Jenntertainment's Weblog

Adventures in children's theatre.

Roller Coaster Face September 5, 2012

Filed under: Jenn-eral — jenntertainment @ 11:14 am
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Oh, yeah. I have a blog.

     I was reminded of this fact over the holiday weekend, when every story I told was greeted by “that should go in your blog.” This is what makes me a poor blogger (bloggess?). True bloggers find a couple of paragraphs in everything that they do, whereas I have to be reminded that the things that happen in my days are interesting. This, along with my penchant for commas, separates me from the masters. Comma, comma, comma. Comma way with me.

     That, along with my natural ability to turn everything into a song, which doesn’t really translate well over the web because you can’t hear me singing or see my head-bobble dance.

But I digress.

     I’d like to say that I haven’t blogged in the past six months or so because I’ve been so busy with my new roommate, Jamie Kate. You want to see a picture? Okay, fine.

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     Or I could say that I haven’t updated this site because I’ve been soooo busy at work. Sure, you can have a picture of that, too.

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          But the truth is something that I learned in theatre class: the characters in a comedy don’t realize that what’s happening to them is funny. When you’re in the midst of something new and chaotic, you don’t really stop to think about the entertainment value of each experience. Kind of like when you’re on a roller coaster; you don’t realize that you’re making a crazy face until you see your picture on display in the gift shop.

          So here I go again, promenading my crazy face for all to see (all ten of you that read this, that is). I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

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Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! March 5, 2012

Filed under: The Show Must...You Know... — jenntertainment @ 12:08 pm
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Seussical the Musical!

Our most recent Main Stage production, Seussical, has finally come and gone. This is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and as soon as I saw it on our season I knew it was going to be a blast! I’ve directed the junior version before, but never the full-length, and not on this scale. For me, Seussical was like another Joseph…Dreamcoat. I was slated to be choreographer, not director, yet the entire show is music. This time, unlike Joseph, the director agreed to share directorial credit with me. I know it sounds small, but if I’m going to basically stage every moment of the show that the audience is paying to see, I’d kind of like for them to know I had something to do with it. 🙂

Credit decided, we split up the work into two halves. She designed the costumes and props (of which there were hundreds), we designed the set together, and I choreographed the show with her input. I think it was because of this clear communication and collaboration from the very beginning that the show went so beautifully. Everyone was on the same page, everything got done on time, and every piece fit right into place. Amazing!

Since the theatre has grown so large so quickly, the Artistic Director and I have had to sort of “divide and conquer” the different programs that we offer. It’s been almost two years since she and I worked on a show together, and I think we’ve proven once again that we work exceptionally well as a team. My strength is in the big picture, and her’s is in the detail. Together, with the help of our amazing design team and volunteers, we are able to put on a well-polished production that our community can be proud of!

The question, of course, is how do we repeat this process with other people? Can we put together a production schedule template to assist other directorial teams in the same theatre? Can we, through organized processes, create the same kind of success with other productions? Can we learn to improve upon our weaknesses and share our strengths? How do we create successful collaboration for ourselves and others in the future?

No, really. How do we do this? Anyone? Beuller?

Collaboration, like any partnership or marriage, is an intimate process. In order for it to work successfully, both (or all) parties have to be willing to stand up or lie down for certain causes. There must be an equal give-and-take of power, decision making, and compromise. Some people say that in a compromise nobody gets what they really want. In my experience, the very act of having to explain and defend your artistic choices can be a powerful, powerful tool. If I can succinctly answer the question why do I feel strongly about this? then the idea is a go. If I can’t define it, then it probably isn’t a strong choice, and despite my willful obstinance, it probably doesn’t mean that much to me anyway. As long as both parties understand this concept and are willing to play by the rules, you can make great progress together. By getting rid of the ambivalent, you enhance the good!

I seem to have gone off on a bit of a tangent. My point is only that, in my opinion, this show worked because this partnership worked. Because of our cohesion, the cast and crew were all well-informed and well-rehearsed, which made them confident. Their confidence transferred into strong, energetic performances that enthused the audience and garnered us fantastic reviews via print and word of mouth! Every member of the cast was proud of the work that they had put in to this show, so they talked it up! They put out posters (more than we’ve ever run for any show!), sold program advertisements (more than we’ve ever sold for any playbill!), put us on Facebook and Twitter, sent emails to their friends and family, and marketed the show for us with their own enthusiasm. You just can’t buy that kind of publicity.

