Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Comfort and Other Hazards of Fleece

Water sampling, believe it or not, can be a very dry subject. So no matter how flashy the Powerpoint or freezing the room or engaging the presenter, I suppose it was bound to happen.

As the monotone rep from Energy Labs droned on about preservatives like sodium thiosulfate and hydrochloric acid, I was descending into cryogenic sleep, eyes fixed on the glowing EXIT sign over the heads of some 50 men on pink hotel chairs. Then I began to hear a noise, an occasional low growl that quickly evolved into steadily intermittent, dull nasal snore. As it grew louder, I heard a high-pitched male giggle and assumed someone was trying to illustrate a point, one that really needed no public demonstration. We were all going slowly mad.

The snoring continued long after even the most juvenile joker would have been amused, so I snuck a glance across the aisle- and had to look again. Alone in the adjacent row was a heavy woman in a pastel pink fleece hoodie, her hands folded neatly on her stomach, the wild corkscrews of her long, graying blonde hair obscuring her face as her head drooped heavily forward over her chest. The three men in the row behind her were beside themselves, desperately gripping their chairs as they struggled not to guffaw, their eyes bulging and their knuckles white. The man directly behind me muttered, "Good Lord."

She dozed on for fifteen minutes, and as the rep rounded the corner into sample longevity she took one deep, silent breath and lifter her head, eyes open. She observed the final half hour of the session as if she'd heard every word.

Later over steaks at Poorboy's I described the scene for Bud, who chuckled, nodding. "Every year I come here it seems like I have at least one class with her, and she does it every time."

I don't care how funny the men thought it was. I was secretly jealous.


Blogger mister anchovy said...

Back when I was in university (paleolithic man was wandering the earth about then), I was in a class called psychology and politics which was dreadfully boring but which I needed for some obscure requirement or another. I was sitting at a lecture one day, beside a friend who had been up all the previous night dancing and drinking. She fell asleep. The prof picked it up right away, even in this huge lecture hall. He pointed at me. "Wake her up". I ignored this, pretending not to realize he was pointing at me. "Yes, you! Wake her". I gave her a gentle poke. She awoke, startled to a class of a couple hundred students looking at her. The prof cleared his throat and continued.

March 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM  

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