Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Of teachers and preachers

Z is for Zumba. It is also for Zut alors!

Last night this Zumba class I was looking forward to and moved mountains to be able to get to was canceled. There was a problem with the air conditioning. The Buffalo Athletic Club seems to have air conditioning issues these days. Last week the air conditioning was on the fritz at the downtown gym. Now it had hit the BAC for Women on Colvin.

We could have Zumba-ed in the heat but they said the floor was wet somehow.

I ran into my friend Nicole in the parking lot and we were standing there with our gym bags, bereft, like a couple of stray puppies. The teacher came out of the gym and we pleaded with her, please, couldn't we figure out some way to have class? She just kind of snarled at us, "Tough luck" -- and disappeared.

OK, she was not really that bad. But she had no time for us, you could tell that. We did not exactly blame her. Probably we were the 100th and 101st people to complain. But still.

It is funny when people behave differently out of context! Here we were used to this teacher being all warm and encouraging and gentle-spoken in class. Then we find out she is this normal human being.

That happened a long time ago with a street preacher who used to preach on the corners of downtown Buffalo. My friend Anne, who was my roommate at the time, she and I used to love this preacher. He was this cute hippie type and he would stand on the corner and preach with passion and poetry. Like John the Baptist, pictured above. Or the Prophet Isaiah.

Once we heard him declaiming, "Who is He who gathers the winds in His fist?"

At Christmas time I gave him a candy cane and he smiled and said, "Praise the Lord."

He was the Leonard Pennario of preachers! His preaching was like Pennario playing Liszt. Shining and extroverted and sparkling. We loved him.

Then one day Anne was eating at Pano's. This was back when Pano's was this little scruffy diner, before Pano got all high and mighty and discontinued his famous orange shakes and started knocking down historic houses. And she realized to her astonishment that the preacher was at the next table with a friend of his. And she heard him saying: "So when did you get your hair cut?"

Nothing bad or anything, just disappointingly, crushingly mundane.

It happens!

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