As a result, we had a nearly sold-out run of thirteen performances, which is pretty fantastic for a community theatre production in our area. Dr. Seuss’ famous characters are beloved by young and old, and it was wonderful to see our audience filled with several generations of the same family, all enjoying the same performance together. I love beyond words that we are dedicated to creating entertainment that the entire family can enjoy. I hope that our productions inspire family conversations. I hope that the experiences they have in our theatre seats lead to them spending more time together doing things that they all appreciate, like reading books together, playing dress-up, doing arts and crafts, asking questions, and thinking thinks! I hope this for every one of our performances, but on some productions, the likelihood seems so much higher.

So here’s to you, cast and crew of Seussical! Thanks for all the thinks. 🙂

 

Homemade Marshmallows! February 27, 2012

After weeks of rabid pinning on Pinterest, I finally realized that I had yet to attempt a single project on any of my boards. Unless you actually attempt to do some of your pinned items, the whole thing is kind of like day dreaming. Sure, I’d like to visit Antarctica, recycle everything I own into a fabulous piece of furniture, and live by the moral code of E-Cards, but it’s impossible unless you actually step away from the computer and do something. In real life. With real objects.

Inexplicably, I decided that the first Pinterest Project I would tackle would be homemade marshmallows (click here for the recipe), and I announced to my husband that he needed to buckle his seatbelt because we were about to have homemade (almost) s’mores!

Except that’s not really the way it turned out. While marshmallow preparation takes about 12 minutes, marshmallow science take about 12 hours, so we had to go to sleep and dream marshmallowy dreams until this morning. When we awoke at the crack of 11:30, we had one giant 8″ x 8″ marshmallow sitting in our kitchen, just waiting to be divided into a bunch of miniature squares of fluff! But it turns out that there are a few things about homemade marshmallows, other than the tedious waiting process, that the recipes do not share with you.

Firstly, cutting a giant marshmallow into bite-sized pieces is trickier than one might think. If I were to guess, I would say it was kind of like cutting a slab of Silly Putty. As soon as you pull the knife out of the glob, it fuses itself back together. Try as I might, I couldn’t get an actual shape to come out of the pan. Thankfully, Vann stepped in and developed a sort of “press-and-pull” technique that worked pretty well. If it weren’t for his patience and precision, we would have a kitchen full of ripped shreds of marshmallow, like the remnants of some sort of Peep holocaust.

Another important thing the recipes don’t warn you about is this; after you’ve made them, waited for them, and used an entire day’s worth of curse words cutting them, no one is going to react to your homemade marshmallows with the kind of wonder and awe that they might reserve for other homemade treats. Show up at a party with homemade croissants or baked alaska, or, say, roast a whole lamb on a spit in your front yard, and people will praise you for days. Hand someone a homemade marshmallow and the reaction seems to be pretty much the same. “Oh, it tastes like a marshmallow!” Honestly, even the exclamation point is a bit of an exaggeration. The thing about homemade marshmallows is that, unless you’ve taken the time to make some fancy-schmancy-gourmet-vanilla-watermelon-and-sardine-vodka-infused variety, they just taste like marshmallows. No better, no worse. End of story.

The last piece of left-out information is this; jet-puffed, chemically-enhanced marshmallows are more microwave friendly than the homemade variety. I’m not quite sure why, but our little guys just couldn’t handle the pressure. Vann assembled all the pieces for his first s’mores attempt, and our beautiful little marshmallow went from a solid cube to a gooey puddle in exactly 3 seconds. No joke! One second it was there, the next it was gone. The top graham cracker didn’t even stand a chance; it just plummetted to the bottom, creating what amounted to a chocolate sandwich on a plate of marshmallow soup. Don’t get me wrong; we grabbed our forks and made the best of a gloppy situation. And then we did it again just to watch the marshmallow disppear, acting more like a vanishing Houdini than a slowly melting Wicked Witch.

Years ago, Vann and I resorted to melting a chocolate Easter bunny in our fondue pot because, well, we wanted chocolate fondue and he was the only specimen in the house. Whenever the subject comes up, we still laugh about the torturous way that we watched him sink into a pool of his own being, leaving just two little candy eyes floating on the surface. David Copperfield marshmallows are even funnier. Trust me.

