Do you know what the sun is like in the desert? Even in March? Even when there is a city built over the top of the desert? Last week on a trip to Phoenix, Arizona I received a welcome late winter dose of the sun's rays, and an extra Epic benefit as well.
The trip went extraordinarily well. My travel companions and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves, as, flushed with success we found ourselves driving down a Phoenix boulevard when we came upon a fellow working on a street corner. Outdoors. At noon. In the desert sun.
You think you have a lousy job? Try being a clearance sale sign man. You know. The poor blighter that, for a minimum wage, gets to stand out on some corner holding a sign. All day long. With no protection from rain, wind or sun. Wearing out his epidermis in the service of a store that is rather continually in a state of "clearance sale" or "going out of business". There are worse jobs. But the sign man's is on my short list of lousy ones.
As our car approached this particular desert corner, we noticed something out of the ordinary. Something Epic. This man was spinning his sign. Around his shoulders. Then around his torso. Under one leg. Then the other. Then up in the air. Finally he caught the sign, slapped the long edge of it on the broiling sidewalk, and sat on it with chin in hand. A huge grin on his face. Look what I can do. Look how good I am.
The light changed to green and traffic began to move. One car of astounded business travelers, with all four windows down, cheering and giving the thumbs up. Saluting a grand performance. The Clearance Sign Man grinned our way and gave the slightest of bows.
I do not know if the store was really going "out of business". I don't really care. What that sign man gave us was a living example of joy in what could only be described as trying circumstances. Nobility and Art in the midst of a concrete desert. A job very well done. Putting whatever it was we thought we had accomplished that morning squarely in the shade.
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