Monday, January 13, 2014

Retrospective on receiving my award: How I remember it three days ago

Juzno has successfully transformed Rob into an abstraction.

Sucking on my pipe briar packed with Lane 1Q (whatever that stands for), sipping on Stone IPA, and listening to Coltrane outside where the feisty Santa Ana winds bring forth winter allergies here in So Cal.

Three days have passed since I received an award from the Big Guy at my previous work.  It was the the first time I got real close to him and I suddenly realized that the Big Guy was a dead ringer for Rodney Dangerfield - only the Big Guy's head was larger.  It was so huge that it perfectly matched Dangerfield's bulging eyeballs.

He was reading from a script but he sounded as if he has known me for decades.  That is what politicians do and they are good at doing it.  "I feel you, bro."  Clinton was great at saying such things with Salon Pass warmness full of empathy.  Too bad, Gore couldn't learn from his former boss.  But I'm digressing.

The Big Guy was ready to hand me my Crystal Bird award.  He was going to make me say something in front of 300 people.  We were in this auditorium filled with corporate greeds on one side of the aisle and environmental wackos on the other side.

The environs dominated the auditorium by 3 to 1.  They have bus loaded a group of Latinos from neighboring communities.  They were given free white hats and T-shits that said "Exide Kills".  Outside was a small kiosk where one just have to sign up to get freebies along with Doritos and popcorns.  Were they expecting this event to be like a movie?

Fortunately that wasn't why I was there.  The first order of business was to give me my retirement award.  There I was on the stage with the Big Guy.  I tried to present my best side as the video camera was rolling.  Am I going to be on the 6 o'clock news?

An hour ago, I felt sick immediately after eating home made breakfast cereal.  I must have thrown up everything I ate.  And now I was about to say something to these 300 people.  Don't be stupid.  Don't try to sound smart.  It's only going to make you look dumber.

Minutes before approaching the Big Guy on stage I asked Rose, "What will say?"

"Just say thank you."

Good idea.  Brevity is always best in this kind of gig.  Now it was my turn to speak.  The Big Guy was handing me the Crystal Bird.

"Thank you," I plainly spoke to the microphone.

"Oh you can't get off that easy.  You have to say more," insisted the Big Guy.

"Uh… thank you?"

"Come on.  What are you going to do now that you are retired?"

"Sleep in?"

"How come people who retire always say that?"

"Uh… thank you again."

I left the stage after shaking hands with all the Big Wigs.  One lady pulled me aside and told me that I should check the Annenberg Museum since I was into photography.  One consultant shook my hand and said that I should have my work displayed apart from the district lobby.  I felt like an egghead.  It was a matter of minutes that my ego would implode.   I didn't realize people actually have seen my photos that have been displayed at the lobby.  I have my fifteen minutes of fame.

And then it was over.  I was glad I didn't throw up again.