As I stand in line with the hordes waiting by Michigan Avenue Bridge, Docent Rebecca Dixon smiles her way along the line, asking people where they’re from. She stops when she hears I’m from Scotland and proudly shows me her name badge.
“I’m a good Presbyterian girl.”
I say, “Great!”
It seems more polite than telling Rebecca that I’m one of the 57.6% of Scots found not to be Presbyterians by the 2001 Census.
Rebecca tells me that she’s from Virginia. “There are a lot of people in my part of the world from Scotland,” she beams at me significantly.
“Great!” I beam back at her.
“I nearly cut off my finger one time,” she recounts, “and I knew I’d need a book to read in the waiting room. So I took a book about the Scots in my part of the country and I learned a whole lot of things.”
This seems an admirably practical approach to digit-threatening injuries. We are a pragmatic people.
I claim a white plastic lawn chair on the lower deck of the boat. I am disappointed that the couple in front is arguing in a language I can’t identify, substantially cutting down on eavesdropping opportunities. This does not cut down, however, on the amusement provided by the woman’s jacket. I wonder if she knows that alongside the old luggage label prints on her quilted back, that her outfit also proclaims, “Peacock’s Improved Double Dissection.”
Perhaps I should have brought something to read.