Category Archives: Humor

The Sweetest Sound

new glassesI got new glasses this week, and I can’t stop talking about them.  See them? They are extra, extra cool.  Thus, they are making me extra cool. It’s like I’ve catapulted into a whole new stratosphere.  I almost can’t stand it.

Anyway, I ordered my uber awesome specs last Saturday, and a sales person who wasn’t even helping me was ooing and aaahing and making a big deal about how amazing my glasses were.  In my head, I was like yeah, lady, I know.  It’s your job to tell me that.  But on the other hand, she had a point.  The glasses rocked the house!  Who was I to argue?

So on Tuesday when I got the call that my glasses were ready, I couldn’t wait to stop in the store on my way home from work.  I mean, who wants to delay new levels of coolness in their life?  Not me!  I was there in a jiffy.

When I walked in the store, the same sales lady – the one who wasn’t the one who helped me  – was there and she exclaimed (exclaimed, I tell you), “Jennifer!  I’ll be right with you!”  I’ll admit, I was a little surprised that she remembered my name and when she made her way to me, I told her as much.  And she said, “Of course I remember you.  You ordered those super cool purple glasses!”  (Apparently, they are the talk of the town.)

OK, so enough about the glasses.  I think I’ve made my point about them.  But what I want to say is this:  As I drove home, feeling all self-satisfied and thinking about what I could wear the next day to draw maximum attention to my newest accessory, it occurred to me that the simple act of remembering and then saying someone’s name is still one of the most validating experiences in life.  I live in a sea of Jennifers; they loom everywhere and turn up both in broad daylight and the dark, seedy corners of my life.  And yet, if you want to make me feel noticed, all you really need do is remember and say my name.  I’m going to make a point to remember that, so that I can make sure the people around me feel noticed, too.

Transitions: A New Business Model

Working as a leader in a public sector system – a system that is highly scrutinized, no less – has had its benefits.  One of those benefits is fine tuning some skills that can only come from opportunities made of sweating brows, churned stomachs, wringing hands.  Maintaining good ego strength on days where there is no love to be found?  I’ve got that covered.  Entering a room filled with an angry mob and turning the energy around?  No problem.  Solving two, three, even four problems with one solution? I’m a master at it.  Smiling on the outside when I feel murderous rage on the inside?  Believe it or not, most days I’ve got that one tucked away somewhere, too.

The one skill I may have fine tuned the most, however, is that of delivering bad news.  I’ve thought about this skill quite a lot in the last few days because it’s everyone least favorite time of year – contract time. That’s right, it’s the time of year when agencies in our system learn their fate.  Will their business thrive or die?  Is it their time to shine, or is their day in the sun drawing to a close?  As a department, we have to deliver news to eager executives, and some of it is just no fun to deliver.  But that’s business, and if we are making and executing hard decisions, it also means we are being good stewards of the tax payers.  It truly is all in a day’s work.

So when you’ve built a career on the sad misfortune of expressing bad news, it would make sense to build further upon that skill.  Right?  So I present to you, the new business I am developing.  Please know, I invite your feedback for its worthiness and its possible applications.  It is my proud honor to share with you:  Transitions.

Welcome to Transitions.  Transitions is a business model built on doing your dirty work.  No, we aren’t a maid service.  We don’t come with Haz-Mat suits and we don’t do biohazard clean-ups.  Rather, we do your dirty work…of delivering bad news.

Have an under-performing employee who is sadly pathetic but needs to go?  Afraid to fire them because you know they have a slew of hungry children at home?  No problem.  Transitions will compassionately but decisively let them know they need to pack up their desk and move around.  We will stay on-site until they’ve assuredly left the building.

Need to back out of business with your partner who was also the best man in your first wedding? We’ve got it covered.  Your professional Transitions Team will pull the sad sack aside and let him know what’s what – and we’ll even deliver the papers your lawyer drew up for him, too.

Is it time to end that relationship that is literally on its last leg?  With just a quick phone call from you, you can arrange to have the Transitions van pull up to the house, ring the door bell, and let your future ex-girlfriend know “it’s not you, it’s me (which, in fact, is really you).”  For a small up-charge, we will even stick around to gather up your favorite hoodie, your Fleetwood Mac album, and your iPhone charger.

So there you have it:  Transitions.  “Let somebody else do the talking, while you do the walking.”

I think I could really be onto something here.