In closing, if you have a free 12 minutes, make yourself some homemade marshmallows and go to bed. Then find someone who has a really great sense of humor and invite them into your kitchen for some ridiculously sticky fun. Try cutting the marshmallows with knives and then resort to scissors. Try heating them in the microwave, with a butane torch, and lastly, with a normal Bic lighter. Try eating them with a fork, with a spoon, with graham crackers, and with both hands. Ruin your shirt, get gelatinous sugar stuck in your hair, and finally resort to a shower. Then, settle down on the couch and watch GhostBusters. You’ll thank me later.

Homemade Marshmallow Face

Homemade Marshmallow Face

 

Career Day February 24, 2012

Every Spring, we get invited to speak at a circuit of career day assemblies at local elementary schools. Most of these fairs are held in the school’s gymnasium or lunch room and feature grown-up after grown-up talking dryly about their jobs in finance or law while students try not to fall asleep. Usually crammed between fractions and lunch time, these assemblies seem to be less about helping students find answers to the age-old question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and more about grown-up show and tell. When faced with a room full of kids, every adult wants to look hip, even if they’re talking about accounting.

The good part is that working at a children’s theatre looks like the height of glamour and excitement if you’re still in the fourth grade. When compared side by side with a career as an insurance salesman or a dental hygienist, we look like the bomb. While other vendors give kids free calculators and samples of toothpaste, we do demonstrations of puppetry and fencing! Plus, we give them real pirate gold to take home. I don’t want to brag, but we’re kind of a tough act to follow. Especially if you’re a software engineer and give a Power Point presentation about how to make Power Point presentations.

I imagine that we’re quite annoying to everyone else at the fair. Nicely polished, sensibly-suited professionals come in to speak to students about their work, armed with flow charts that depict the staggering number of years of college you will need to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. All while we make balloon animals and wear silly hats. Take that, rocket science! Why study to be a lawyer when you can just play one on tv?

Our biggest competition at these events is the local petting zoo, which for some inexplicable reason always brings baby alligators to the assembly. Call me crazy, but I consider any reptile that must be contained in a steel cage with a leather strap around its mouth to be an ineligible candidate for a petting zoo, and I would encourage said alligator to seek employment elsewhere. Of course, the kids go crazy over reptiles and the presumably badass park rangers that work with them. I would rather lick a public toilet than pet a baby alligator, but that is just one of the many things that makes me different from a 9-year-old boy.

No matter your position on baby alligators, I think we can all agree that the worst person to be at a fourth-grade job fair is the funeral director. It’s a hard sell, especially when your handout is a pamphlet on grief counseling and your show-and-tell consists of formaldehyde, embalming fluid, and a baby casket.

~ I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this blog is a work of non-fiction and that I’m not making any of this up. These elementary school job fairs actually have baby alligators and baby caskets, and if I ever find out who’s in charge of coordinating these things, I plan on writing a formal complaint. ~

At the end of the assembly, the students have to rank each career from “Most Appealing” to “Least Appealing.” Then they must compare and contrast the answers to four questions in the hopes that they will, at the ripe age of 9, discover their true calling in life based on a systematic matrix of data. Unfortunately, this Q&A session is when the students begin to back away from a sparkling life in children’s theatre with fear and dread in their eyes.

What are the average work hours? Always.
What is the average salary? Hilarious.
What skills are necessary for this profession? Creativity, passion, insomnia, patience, tact, and hot-gluing.
What advice would you offer someone who is interested in pursuing this field? Don’t get a dog.

After all that, dental hygiene starts to look pretty good.

Joking aside, I have to admit that, despite how much I truly love my job, I don’t really consider children’s theatre to be a viable career option for, well, most people. Just like other fairy tale professions (Princess, Cowboy, Mattress Tester), there is no career path or road sign that points directly to “Children’s Theatre Director,” even if you’ve taken the time to get one of those highfalutin MFAs (and believe me, those first two letters don’t stand for “Master” or “Fine”). You can’t travel that route in pursuit of an amazing paycheck, incredible hours, high recognition, glitz, or glamour. Instead, you can only follow your heart down the path that says “I-Believe-I-Can-Make-the-World-a-Better-Place-by-Inspiring-Creativity-in-the-Minds-of-Tomorrow.”

What’s at the end of that path? Stay tuned. 🙂

 

Is Theatre Right for Your Child?

