Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brief Encounters with Nancy Brophy

For today's post I thought I should post a conversation I had with a guest staying at the B&B...I had committed the conversation to paper several months ago and came across it as I was cleaning up my hard drive this afternoon.  


When I am not in grad school, doing research in Spain, teaching courses in bioethics to thoroughly bored nursing and medical students or searching for lost cats stuck in trees I work at my family's bed and breakfast near Yosemite National Park.  This last summer I had a series of conversations with a guest.  Her name was Nancy Brophy (of course this is not actually her name as names have been changed to protect the innocent.)  Anyway, It's guests like Nancy Brophy that make me really wonder if I am cut out for the service industry.  If I wasn't so gosh darn skilled at getting the lime scale off of shower doors and removing bodily fluid staining from sheets I think I would throw in the towel and tell my parent's they are on their own up in Coulterville.  But alas, since I am really and truly gifted at scrubbing toilets I keep on keeping on and enjoying the company of true originals like one Nancy Brophy.   Now as for this guest Nancy Brophy...think of my encounters with her as a play told in three acts...I call it "Brief Encounters with Nancy Brophy".  

The First Encounter
 (Experienced in the form of Phone Conversation with me using my professional phone voice):

Her: "Hi...this is Nancy, I am staying with you tonight."

Me: "Yes, hello, we are looking forward to your stay."

Her: "Now how do I find you?"

Me: "Okay, for the first leg you are going to want to take Hwy 120 to Smith Station Road, it'll be 10 miles from the park gate to the Smith Station turn off".

Her: "So is that a long 10 miles?"

Me: "Hmm, well its a straight 10 miles on Hwy 120."

Her: "So its a long 10 miles then?"

Me: "Well its 10 miles at 65 miles per hour, or 16 kilometers at like 105 km/h...on a relatively straight flat road."

Her: "Oh okay, so its a short 10 miles then?"

Me:  "I don't know that I would call it long or short...I would maybe just say that it is a universally accepted 10 miles."

Her:  "Got's a long 10 miles then?"

Me: "Umm, I'm not really sure how else I can qualify or describe a quantitative measurement of linear distance other than to say its 10 miles in a straight line."

Her: "So you're saying its a pretty easy 10 miles then?"

Me: "Yes Ma'am...that is exactly what I am saying."

The Second Encounter
(Experienced as I took her breakfast order)

Me: "How would you like your eggs?"

Her: "Well, I am watching what I eat...will I still get the same protein from a hard boiled as a scrambled you get what I'm saying?"

Me: "Uh-huh, I totally see where you are going with this and I believe this is exactly what French chemist Antoine Lavoisier was talking about when he wrote his treatise on
 the law of conservation of mass and matter."

Her: "Oh is he the guy who designed NutriSystem?"

Me:  "Uh-huh, and would you believe he's actually fathered children by both Marie Osmond and Valerie Bertinelli?"

The Third Encounter
(Experienced as I drew her a map to the Diana Pools)

Me:  The Diana Pools are our natural swimming pools on the property.  They're where the north fork of the Merced meets Smith Creek and cascades over this huge granite face into a series of little pools.

Her:  "Are they heated?"

Me:  "Well..heated by solar energy..."

Her:  "Oh great, so they're warm."

Me:  "Well, no the water isn't warm because the Merced River is glacier fed...(visualize blank stare from her)...So the water is cold but the granite rock absorbs the heat all day and conducts the heat to the water which keeps it around 60 degrees."

Her:  "Oh so the water is frozen then? Is that safe?"

Me:  "No the water isn't frozen, its flowing water and is it safe?...well it really only takes six inches to drown so really who am I to say whether or not something is safe?"

Her:  "So its warm then, do you pump the water into the pools yourself then?"

Me:  "No, because I'm 28 so they put the glaciers in here back before I was born...which makes it, you know, pretty easy for me now.  I can just kind of let it do its thing."

Her: "Oh that is great, you're so lucky that was all done for you."

Me:  "Yeah, my family has always been into installing glaciers."

Her:  "Well, I just think it is so wonderful when families can pass a business down generation after generation."

Me:  "Yeah, the only thing that is hard is that whole federal inheritance tax on glaciers and, ya know, of course global warming."



Marianne said...

God bless you Miss Whitney. Your stories are a gift to us all.

And I also just think it is so wonderful when a family can pass a glacier down from generation to generation. Despite all this talk about 'climate change'.

Whitny said...

Thank you are my biggest fan and I too feel truly blessed to have been born into a family in the glacier business. Really, what more can a girl ask for?

James E. Braun said...

Well, when God asked me If I wanted to be responsible for them, I have to admit I hesitated. But, then, I realized I really don't have to do anything. Still, it seems something of an awesome responsibility. And I never expected Nancy Brophy. I am fairly certain nothing like that will ever come up again. I never never fails, just when I think I have the world's stupidest conversation down for the books...Whitny's glacial benefactor.