part of my childhood. I wanted to state that I am a bit on the fence about a lot of this stuff (to which my old pastor would probably say “I’m sorry.”), but being the “people person” that I am, I kind of just shrugged and said “Ehhhh….” He handed me a book entitled, National Sunday Law, and proceeded to attempt to tell me about it. “Have you ever wondered about why all these bad things are happening? This book will tell you about what is happening, why it is happening, and what it all means. This book is the truth.” I look at the book, flip it open for a second, then close it and think about what this kid just stated. Well, more or less, I figured he didn’t really say anything to convince me that this book would be something that might be good for me to read. “I’ve had like four people I know try to prove this book false, and they couldn’t do it, and they bought like 1,000 copies each after reading it.” If your biggest selling point is that your friends couldn’t decipher your crazy, I think I find that a little unsettling. So, as I did not then, I will not, now, go into a “speech” about my beliefs or lack there of. “Thank you for sharing, but here is what I’m going to do: I’m going to give this book back to you as I am taking a walk and I am not going to have time to read this.” I think his sense of “hope” or “security” or whatever came off as a huge sort of smugness. I am unsure as to whether or not he was there to genuinely help someone or just to be like “I’m right and you’re wrong. Read my book, I’m not insane.” Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. I mean he was just a kid. Who knows….
Also, after doing about as much research as I am willing to do on books that cult kids try to hand me on the street, it turns out it was a conspiracy theory book. He can keep it.