Today, due to a horrendous misunderstanding, my family agreed to meet with Vince and Gail and their 42 kids at Tommy’s Pizza in Gettysburg. There was a fundraiser at Tommy’s pizza for the school where Vince teaches. A portion of each bill went to the school.
I should have known something was dreadfully wrong when I pulled into the parking lot and a woman just getting out of her car enthused, “I can’t believe we both found parking! What’re the odds!” and danced a little jig. I thought to myself, “Crazy tourist,” and was afraid to give her too much eye contact, for fear of making her turn aggressive, but I’m pretty sure she jumped up and clicked her heels. I gave the crazy lady a guarded smile and edged the children away from her toward the pizza place.
And then we opened the door.
Chaos! Anarchy! Elementary school kids everywhere!
And the noise! Oh, the noise! Gail likened it to being at a carnival inside a Chuck E. Cheese.
But before she said that I first had to find her in the press. There she was–squished into a booth designed to seat four–she and all 42 of the kids. They were stuck together like the stones of a pyramid–you couldn’t have gotten a sheet of paper between them. Vince was off socializing with the kids and their parents. (Vince is an EXTROVERT. Yes. A Caps Lock Extrovert.)
But Gail had been subjected to the obscene noise levels for so long that her brain was starting to liquefy. Hey–at noise levels that high, it only takes 23 seconds until your earlobes freeze and shatter off and your nose turns black. Or is that 80 degrees below freezing? I always get those two confused…
With a frenzied look on her face she said, “I’ll scoot over!” I couldn’t actually hear her. I could just tell that’s what she meant because she scooted over until they were all so squashed that they had to breathe shallow little breaths, because there wasn’t enough room to fill their lungs all the way up with air. That afforded us about .02 extra inches for Darling Husband, Boy10, Boy7, and myself to fit into. I puzzled over the arrangement for a moment, trying to revive my old Tetris skilz to figure out how to fit the four of us into the .02 inches, when a table opened up. Eighteen other families all lunged for the table at the same time, but I beat them back with my bag. All that heavy camera gear in my bag comes in handy in a crisis situation like this.
We left the kids at the booth, and the adults sat at the table. We tried to make conversation, but it wasn’t working. All 999 people in the place were yelling to be heard over the other 998 people so vocal communication was impossible. “How about a pizza with cheese?” “The police have fleas? What are you talking about?” “Put a sock in your pout? What??”
We ended up sitting in silence, randomly checking each other’s ears for bleeding. Finally, after sitting there for 8 solid years in pure misery, enough time had elapsed that we could politely leave. You’ve never seen people pack up 44 kids and 4 adults so quickly.
Next time there’s a fundraiser at Tommy’s Pizza, I think I’ll schedule to have a cold that day and order in Chinese.
Here’s a picture of the youngest of the 42 kids.
Trumpet fanfare, please.
It was a year ago today that Michael said to me, “You should take a picture a day for a year.”
Michael is a brilliant man and you can all give him a heartfelt thank you for inspiring my Picture of the Day. Without the Picture of the Day, you wouldn’t have this radiant blog to read to add joy and meaning to your lives.
Back on October 9th, I took my first gorgeous picture of the day and posted it on Facebook with an amazingly witty caption. Slowly over the next few months, the captions grew longer and longer.
I needed space.
So, on January 1st, I reset my Picture of the Day for a Year to begin on January 1st, and started blogging. Ahhh! Space to stretch out all my words!
Although as of today I have officially taken a picture of the day for a year, I will continue to update this blog daily until December 31st.
After that—who knows?
For fun, here’s last years’ picture of the day and caption:
“10/9/11 Sunday. Goodbye party for Pastor Ivan and Lisa.”
Oh, wow. That picture is so bad and that caption is so boring, there’s nowhere to go but up.