Friday, July 23, 2010

A Cutting Observation

Is it a bad omen for lighting to strike a church?

I suppose it depends on the person interpreting the omen. For example, a parishioner could be OH SO THANKFUL that even though lighting struck, the church did not burn to the ground. Or an outsider might know of some other parishioner's hanky-panky, and declare that it was a sign, by cracky! A sign that something's rotten in the state of Freewill Baptist.

I'm just curious. I have no connection to such a church, though one in our area was struck on the steeple by a lightning bolt several weeks ago. And wouldn't you know it, some fire departments were driving by on the way to a fire, but since that fire was under control, they were radioed that they needn't attend the original fire, which put them right smack dab in the immediate vicinity of the steeplefire. Nobody was hurt, there was minimal damage, and the lesson to be learned was Don't Be Near That Steeple In A Thunderstorm.

Funny thing, that church is right next door to my bank. There used to be a used car lot on the other side of the church, until very recently when it consolidated with the owner's larger car lot. Beside the church, on the car lot side, was their parking lot. An alley runs behind the whole bank/church/car lot complex. People exiting the bank could avoid a limited-visibility entry into traffic by taking the back alley, cutting across the church lot, and then getting back on the main road. I should know. I used that tactic myself. For 15 years.

The church was only in session on Sundays and on Wednesday nights, I presume. I didn't attend that church, and didn't do my banking on Sundays or on Wednesday nights, so I can't be sure. But the point is, when people cut through the church parking lot, it was empty. No danger of damaging a parked car, or impeding the flow of churchgoer traffic.

About a year ago, the city put up a sign that decreed No Right Turn from the stop sign in the alley. What they were really saying was that nobody should cut across the church's 75-feet of parking lot to enter the street. Why there was even a stop sign in that narrow alley is beyond me. Maybe in case parishioners wanted to leave by the alley, which would just be an exercise in futility, because why abandon a perfectly good parking lot with a prime street exit in order to play pull-out roulette over by the bank, or go the other way down the alley to a side street to another stop sign to pull out a few feet from where you were to begin with?

Recently, the church put down a fresh coat of blacktop and sealant on their parking lot. Not that it was in bad shape to begin with, because how much wear and tear is there, really, when a lot is used two days a week by a hundred or less cars? I did not break the law by cutting across the lot once the sign was put up. Even though it would have been a victimless crime, with a slim chance of police intervention, unless the patrolman was sitting in the alley and caught me red-handed making a right turn (which I am not stupid enough to do right in front of a cop). Because I don't think the police can stop you on a private parking lot. That's what the principal told me at Newmentia, when a cop followed me onto the lot with some minor issue of going 50 in a 35. But I digress.

Maybe there is a little Karma lesson in the lightning strike and the revocation of free shortcuts.

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