Have you ever noticed that when a car alarm goes off no one is alarmed or comes to help? How about a fire alarm? Schools, of course comply, but, have you ever been in a department store when one goes off?
A few years ago I was shopping in Oak Brook when Macy’s was still Marshall Field’s. I was looking for a wedding gift when the fire alarm went off. Shoppers looked around, shrugged their shoulders, and kept shopping. After a few minutes, an announcement came on to vacate the building, and still, folks lagged behind, finished their purchases, or continued to browse. That day there really was a small kitchen fire.
Last Friday, the Moonies met at a local Elmhurst coffee shop, Elijah’s, for coffee and chitchat. We do that, though not as often as we used to. Time, the economy, whatever . . . we still manage to meet up when we can. There we were, about seven of us, carrying on two or three separate conversations, weaving in and out of each other’s dialogue, as well as other patrons, the grind of the espresso maker and the laughter of people winding down after a long week, when the fire alarm went off. We all looked at each other as if we had never heard it before. Mind you, most of us were educators or otherwise spent a great deal of time in buildings where fire alarm procedures were visible and strictly adhered to.
We finally decided we should leave the building. Purses and lattes and mochas in hand, single filing out the door like the obedient girls we were, we congregated on the sidewalk where other tenants of the strip mall were also emerging, squad cars and fire engines wailing in the distance, each of us still talking; to each other, other tenants, the fire and police department.
Coffee time is serious business.
Fortunately, there was no fire, the premises were checked, the all clear brought us all back in and we didn’t miss a beat.
As I was driving home, I got to thinking that maybe in a few years we should form a coffee chorus. You know, something like the Young at Heart Chorus. Click on below and catch a few bars from YouTube.
How about it, girls?