Memorable Nights

I love hanging out with my peeps.  It grounds me, it makes me laugh, it melts the stress away.  I think a conservative estimate for my adult life is right around 1,950 nights out on the town of eating, drinking and being extraordinarily merry.  I’ve spent time in five star restaurants all the way down to the skankiest of dive bars (my personal favorite).  It’s all the same to me, for I can have fun just about anywhere.  (I mean really, my sister and I once proclaimed that we could put the “fun” in funeral.)  Out of those 1,950 or so nights out on the town, only a few have been real clunkers.  The rest?  I love them.  But even so, there aren’t so many that stand out in my mind.  They are fun, they are in the moment, and then they are gone.

But then one night you go out with your two best ride or die work friends, and an 80 year old lady who is missing many of her teeth and perhaps all of her faculties sets down a partially thawed turkey on the bar, dripping turkey juice all over the place and generally confusing (and disgusting) everyone.  And as the night wears on, the tale gets taller and by the end of the night the recollection is that there was a puddle of turkey guts on the bar.  Five days from now or a year from now I won’t remember a single thing that happened on this night, but I will remember that damn turkey on the bar.

Some nights are more memorable than others.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Old Man Winter

This unseasonably early, ridiculously much-too-severe-too-soon polar vortex nonsense has me thinking.  What I am trying to decide – and feel free to weigh in – is this:  Is Old Man Winter (OMW henceforth) an a-hole, or is he more of a d-bag?

I am not ready for OMW to show his sorry face around these parts.  But the evidence that he’s here and here to stay for a good spell is all there. Frost on my windows in the morning, parts of my body I forgot existed resurfacing to my awareness because they perpetually itch, energy bills that cause chest pains and frequent, loud, involuntary exclamations such as “Holy Balls it’s cold out here!”  Not to mention, a significant portion of the time my lips hurt real bad.  There is nothing to like about OMW, I tell you.  Nothing!

So on the one hand, OMW is a d-bag.  He’s never actually invited to the party, but he shows up anyway. And as much as we’d like to ask him to leave, no one ever does.  He just hangs around until we are sick to death of him, and then one day, months after he’s overstayed his welcome, he just vanishes.  But in the mean time, OMW’s douchebaggery will entail him touting to the world how cool he is, even though we all know better and secretly resent him.  Ice skating only seems magical until you actually try it and break your tailbone.  A big snow storm sounds romantic and cozy until you have to spend six hours shoveling out your driveway.  And that pot of chili?  It’s delicious, but the consequences are often severe. You’re not so great, OMW.  P.S. We all hate you.

To play devil’s advocate, though, OMW might be a straight up a-hole. He’s kind of like that uncle that shows up to Thanksgiving drunk, insults a bunch of people as soon as he walks in the door, tracks mud all over the carpet, tells a couple dirty jokes, leaves a pile of dirty dishes, starts an argument with his brother and then leaves like he’s the one who should be mad.  At the end of it all, everyone’s upset, no one really knows why, and nobody had any fun.  But the truth is, while we are all busy being mad at each other we should really be mad at him.  Screw you, OMW.  We still hate you. For real.

So all of that being said, as I dream of bathing in a vat of Curel (life-changing lotion – I really recommend you get some) and obsessively applying petroleum jelly to my lips (Chapstick is for sissies), I am reminded that things could be worse.  I could live in Buffalo.

120 days, 21 hours and 50 minutes to spring.  But who’s counting?

The Nap Theory of Relativity

This weekend is dedicated to sleep.  Thirteen hours of sleep last night, and as if that weren’t enough I took a two hour nap this afternoon.

I’ve long had a special place in my heart for napping and most weekends I squeeze in at least one.  I love naps so much, that I’ve developed a scientifically proven theory about them. The Nap Theory of Relativity is as follows:

Whatever mood you are in, if you take a nap you will wake up in the opposite mood. 

Therefore, it stands to reason:

If you are not tired, but find yourself in a foul mood – take a nap!  Problem solved!

Conversely, if you are tired, but in a good mood you have two options. Stay awake at all costs, or (my preferred solution) take two naps! Problem solved again!

You are welcome.

Eleven

One of the all-time great moments in movie history was in the classic mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap.” Character Nigel Tufnel is showing off his amplifier, and is proud to showcase that one of the knobs has a highest setting of eleven, thus surpassing traditional knobs that only go from 0 to 10.  He proudly states, “It’s one louder.”  It cracks me up every time I think about it.