Every year, parents across the country are forced to send their children somewhere – anywhere – after school, in an attempt to keep their kids entertained and out of trouble until dinnertime. The choices are many, and some parents may find it overwhelming to choose the perfect extracurricular activity for their child. I have taken the liberty of creating this simple quiz to aid puzzled parents in the decision-making process.

1. Does your child excel in sports?
A) My child is the next Michael Phelps
B) My child can run, if necessary
C) My child prefers to challenge the mind instead of the body
D) My child has a written note from a counselor excusing him/her from gym class forever

2. Does your child make friends easily?
A) Very Easily: My child has never met a stranger
B) Somewhat Easily: My child has a lot of friends on Facebook
C) Struggles Somewhat: My child has a few close friends
D) Struggles: My child’s friends are mostly imaginary

3. Does your child tan well?
A) Like a Greek god/goddess
B) Burns a little, then tans
C) Burns to a crisp
D) Not Applicable; we can’t get him/her to go outside

4. Does your child have any allergies or dietary restrictions?
A) No known allergies
B) Mild seasonal allergies
C) Moderate seasonal allergies and a mild peanut allergy
D) Severe environmental allergies and extreme allergies to nuts, soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, latex, chocolate, and cotton.

5. Is your child currently receiving emotional/psychological counseling?
A) He/She has never received counseling
B) Not currently, but he/she has received counseling in the past
C) Our family attends one counseling session per week
D) He/She attends one or more family session and two or more private sessions per week

6. What does your child think about the shows Glee and Smash?
A) Likes the stories, but hates all that senseless singing and dancing.
B) Likes it, but isn’t obsessed.
C) Loves it, and actually thinks that it’s cool to walk around with an “L” on his/her forehead.
D) Loves it, but thinks he/she could sing or dance it better.

Sports
If you answered mostly A’s, then your child is best suited for sports activities. Whether it’s horseback riding, swimming, soccer or lacrosse (whatever that is), your child will excel in a competitive atmosphere that keeps them physically active and perfectly tanned all year long.

Academics
If you answered mostly B’s, then permanent relocation to the world of academia is in your child’s future. Encourage their studies by buying them pocket protectors, and letting them join the math club, chess club, or debate team. Though they may have some difficulty fitting in at school, they will eventually find their niche, and possibly win the Nobel Prize.

Crafts
If you answered mostly C’s, then your child would be best suited for a life of kitsch and craft glue. They may squirrel away in their room for hours at a time, but when they resurface, they will have created a memento of lasting beauty. Enroll them in classes at your local craft store, or find a scrapbooking club. If their genius is cultivated, they may end up with their own show on the DIY Network.

Theatre
If you answered mostly D’s, then please take your child immediately to the nearest children’s theatre. If your child is bookish, sensitive, creative, and needy, then he/she is the perfect candidate for a life on the boards. The boys will learn to apply makeup and sew sequins on their clothes, while the girls will learn how to use a mitre saw and open paint cans with their teeth. Most importantly, they will be surrounded by kindred spirits, and be happier than you ever thought possible. I hope to meet you and your child very soon. 🙂

 

The Homing Mushroom February 23, 2012

This is a story about a mushroom. However, in order for me to tell you that story, I must first tell you another one; a story about a question.

The very first musical that my boss directed in our hometown was also the very first musical that I was ever in, outside of church pageants and school chorus concerts. I vividly remember swinging on the play set in our backyard one day after school and seeing my mom open the sliding glass door onto our back porch. When she opened the door she also opened her mouth and asked me one question: “Would you like to audition for a play?”

To say that this question changed my life is the understatement of the century. In reality, that question affected many lives more than anyone can possibly fathom. Because of that question, that invitation to do something new and exciting, my world was transformed! Because of that question, an infinite realm of possibilities was opened to me, and my life slowly began to take shape. Because of that question, I met my future best friends, my future co-workers, and my maid of honor, not to mention my future mentor and partner in theatre crime. Perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but that’s always been my way, which is yet another reason why that question “would you like to audition for a play?” was so impactful for me.

There are only two more things about this question that you need to know before I continue with my story. The first is that after answering “yes,” we went to the theatre (which was really a room that was being rented out by the local police precinct, but that is a third and fourth story altogether), filled out some forms, and whammo! I was in a musical. The second is that the name of that musical was Peter Pan, and as everyone knows, Peter Pan takes place in Never Never Land, where the Lost Boys have an underground hideaway that has an entrance disguised as a tree trunk and a chimney disguised as a mushroom.

