This day has been a medley of emotions running the gamut from delight to heartbreak.
The delight began as soon as my mp3 player's lone AAA battery died this morning and I was forced to listen to the conversation around me. From what I was able to piece together, Gap Lady was singing the praises of a local fat camp, or as it's euphemistically named, "Healthy Weigh of Life," to one of the Wizened Crones. It seems the crone was either looking for a job for her daughter during the summer as a fat camp counselor, or she actually wanted to send her daughter to fat camp. It was unclear.
The delight swelled when, at my first meeting of the day, the group was treated to a puppet show about the dangers of cigarette smoking. There really is nothing sweeter on this earth than the palpable awkwardness of a room full of professionals watching a puppet show while swilling their morning coffee and masticating on cream cheese-smeared bagels.
My delight overcame me when the two college-aged puppeteers began their show. The male half of the duo was about 5' tall and 250 pounds with olive skin and a greasy ponytail wearing thick yellow-framed glasses that screamed, "I am an ar-teeste!" and a voice that was a spot-on ringer for Johnny Depp. I was enraptured listening to the dangers of tobacco addiction and lung cancer from Willy Wonka/Edward Scissorhands/Raoul Duke himself.
After my brush with the Johnny Deppesque puppeteer, my day came crashing down. The second meeting of the day handed me the news that one of my favorite colleagues is retiring. I'm going to miss her terribly. Mighty Zen N, you're a woman for the ages.
All was not lost, my day was buoyed when I passed a hallway and saw that the maintenance staff had left their many cleaning carts and trashcans parked outside the break room. This made me smile as I thought of roughnecks lining their Hogs up outside a biker bar. I would no sooner mess with a grizzled biker than I would any member of janitorial services. Because either way, you're going home with some broken bones.