The great irony of this is that today, November 11th – otherwise known as 11/11 – was actually an eleven for me.

My usual twenty minute ride to work was met with one barrier after another and took me forty painstaking, god awful minutes. One freeway was closed off for an accident and every turn I made thereafter was down a street that was blocked off for road construction.  How can every road be closed for construction?  Worse yet, every driver was driving slowly and/or driving stupidly and/or busy talking on the phone WHEN THEY SHOULD BE CONCENTRATING ON THEIR DRIVING. (Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.  Seriously, people.)

I got to the office thirteen minutes late for my meeting and spent the rest of the day feeling like I was woefully behind. The people in the meetings – those people! – were talking too slow and too much and about things that (I say this with love) could have waited.

The lunch I forgot at home was no good and the one I had to go out to get instead with twenty minutes to spare was not so great either.

For the afternoon round of meetings, I had to forgo the thirty seconds of prep time I had planned on and I moved meeting to meeting, minute by minute, wondering if anyone was onto me.  I’m guessing they probably were.  They are probably talking right now about what a fraud I am.

On the way to dinner, these three things happened in rapid succession:  the “service” light came on in my car reminding me to get an oil change (who cares), the “tire” light came on indicating I have low tire pressure (I’ll take my chances), and the “fuel” light came on indicating I could run out of gas at any moment (but why bother stopping now, we’re going for broke).  The promise I made to my friend to meet twenty minutes early for dinner turned into an apology for being ten minutes late and a proclaiming of my official status:  “I am a hot mess.”

I got home minutes ago, and I still feel as if I should consider breathing in a brown paper bag for the rest of the night.  Am I moving too fast, or is the world moving too slow?  Today I really can’t tell.  Either way, today was definitely an eleven, any way you look at it.  The whole day was one louder.

A Real Turkey

About two weeks before Thanksgiving, Mom started concocting a plan. She had that twinkle in her eye – the one that heeded warning:  “Watch out, everybody.”  She and Dad put their heads together and with each exchanged idea, the laughter became more uproarious.  They were working up quite a scheme, those two.

I heard more laughs and hushed talk of logistics in the days leading up to the big holiday.  I didn’t pay much attention to any of it – I was only 11, after all.  Those two were always up to something, and I needn’t bother with it.  Besides, I had matters of my own to attend to.  You know, cutting Barbie’s hair, playing games of Sorry with my imaginary friend, setting up a barbershop for the cats in the hay loft.  Important stuff.

The night before Thanksgiving, Mom sat me down and carefully reviewed the next day’s plans.  We’d be spending the holiday with Uncle Alan and Aunt Pat – this much I already knew.  That was standard fare.
This time, cautioned Mom, we’d be spending the night.  I was down with that – more time to play with my cousins.  But there was one more thing Mom wanted me to know, and I had to promise to keep a secret. My interest piqued, and my eyes grew wide.  Mom paused, looked me in the eye, and told me all the details behind her cockamamie scheme.

Thanksgiving Day arrived and we didn’t miss a beat.  We packed up the van and headed to the “big city” – bearing in mind that any city seems big when you live on a farm outside a town of 700 people.  An hour later, we were at the door of Uncle Alan and Aunt Pat’s house – their big, gargantuan, larger-than-life house complete with seven bathrooms.  We cousins promptly made our way to the basement where the rec room awaited us.  The grown-ups did their grown up things, whatever those were.

And then the moment came.  The moment I had been warned about, and the moment that would be locked deep in family history forever more. Early in the afternoon, the mansion’s doorbell rang, and Uncle Alan went to see who might be there.  There before him in the circle drive was a yellow taxi cab idling, its driver standing at the door to explain he had a most unusual delivery for the family.  Uncle Alan arched an eyebrow, and more of us gathered in the foyer to see what was going on.  The cab driver returned to his car, pulled out a crate and headed straight to the door.  The Dr. Alan Swearingen family had just become the unexpected recipient of a live turkey.

The crate with the turkey bore no message and the cab driver was unable to offer any explanation about its sender.  Not knowing what else to do, Uncle Alan accepted the crate and the turkey was placed in the garage. Hours of debate followed about who would do such a thing.  Why on earth would anyone think they wanted a live turkey?  And whatever would they do with it?  Mom, Dad and I kept a poker face.  It was the first time in my life I had been given permission to tell a lie.  My cousins tried to divide and conquer, cornering me to ask if my family – known country bumpkins – had arranged for this strange turkey delivery.  I assured them with a very straight face that we had not.

