Monday, 1 October 2012

Creativity Exercise 2 (Chalet, Bird, Hell's Bells)

Place: Humber Valley Golf Resort (Golf course and chalet in Newfoundland)
Object: Liocichla (a type of warbler common to Asia with a red chest and yellow head)
Other: Hell's Bell's: The dangers of Rock 'N' Roll (a Christian documentary about the relation of Rock 'N' Roll to amoral behavior and the devil)

I sat on the deck, looking out across the golf course covered in fresh snow. There is something about snow that I find very relaxing. It is clean and fresh and makes the world look, at least for a little while, like it has been cleaned up. I yawned and took a draw on my coffee, letting the heat of the drink warm my chest and the Irish cream warm my soul. Most people found vacationing during the winter quite intolerable. They would rather sit on a beach somewhere on watch children scream at one another and chase each other up and down the surf. Frankly, I would take this white wonderland any day of the week.

The deck, which was equipped with several heat lamps so that customers could sit on it, was devoid of anyone save me and the bartender. I glanced around to where the bartender was idly wiping down the bar. The bar was located inside the chalet so that the bartender could serve both the deck and the restaurant at the same time. Behind the bar hung a bird cage containing a strange looking bird, all red and yellow feathers, which sang a pretty little song. The bartender occasionally whistled at it and the little bird whistled back. The birdsong added a pleasant atmosphere to the place, a counterpoint to the silence of the snow.

I was just beginning to contemplate a second coffee when a woman bustled onto the patio. She wore a large white coat trimmed with white fur, though whether or not it was real fur I couldn't say. The coat was long enough that it swept out behind her along the ground so that the trim on the bottom of it gathered the dirt off the patio. She also had on a white ushanka and a pair of white gloves. She bustled up to the bar and rather rudely asked for a glass of orange juice, which the bartender produced. She then proceeded to come over and sit next to me.

Still warm from my coffee and enjoying the snow I made the mistake of saying good morning to this strange creature. She immediately began complaining to me about the service in the chalet, about how the bus boys were slow and lazy and the maids had not done a good enough job of cleaning the room. This greatly surprised me. I had stayed here numerous times and always found the service to be excellent. However, to hear her speak of it, this was an atrocious place to stay and not worth the dime she had spent.

The worst of it, the lady said, was how after they were off the bus boys and maids gathered and danced in the basement to that hideous rock and roll music. Now I was a little astounded by this. Many of the staff lived at the chalet, since it was a long way from town, and far be it from us to tell them what they should do in there time off. Besides, it was well known that the staff threw parties several nights a week and most of the guests went to them. Anyone was invited and the chalet did good business selling drinks at the event. I myself had partaken in one a couple days ago, and while I assure my readers that I did not dance I certainly enjoyed the band and the company of my fellow vacationers.

"Madam," I said, "surely we should not be so hard on them. After all, they are only young once. Let them live a little. Besides, many of the guests enjoy the parties as well and the chalet sees no problem with them." The woman looked terribly affronted by this. "Have you not seen Holmberg's work on the subject?" she asked, "In Hell's Bells he explicitly shows how rock and roll music can lead to drunkenness and drug use and rebellion." I gave a shrug. "Surely it is the purpose of youth to rebel a little," I said, "after all, how can we hope they will change the world if they will not rise up against it?" A shocked look crossed the woman's face. "Why should we want them to change it?" she asked. "Is it not god's will that the world is how it is. The world does not need changing. Look at the beauty of today. Would you like this changed?" And with that she swept her hand out, indicating the snow covered golf course.

 I looked over at her. "The snow hides the ugliness beneath it," I replied, "but we can not forget how dirty the world is beneath the snow, no matter how beautiful the snow is." And with that I stood up and walked over to the bar.

The bartender smiled as I approached, and his little bird, which had stopped singing, began again as I walked up to the bar. I asked for another coffee and stood there watching the little bird while the bartender made it. He handed me the drink and I thanked him and walked back over to my seat again.

The woman was standing, and for a moment I was hopeful she would leave. However, I could see that I had upset her, and as I approached she seemed to swell a little bit with rage. "How dare you," she said, "drink such a profane drink. Alcohol at this time in the morning. You are as bad as any of the staff here." I was a little shocked, and my surprise allowed her to grab my coffee from my unyielding hand. She threw it, cup and all, off the patios and then stormed off. I looked down at my coffee, which had splattered across the new fallen snow, leaving an ugly spattering of brown across the otherwise pristine snowy ground.

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