I bumped into the IRO at Santana Row today. He told me he was shopping for bow ties. I believe him.
He introduced me to a friend of his name Robert Freud. “You mean as in Sigfried?’ I asked. “Let's just say they are related in certain ways” he replied.
Bob chimed in "I have heard family rumor that he's an ancestor, but I am nothing just like him.”
“I said I am nothing like him.”
The IRO is a snappy dresser and takes great care of his clothes but Mr. Freud looked like he had gone to bed fully dressed and not changed when he got up. For a few days. Wearing cheap clothes.
“What is that brown stuff on your pants?” I asked him. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer. “My own invention. It’s a mistletoe belt buckle.” Now I was sure. Apparently it stayed on his belt at least into the ides of January.
I asked the IRO if we could have lunch together. He took one look at Bob and shook his head no. I didn’t ask why. I didn’t want to know.
“Can I ask you a question about religion?” I asked him as we walked past fancily dressed ladies carrying dogs the size of a soupspoon.
He didn’t answer, he just gave me The Look. I asked anyway.
“Supposed you were to find that your house burned down. Does that mean that god is mad at you? Maybe you did something in a past life the POed him off or maybe if you are cool about it you will be rewarded in a later life, right?”
The Look again.
“Listen dimbulb (one of the nicest things he has called me) why do you ask me such stupid questions. You know we can’t know such things.”
“But don’t we need an explanation of why there are miracles and tragedies?”
He took a big sigh. “I am going to give you an answer then you are going to go on your way so Mr. Freud and I can finish shopping. I tried to buy a bowtie at a strip mall but there was a school across the street and a bunch of girl scouts were painting the flagpole.”
“So Mr. Freud here fainted. But here is you answer: I do not care. I do not know. All I know is that Reality is God’s True Religion.™”
And he went into Brooks Brothers. I know he’ll find a bow tie there and I know he’ll consider it a miracle.