And so, with no other choice before us, we sat down to enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner and partake in our usual traditions.  It wasn’t until the next morning – long after the colossal feast and even after every last piece of crystal had been carefully placed back in the china cabinet – that my parents ‘fessed up.  Yes, indeed, the whole turkey hoax was us.  And aren’t we funny?  I must admit, I think Uncle Alan and Aunt Pat thought a little bit yes, and a little bit no.  But you had to appreciate Mom and Dad’s chutzpah, there was no disputing that.

The hour ride home seemed long because – let’s be honest – this time we had a live turkey in a crate in the back of the van.  We played the events over and over again among each other, laughing harder each time. It was officially the first time I had been let in on the joke.  I was grateful to be right there with them, too.  I truly was.

So all of that is to say…Happy Birthday, Mom.  You left us way too soon. But know this – I carry you in my heart every day.  And that twinkle in your eye?  It found its way to me.

I Am Running for Mayor

I’ve had it, people.  I can’t take it another day.  But I’ve decided that rather than complain, it’s time for me to get off of my tush and do something about it.  I am running for mayor.

I’ve threatened to do this for years, but recent events have pushed me over the edge.  Disheartening as it is to point it out, things just keep getting worse and worse with each passing year.  I say, enough with the bipartisanship – it is time for us to come together.  There are topics that can join us together, and I believe I have one that is important enough to build my mayoral platform upon.

My fellow citizens, it is time we have an honest conversation about Christmas lights.  As I drove home from a lovely evening at my friend’s house late last night, I was troubled to see that Christmas lights were aglow everywhere.  On November 8th – a full 47 days before Christmas. There are radio stations already playing Christmas music, stores showing Christmas ads on TV. Things have spiraled out of control, and it’s time we did something to rein it in.  We are a sick society, and, as the future mayor of Brown Deer, I’d like to help us find a better way.

If we can’t get this Christmas situation righted, our future generations are screwed.  And as I write that, it occurs to me – I think that would make a nice little yard sign.  “If you don’t vote for me, your children are screwed.” I like it.  Anyone interested in being my campaign manager?

But seriously, let’s do it for the kids.  If we don’t, they’ll never get it right. They’ll be eating turkey for Halloween, setting off fireworks on Easter and eating jellybeans on Veterans Day.  We’ve blurred the lines for them with all of this “two months of Christmas” nonsense.  Let’s do the right thing, before the world implodes.

If we can get this Christmas situation resolved in Brown Deer, I vow to only do one more thing as mayor: officially change our village name to The Brown Diggity.  Thereafter, I will sell my house, move to Milwaukee, and start working on this passionate campaign there.

Barack Obama said it best:  “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”

Let me know if you are willing to make some phone calls or stuff some envelopes.  I can’t do this alone.

A Single Girl’s Guide to Not Finding Love

I want love.

There, I said it.  I am putting it out in the universe and broadcasting it on the world wide web.  I want can’t live without you, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, lost my fool head love.  I want, as my favorite author Cheryl Strayed has called it, “hot monkey love.”  I am very clear on what I want and what I deserve, and I’ll settle for nothing less.  I’ll be honest, though, I am not as clear on how to get it.

But I am getting clearer on how not to get it, and that, my friends, is online dating.  Not for the faint of heart, online dating is a beast all its own.  I know, I know.  Thousands of couples have met online and they are so very happy with their fairytale ending.  So I am not entirely excluding it, but I must tell you with all sincerity, it is kind of ridiculous. Let me tell you why.

Online dating attracts an unusually large number of socially inept people (author of this essay excluded).  The normal social expectations do not apply, because there is a layer of protection (a computer screen and accompanying virtual anonymity) between the two interested parties. Therefore, it seems to be perfectly acceptable to declare your every thought without reservation.  While this sounds freeing, it can actually be quite appalling.  It’s like everyone online has a frontal lobe injury.

The other noteworthy phenomenon of online dating is that it is almost entirely visual.  It’s like paging through the Sears catalog of desperate human beings, and even the most intellectually sophisticated browser (author of this essay, for example) succumbs to the two-second assessment of someone’s relationship worthiness. For someone like myself – attractive enough in my own right, but so much more appealing in person when I can add charm, wit and intellect to my physical self – it all falls short.  I’m so much better in person.  I haven’t figured out how to bring my sassy, most beautiful self to life online.

