Do You Know George Lopez?

Courtney Campbell, Guest Columnist

Last Friday I met George Lopez. It may not be the George Lopez you are thinking of, but nonetheless, his first name was George and his last name was Lopez; he even showed me proof on his high school ID and driver’s license. I was scanning the aisle for project supplies with my mother at the Dollar Store when a man wearing a helmet approached us saying, “You know, I am lucky to be alive.” He pulled out a box with what looked like a magnet inside. He showed us how the magnet moved along the metal bracket, and then proceeded to remove his bike helmet and move it along his face – the magnet moved in the same way. He shared with us how half his face was a metal plate, which made sense because it seemed like he had a couple screws loose. He had been in a rollover accident and the truck smashed his face “like a pancake,” as he described it. He pulled out his wallet and retrieved a 15-year-old photo of his wife and made sure we understood that “she looked exactly the same.” He followed it with another story about how he acquired yet another scar on his left arm, promptly followed with a dance lesson that he learned at his cousin’s wedding five or six years ago. After about a good 20 minutes of his life stories, we regretfully had to cut him off. He shook our hands and gave us each a big hug. “Thank you for listening,” he said.  I looked around and noticed how all the other customers on the next aisle seem to be fascinated with the selection on toy dolls and toilet paper. It bothered me that no one else would take the time to talk to this man, who turned out to be an exceptional conversationalist, but they would listen to the ‘poor soul’ who was sucked in. Strange as it may seem, this happens frequently and each person I encounter expands my knowledge on all topics.  Before we parted ways, he said something I will always remember.  He looked me straight in the eye with the biggest smile I have seen on a person, and said, “Now you can say you’ve met George Lopez.”