Sunday, August 12, 2007
An Outing I Can Get Behind
Our company's Development group went out on The Odyssey on Friday, and I was invited. These are people I really like, so it was fun. At my table was a temp, T---, who's been working with us for awhile; he's in the director's program at Second City. He and another temp were discussing the local shooting of "Rory's First Kiss," which is the incognito name for "Batman." Of course everybody knows it's Batman, but still, you see Neon-pink sheets of paper taped to utility poles around the Loop: "Lunch for Rory's First Kiss," "Extras for Rory's First Kiss." That, and a simulated burnt-out helicopter cockpit. Oh, yeah; and the "Gotham" sign on the building being used as police HQ.
I told T that he had "Henchman" written all over him, and he described auditioning for Thug Number One, Fat Thug, and Police Cop.
"So, they have all the scripts laid out on a table, and they describe all of this violence; fighting, explosions, destruction...and I said, 'Boy, Rory is sure determined to get his first kiss, huh?'"
A few of us went to the observation deck, which was empty because people hate the heat; I love it. I had one of the other guys take the above photo with my cellphone (the haze is humidity fog, not pollution). On the way down, we saw that the Bridge was open, so I popped in. "Are we on Cruise Control?"
Turns out we were. Imagine.
Lunch was amazing, and we had a great time. We all went to the observation deck and hung out as we headed back. The CIO, who is a sweetheart and is also the first person I temped for, came over. He likes to tell people that he was responsible for me joining the company. At an all-company meeting he announced new employees and had me stand while he told this to everyone. I'd said, "Yes, despite the fact you made me cry every day."
I was a little tense because I had a mammogram scheduled for 2pm and the ship was supposed to dock at 1:45. It was a short taxi ride, so it was doable. As soon as the ship began to pull to dock I headed down, excusing myself by telling people I had a photo shoot.
I waited by the exit, and was soon crowded out by a group from the Rolling Meadows retirement community, who had been on their own excursion. What is it about seniors that they feel the need to push to the front of the line, in a state of perpetual anxiety that they won't be first in, first out? It's as if, no longer having any pressing deadline, no place they have to be, the travel between one leisure activity and another becomes the main event, and the leisure activity the lull between the thrill of dashing to and fro.
The doors opened and I was swept out in a sea of very white sneakers and permanent sets. Of course, once they'd rushed the ramp, the seniors went at a crawl. Screw it. I hurried down, dodging them like a skateboarder through pylons. I caught a taxi and headed to the medical center.
Flash forward to a technician named Ellie from the Southside playing Sandwich Maker with my chest while talking about the tragedy of having the Blackhawks as the local hockey team.
Back to the office to pick up my bike.
"How did it go?" one of my coworkers asked. (I'd told her the real scoop. She's having her first one done this year.)
"Oh, you know; it's like having your mug shot taken." I sang the tune from "Dragnet."
"America's Most Wanted!" she laughed.
"Somehow, I'm not certain that the The Girls qualify as Most Wanted."
But I had brought her her very own Mammowipe souvenir.