Outside of all of this, the final truth remains:  There are a bunch of sad, lonely weirdos out there and the pickins seem slim.  Don’t believe me? Here are a few of my favorite online dating stories.  I swear to you with every fiber of my being, they are all true.

Exhibit A:  “I have one children.”  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, someone actually declared this on their online profile.  Let’s say it again, just to let it all sink in:  “I have one children.”  Now, I know I am a grammar, punctuation and spelling snob.  I’m an aspiring writer, what do you expect?  But come on.   I cannot, for the life of me, fathom how this sentence came to be.  My best guess is that this person originally wrote something along the lines of “I have ten children,” decided ten children would scare away any quality woman, changed “ten” to “one” and forgot about the rest of the sentence.  There is no other plausible explanation.

Exhibit B:  “The Pussinator.”  The Pussinator has almost become folklore among my group of friends. When setting up an online profile, everyone picks a screen name.  Most people pick something silly or benign or uninspired.  But this man – a man who is apparently not afraid to boast of his superhero bedroom talents – decided his screen name would be The Pussinator. Needless to say, I did not “like” his profile.  I read it, though, because I wanted to know who on earth would give himself this name.  I tried to imagine introducing The Pussinator to my family.  I tried to imagine writing out a heartfelt Valentine’s Day card to The Pussinator.  I tried to imagine waking up next to The Pussinator on a lazy Sunday morning and getting up to make him eggs.  While I ultimately concluded The Pussinator and I weren’t right for each other, I will say this: We never even met, but he gave me a great story. No, dear Pussinator…it was never meant to be. Your crass ways forced me to move on to Raininmymouth and Lovetofuck69.

Exhibit C:  “D*** Pic Guy.”  D*** Pic Guy has one glaring problem, and it’s not what you think.  D*** Pic Guy is lacking in patience.  He doesn’t know how to play the game, or if he does, he doesn’t care to.  It is noteworthy that D*** Pic Guy isn’t just one guy – he’s everywhere.  A precursory clue you might have encountered D*** Pic Guy is by the “abdomen-only” or “dude in a hot tub” or “naked save for a towel selfie in the bathroom mirror” photos.  A second clue D*** Pic Guy is lurking around is his instantaneous suggestion to move the conversation off of the online dating profile to an Instant Message chat forum like Yahoo. The final, most telling clue you are chatting with D*** Pic Guy is when – you guessed it – he sends you a photo of his junk.  I don’t mean the junk in his garage or the junk in his basement.  I mean his junk.  The first (and proudly, only) time this happened to me, I believe my response was something like this:  “Gah! What the???!!!”  And with that, I promptly slammed shut my laptop screen.  But then I opened it and looked again, because I’m human.  But here’s the thing, D*** Pic Guy:  I don’t want to see that until we’ve at least shared some lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s. Please make a note of it.

Sigh.

It’s not so easy out there for a single girl like me.  There is much to overcome.  So until I find what I am looking for  – a steaming hot, hilarious, unpretentious but possibly independently wealthy Mensa member (who furthermore understands when it is necessary to use the Oxford comma), I will be patiently waiting. And looking online for more material.

Right on Time

I’ve been known to describe myself as “neurotically punctual.”  My need to be on time does not come from a place of moral superiority, nor does it come from deep consideration for others, really.  If I sit back and analyze why it is so important to me to be on time, I’d have to say that good old fashioned anxiety is at the base of it all. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don’t know where this came from or why it came about.  I was recently talking to an evaluator of a grant I manage who is exponentially more neurotically punctual than me.  So much so, it has actually annoyed me at times.  (Bearing in mind, of course, that usually the things that annoy us most about others are the reflections of ourselves.)  She told me that as a child, she was grounded one full day for every minute she was late when her parents set a curfew.  At least she has a reasonable explanation for why she turned out the way she did. I, on the other hand, cannot explain why I am such a freak.

Last fall I got to see my time-related anxiety come to full fruition.  My friend Vance and I decided to get tickets to go see Book of Mormon in Chicago.  We were all haughty about it, too.  Like we are so cultured and cool and then we were all “we should do this more often because we are so evolved and shit.”  So we bought our tickets and then somewhere along the way my sister and brother-in-law decided to go too. They got tickets and we made plans to all ride together and have a day of merriment.