This is a story about a mushroom.

The mushroom that was used in that production of Peter Pan was custom-built out of an old sonotube, vinyl, and some stuffing. In my memory, it was painted yellow with purple polka dots and a brown stump, but I’ve seen it painted in so many different ways over the years (dare I say decades?) that I am likely wrong about this. In Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Smee stop to rest on this oversized toadstool in the forests of Never Never Land, only to have their britches catch on fire in an overplayed bit of physical comedy. When they see the smoke coming from the bottom of the mushroom, they realize that it is, in fact, the hiding place of Peter Pan! The plot thickens.

After this one scene, the mushroom is no longer relevant to the story, and it spends the rest of the play off stage. But as we all know, children’s fairy tales almost always include enchanted forests, which almost always call for a magical mushroom. The mushroom might be a bed for Thumbelina, a hiding place for Snow White, or even a snack for a famished hunter. In any case, once our giant, polka-dotted mushroom was finished with its run in Peter Pan, it had many other roles to play in many other stories, building itself quite an extensive performance resume.

Over the years, the mushroom became somewhat of a local celebrity. Those of us in the theatre community would always look for it, wondering how it would be recycled next. If a character ran into the woods, chances were he would find himself tripping over this now-famous fungus. In time, it became a challenge to see how our director would incorporate it into each show. Sometimes it would be covered with a cloth and serve as an ottoman in someone’s living room, or sometimes it would be bedazzled and used as a footstool for trying on glass slippers. Sometimes it was just on stage for no reason at all other than to continue the tradition. “Cue the mushroom!” became the popular command backstage, where no one wanted to be responsible for forgetting to include it in the night’s performance. From Peter Pan to Winnie the Pooh to Big River, I don’t think that little fungi ever missed an entrance.

In a story that is not quite mine to tell, my boss decided to leave that theatre program and begin a new community theatre of her own that would be dedicated solely to children’s plays. After ten years of working for the same company, she had to leave behind all of the costumes, scenery and props that the program had accrued throughout its years under her direction. She said goodbye to her beloved toadstool, and, with me again at her side, we started the children’s theatre that now keeps us (and countless others) busy morning, noon, and night.

During one of our first productions as a new company, we asked to borrow the original mushroom, but were told that it had been thrown away in a recent purging of the theatre’s storage unit. After a suitable period of mourning, I asked a crew member to make me a similar mushroom, but it just wasn’t the same. The mushroom of legend, it seemed, it had taken its last bow.

I would now like you to fast forward with me through eight years of wild, zany, children’s theatre shenanigans, and through countless enchanted forest scenes featuring logs, tree stumps, and giant flowers, but no mushrooms. It is a Monday afternoon, and I am teaching a tap class in our dance studio while my boss is running down the hallway, panting “my mushroom is back, my mushroom is back!” and grinning from ear to ear.

I followed her down the hall and into our lobby, to see the mushroom sitting there in all its glory! The cushion is now tan with multiple colors of stripes and spots, but if I squint I swear I can still see the original purple polka dots peering through the 19 years of paint!

It turns out that, eight years ago, a young couple expecting their first child bought this strangely wonderful, oversized mushroom ottoman from a thrift store. They kept it in their little girl’s fairy-themed nursery until this month when, in a fit of redecorating, they decided to throw it out. But on their way to the dump, the mother asked herself a question: “Couldn’t that children’s theatre down the street use an adorable fairy toadstool in a play?”

And that question, while it didn’t change any lives, certainly changed an ordinary afternoon at work into an extraordinary trip down memory lane.

The Mushroom of Legend

The Mushroom of Legend

 

