Forty minutes to write this today. No, 35 — I have to leave room for personal grooming before taking Kate to the orthodontist. In the summer, that’s a five-minute job. Still.
And another e-mail just arrived in flames. This might be a 20-minute effort after all.
One of my Facebook friends posted a picture last night that he took with his iPhone, of two Amish guys in a Burger King. He’s a photographer, and is aware of the Amish aversion to having their photos taken, but the gist seemed to be wow! they eat fast food!, and comments followed indicating wow! I saw one buying gasoline once! and wow! maybe they were afraid of being turned in! and excuse me, but what? For eating a hamburger?
The Amish — they’re just like us. Srsly. Nothing those folks do drops my jaw anymore. The last time it did, it was when I saw a man driving his buggy along Rt. 37 in Indiana, talking on his cell phone. There was a lot of public discussion then about cell use while driving, so it was more the humor of the sight that killed me than anything else. But my time in the Hoosier state inured me to Amish weirdness of all sorts; my first screenplay, the one I wrote for Screenwriting 310, was about the Amish. I’m still proud of the scene of the buggy drag race, which ends in tragedy (for one of the horses), and is based on a story I read in one of the Adams County papers years ago. Non-Amish guy wakes up to see a dead horse lying in the road in front of his country home. Turns out it was involved in a head-on collision during a drag race and died at the scene. Everyone involved — the two racers (teenage boys, natch) and the unlucky oncoming buggy driver — was named Schwartz. No one was related.
That incident was followed by a string of drunken-driving incidents involving horses trotting merrily through intersections while their drivers slept it off in the back, in one memorable case among two dozen empties rolling around.
Now comes one of those July 1 law changes in Indiana, in this case a new requirement that anyone buying alcohol show photo ID, regardless of age. And while the Amish may drink and use cell phones and computers and eat Whoppers, they don’t allow their pictures to be taken, and hence cannot buy beer. Ahem:
Indiana’s NewsCenter visited Geneva’s Case and Quart, where the owner said about 25-percent of her business is with Amish customers. In fact, while conducting the interview an Amish man is in his 60’s was refused a sale because he didn’t have a photo ID.
I see two possibilities for the Plain People:
1) Add photography to their list of accommodations to the modern world. Having already embraced cell phones, power tools and drinking, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch, or;
2) Take a page from the teen handbook, hang around outside the store and ask other customers to do the buying. I’m sure Coozledad would be happy to help.
And that, pals, is 20 minutes. Hop to the bathroom, hop to the day. I’ll be back later.