There is no way I heard that correctly

By Staff
Scot Beard
Columnist
Have you ever been having a conversation and the person you are speaking with says something so off the wall it catches you off guard and you have to ask them to repeat it?
Sometimes you did not hear them correctly and their clarification makes sense and you can resume the conversation without confusion.
Other times they verify that you did hear them correctly, which creates an even bigger distraction.
I experienced the latter this past weekend when an acquaintance of mine was telling me about an interesting letter that showed up in her mailbox a few days earlier.
As executor of her late father’s estate, she still gets some of his mail from time to time even though he died nearly two years ago. Most of this is junk mail from companies wanting him to buy something useless.
When this type of mail arrives, my friend usually drops it in the trash and doesn’t give it a second thought.
The letter that arrived last week was different.
The address on the outside was hand written, which suggested to my friend that it was an old friend who had not yet heard that her father had died. This was not much of a stretch in thinking as her father lived in California and the letter was from Vermont.
After opening the letter and reading the first paragraph, my friend realized it was junk mail — and a new side of her father’s personality emerged.
When she told me the letter was from a “Christian Nudist Camp” the words did not sink in at first, but after a few seconds my mind was bogged down with confusion that shut down all of my cognitive skills.
I had heard her correctly, but my mind still would not wrap around this concept.
You typically do not associate Christians with nudists. This was the king of oxymorons and I found myself thinking of it often in the days after hearing my friend’s story.
I have encountered many oxymorons — a grouping of words that seem to contradict each other — over the years. These include liberal Republican, good grief, near miss and my personal favorite non-toxic bug spray.
None of these contradictions had the effect on my brain that Christian Nudist Camp did.
I know there are differences between life in New England and life in Alabama, but I never figured there would be that much of a difference in Vermont’s Christians and our Christians.
My biggest question, among many, is do they ever use the phrase “wearing my Sunday best?”
My friend apparently did not have as many questions as she was able to reply to the letter and let the people in Vermont know he is partying at the big nudist camp in the sky.
Many questions remain floating in my brain and I doubt I will ever get the answers.
The only way I will have peace of mind is to convence myself that there was no way I heard my friend correctly.

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