Supercenter Adventure January 26, 2012

Filed under: Jenn-eral — jenntertainment @ 9:25 am
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Recently, I went to Wal-Mart because I needed to feel better about myself. This practice may seem cruel and unusual to some, but it does the trick almost every time. Whenever I’m feeling down, I just take a brief, three-hour trip to my closest Super Center and I walk out feeling like a million bucks.
Putting me inside of a Wal-Mart and asking me not to judge my fellow shoppers is like putting a fish in a bowl of water and asking it not to swim. For a long time I have made rude and stereotypical assumptions about the super-mega-mart’s average clientele. After all, watching people grocery shop in bulk is like watching my fellow brethren select a lifestyle menu option. A cart full of Hostess Twinkies and RC-Cola says to me “I think I’ll have the Type II Diabetes Special, please.” Three gallons of Boon’s Farm table wine with eight packages of hot dogs and the shopper practically screams “give me a renal failure to go, and make it snappy!”
My imagination runs wild on each trip, wondering what will happen once the child in front of me finally chews through his leash. By the end of each visit, my knuckles are white from all of the cart-dodging, and I’m ready for a really long shower. (Maybe your Wal-Mart is spic-and-span, but mine has a certain derelict quality equal to truck stops.)
I’ve learned to park about three miles away from the entrance, in hopes that I will avoid any shopping-cart-vs.-my-car accidents. Whenever faced with a choice between a good spot near a renegade shopping cart, or a place in the North 40 with nary a cart in sight, I will always choose the cart desert. Since I work in a shopping center with a popular grocery store, I figure it is only a matter of time before my precious baby Toyota is defeated by a stray buggy. Through tactical parking, I plan on delaying the inevitable as long as possible.
Once I finally reached the front entrance, I was told by the greeter (speaking through a tube) that they were out of shopping carts and that I had to walk to the parking lot to get one. While I was keenly aware of the irony, I was none too pleased. I came for a confidence boost, not cardio.
Cart in tow, I was finally able to begin my shopping adventure. The people were astonishing, as usual. There was the teenage boy in overalls and no shirt, the old man on the scooter, the woman with 18 children, the old man on the scooter, the lady with curlers in her hair eating from the produce section like it was a buffet, the old man on the scooter…wait. Why was this guy always in front of me?
I could not get around this geezer in the power chair. Every time I turned down a new aisle, he would cut in front of me, zooming along at the speed of smell. By the fourth time, I began quickly diverting my cart and running down the next aisle, hoping to head him off at the pass. But when I reached the end, there he was, tootling away ahead of me yet again.
If I reached for something, he rolled in front of me. If I changed direction, his chair would pirouette and magically appear on my other side. Soon, I developed a strategy of reaching for unneeded items just to lure him in the wrong direction. No matter my tactic, he was always in the lead.
After doing a few deep breathing exercises, I was able to control my irrational anger at this chair-bound senior. It was clear that he needed the same things out of Wal-Mart that I did; the chance to feel superior to everyone else. Even though he was old and mottled, he was wearing a very snappy hat and clearly enjoying every moment of torturing me. I eventually lost him on the feminine products aisle, where I could finally focus on the task at hand. Judgment.
As I roamed the aisles, I imagined myself having all sorts of awkward-yet-life-changing conversations with my fellow shoppers. I wondered if it would be appropriate for me to tell a distracted mother that her son had just put a package of Jell-O in his pants. I also wondered if that man in the socks and sandals was really planning on using all fifteen gallons of that mayonnaise, or if he was just trying to set a world record for making the largest vat of potato salad in the county. I wondered how long that old guy’s electric scooter battery would last, and what would happen when it finally died.
My imagination could only entertain me for so long. With my ego sufficiently bolstered and my cart sufficiently filled, I headed for the checkout line and then began my long trek back across the parking lot. You’ll never guess who was parked right next to me in his motorized wheelchair.
Okay, you probably guessed. What you might not have guessed was that he wasn’t finished with this business of torturing me. With a sardonic twinkle in his eye, he asked me to please drive his scooter back into the store. Obviously, he couldn’t be expected to do it because then he would have to walk all the way back to his car. Don’t ask me why an elderly man chose to park so far away or how he got to the scooter in the first place, because the truth is, I really don’t know.
What I do know is that I looked like a complete jackass driving that thing across the parking lot at a top speed of three miles per hour. As I puttered past the other shoppers, I could feel their eyes glaring at me, judging me. What was I, a young, obviously able-bodied yuppie doing driving a Wal-Mart power chair while they are clearly reserved for the elderly and infirmed? Each red neck craned in my direction, while I held up the flow of pick-up trucks and old Coupe de Villes waiting to find parking spaces of their own. Their fiery stares made my face turn bright red, like the brake lights on my scooter.
“Ma’am,” said the greeter through his tube, “these are not for recreational use.”
“I know, I was just returning it for…for my…for the elderly man who…yes, sir,” I sputtered.
Humiliated. At Wal-Mart. By an old man in a hat.
As The Good Book says, “judge not lest ye be judged.” Maybe next time I’m feeling low I’ll just stay home and watch some reality TV.