The big day arrived and I could not have been more excited.  As a means of maintaining control of the situation and, let’s be honest, the timeliness, I offered to drive.  Jess and I agreed upon a time of departure and we were all set.  But as I was filling the car with gas at a gas station near Jess’s house, I got a text from Jess:  “Where are you?”  It didn’t take long to figure out after another text exchange that Jess was at my house, and I was a couple minutes away from being at hers.  Aaaargh!  So after a quick consultation it was decided they would come back to their house and we would take off from there.  No biggie, I smugly thought.  I had built in plenty of cushion for us.

We got on the freeway and started to make our way to pick up Vance on the fashionable east side.  We exited North Avenue, and hit wall-to-wall traffic.  I mean, it was a parking lot.  At 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday. It was hard to figure out what was going on, but it turned out to be the day of Al’s Run and thousands of people were trying to get to the same place at once.  The same place we needed to get to.  Damn.  My heart started to palpitate a little.  I stayed steady, though. This is not a problem, I told myself.  We’ve got this.  

We picked up Vance who had  been instructed to wait on the corner (“Tuck and roll in, baby!” we screeched as we pulled up to him) and when he got in the car Jess and David shared they needed something to eat. We made a quick detour to Koppa’s so they could get a sandwich.  I will be the first to admit that this is where things started to turn ugly for me. I waited in the car while the three of them went inside, because I was in an illegal parking spot and I was not in need of a sandwich.  I plugged in my GPS and programmed in our theater parking garage address.  I could see by the estimated time of arrival that I had 18 extra minutes to spare – and we hadn’t even gotten out of town yet.  I looked in the windows of Koppa’s and I saw nothing.  Back to the GPS – 17 minutes.  Back to the store windows – I see David, Jess and Vance pointing at something in the store and laughing.  (My inner dialogue was something like this:  Jesus, people! Get your freaking sandwiches and get back in this car!)  Back to the GPS – 16 minutes.  This business continued until they got back to the car and we were down to 14 minutes to spare.  Fourteen minutes of cushion between us and very expensive theater seats in Chicago.  Here we go, kids – strap yourselves in!

It was another whole ordeal to make our way to the freeway (because of all these damn runners, seriously people!) but we finally did.  I put the pedal to the metal and set the cruise control.  Everyone else was happily eating their sandwiches (which I recall had lots and lots of onions on them, as well as some mayo dripping down the side of their hands – but that is neither here nor there.)  I was doing my best to not look at the (dwindling) cushion of time on the GPS.  We had two hours of traffic to endure, and a lot could happen between now and then.

As luck would have it, we encountered very little road construction and only one or two significant areas of having to slow down on the way to Chicago.  The GPS stayed steady with a good thirteen minutes of cushion. Until we got to about a mile from the theater, that is, and then we hit a wall of gridlock traffic.  Inch by inch we moved forward, and I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest.  Driving in downtown Chicago under any circumstances is daunting; doing so when you have a strict deadline to meet is downright maddening.  We eventually made our way to the front of the theater, which felt like pure hell because the parking garage was still two and half long, slow, painstaking blocks away.  Jess and David were excused from the car so at least half of us could be on time.

Left only to our own devices, Vance and I endured.  We now had seven minutes to spare.  We finally made our way to the parking garage.  At last! We’ve done it!  Level one:  full, and seven minutes to spare.  Level two: full.  Level three:  full and I feel like swearing up a blue streak.  Level four: full, and six minutes to spare. Level five:  full!  Level six:  full, with five minutes to spare and NOW I HAVE TO STOP BECAUSE THERE IS AN OLD LADY WITH A WALKER.  Vance and I were now screaming at each other. “Jesus! A lady with a walker!  Are you fucking kidding me?  A walker?!  We do not need this right now!” We were laughing at our pure horribleness and almost crying and completely freaking out.  Level seven:  Parked! Four minutes to spare!

We ran to the elevator, got to the street, and ran as fast as our little legs would take us.  We got to the theater, and Vance asked where the restrooms were.  The theater employee exclaimed, “There’s no time! You need to get in the theater or they will make you wait until after the first act to go in!”  So we put our bladders on hold and made our way to our seats.  Turns out, we had what were perhaps some of the best seats in the house.  We turned to each other – hands shaking, sweat on our brow – gave each other a big hug and commented that we felt like we just won the Amazing Race.  We sat down, and with one minute to spare, waited for our chance to watch a beautiful, ridiculously funny and blasphemous show.

And the moral of the story is, if it hadn’t been for that old lady with a walker, we’d have had two minutes to spare.  I’m just sayin’.