And now she's off to Rome to compete in the Word Wrestling Federation's Circus Maximus Lexical Smacksimus... no wait, she isn't. But she will create lovely and well-joined Latin syntactical elements based on your specifications which, spray-painted on your roof in letters 10 feet high, will provide ample opportunity for coffee-table discussion with neighbours and friends, and will broadcast your obvious sagacity to passing birds, planes, and supermen.
You don't park in the handicapped spot. You, like everyone else, reserve a particularly withering glare and heavily inflected "tsk" for those occasions when you see a beat-up Ford LTD parked there on a careless angle with no handicapped symbol displayed in the windshield. It's a satisfying holier-than-thou moment.
But what about handicapped washroom stalls? Do you use those? They don't have the big blue man-in-a-wheelchair stencil painted on the stall door, and yet... is it right? They are big and spacious and roomy and probably cleaner than those other cramped high-traffic cubicles...
I choose the handicapped stall every time. And every time I have this low level worry that somebody in a wheelchair is going to come in and find his stall occupied by some jerk who has no need for the rails and down-angled mirror, and I'm going to walk out zipping up my zip and get caught in a highly awkward situation. What do I do?
I talked to Rex about this and we agreed on this 4 step plan:
1. Avoid eye contact.
2. Walk fast out the door.
3. DO NOT stop to wash your hands.
4. Run out to the LTD, throw her in reverse to get her big old hood pointed at the exit, and roar on out of there in a cloud of blue smoke.
I will have my revenge. Rise, sleek cat who lies at my side, your master bids you scamper and kill! Unleash your clawèd fury! Strike and... rub against their legs? Traitor!
But Shannon, dear Shannon my sister Shannon, was musical director in the Shawnigan Lake School production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. So I had to go see it.
The morning of, Shannon phoned to say: "go early, so you get a good parking spot, because our friend got her car broken into while she was at the show last night." Oh, good. Oh great. Oh yeah, Duncan, queen of slatternly tarts.
Got there early. Parked under a big old street light. Hired Pinkertons to watch the car. Sallied forth into the theatre slash library slash rec centre slash curling rink.
And there, all negative vibes ceased.
The theatre is really quite nice. And there were my two darling cousins, Katy and Sharon, probably the kindest, sweetest girls in the entire world, waiting about also for the show to start. Rachelle and I admired Katy's engagement ring. He's a lucky chap, whoever he is (I haven't met him yet). And there was Shannon, waving to us from the orchestra pit where she was mostly hidden even when standing. We waved back. Enthusiastically.
Blah blah blah - show starts. A spotlight shines down on a blond and disembodied head, which swivels to face the audience and flashes a very Shannonesque grin. Shannon does not put on a persona when she is in front of an audience - she is completely genuine. Head turns back, spotlight dies, thin white stick pops up out of nowhere. Pause. Music begins. And the head begins to bounce the lively beat while the stick leads, dances, and weaves the overture together, hands incredibly expressive. Very Tyrrell, those hands. I've seen them on Kinza too. Long fingers on the ends of long forearms, like there's too many joints, like they belong to trees.
And the play. was. fantastic.
Everybody did just a wonderful job - I've never seen such choreography. We thoroughly enjoyed pretty much every minute. And I am not a gusher; I do not gush. But this really was the best amateur theatre production I've ever seen. I was immensely proud of Shannon, and I think I'd better say that, on behalf of the rest of the family, Shannon, you are brilliant.