Monday, May 11, 2009

Lines, Graduation & Ninnyhammers

I don’t know how I manage to do it, but I have a knack for getting in the wrong line. Surely, some of you can related to that.

Maybe it’s genetic, or perhaps it’s some undiscovered virus plaguing me, or just a penchant for bad luck. Who knows?

My only consolation is that I know, brothers and sisters, I am not alone.

About a month or so ago, I met a rabbi in the security line queue at Denver International Airport. I guess I had visions of Moses parting the Red Sea and figured it was a safe bet to follow the rabbi into his security line. But the very nano-second Mr. Rabbi and I arrived in our line (you know, the line that originally was moving rather speedy quick), it came to an abrupt and grinding halt.

The rabbi just looked at me and rather apologetically said, “I always get in the slowest line—even at the grocery store.”

Jeez Louise, who would have thought that? So much for my Moses and Red Sea vision.

Now, I probably wouldn’t care very much about this little problem of mine except it has managed to spill over into other areas of my life. Somehow I’ve become a magnet for annoying people. And not just a tiny little magnet either. No siree, Missy, we’re talkin’ the magnetic power of the superconducting supercolliding type--except mine’s not broken.

I’m not exactly sure when all that happened, but the entire magnet theory became especially relevant this weekend when my husband and I attended our eldest child’s graduation ceremony at Texas Tech University. It was such a great Mother’s Day gift to watch our daughter graduate magna cum laude. (Woo-hoo!)

A friend of my daughter’s joined us to witness the two and half hour ceremony. As he got himself situated, he told me he had stuffed an air horn down his boot. Most of you probably know that such nonsense is banned from these kinds of ceremonies because air horns tend to take away from the dignity of the event. In fact, at my school's graduation (as well as at other high schools across our great land) teachers are assigned to confiscate such offending noise makers, and in some cases, sometimes even flag down police officers to escort the offenders out. (I know all this because such is my usual job assignment at graduation. See how lucky I am?)

So when Christopher told me about the air horn stashed down his boot, I told him I would smack him upside his little pointy head if he used it because after spending thousands and thousands of dollars on my daughter’s education, I did not intend to be tossed unceremoniously out of graduation. Although he looked somewhat crestfallen, he promised not to. (I think I might have thrown in a threat involving his liver and nose, too.)

Things (there are those darn tootin’ things again) were rockin’ along pretty well, but you know they always do at first.

Well, as I said, things were rockin’ along pretty well. We were seated in the perfect section directly above where our daughter would be sitting. Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes fame gave the commencement speech, and I loved it (and not just because I am a journalist). In fact, I enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance.

What I didn’t enjoy were the poops and ninnyhammers

The row behind us consisted of a really annoying man who pretended to talk in an announcer voice and who repeatedly kicked the back of my husband’s chair. Then, of course, there was the 3-to 4-year-old girl who did stuff and said stuff that only families find cute, but everyone else on the planet finds, well, rather annoying and disruptive.

I thought we were safe once that row vacated after their graduate received his diploma. Sadly, they were merely replaced by another group jockeying for a better position who talked about restaurants, directions and their jobs all in rather loud voices.

As if that weren’t enough (and don’t ya think that should have been?), let’s not forget about the preteen boy who pumped up the volume on his cell phone so he could hear some rather bad music about two hours into the ceremony.

I looked at the rows away from me, and no one else seemed to have such problems. For a brief moment, I looked around for that rabbi in hopes that perhaps he was somewhere there, and we could commiserate about the poopheads and ninnyhammers.

But sadly, I was very alone in all this. Either the other rows paid these guys to move closer to me, or apparently the poops and ninnyhammers just naturally gravitated towards my row because of that superconducting supercolliding magnet thing.

Now, if only I had been thinking clearly, I should have grabbed that air horn from Chris’ boot and given those poops a toot or two.

Except with my luck, the usher would have kicked me out, and then I’d have lots of explaining to do.


Kelley said...

You are certainly not alone in this. It has been happening more and more to me too.

Kelley said...

You are certainly not alone in this one. It has been happening more and more to me too.

Unknown said...

A ninja thwack would work well.