Thursday, November 30, 2006

Boy was my face red...

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving we brought in some lo rent snacks, beer and wine for the staff and had a mini afternoon "feast" to celebrate the holiday. We all get along really well but haven't really "bonded" yet. As the wine and cocktail weenies flowed we all started the "get to know you" conversations.

"Where are you from?"
"What other shows have you worked on?" etc.

Some how we got around to tellimg embarrassing stories. One producer made out with a total stranger on the Jennie Jones show. Kinda hard to top that, but it reminded me of Short Round.

During college summers i worked as a day camp conselor. This was a super cheap camp. Camp Northstar from "Meatballs" comes to find. Once we had a clown come to entertain the kids. A drunk showed up in white face with his obese wife carrying a boombox of Christmas Carols. His name? Boozy the Clown. I shit you not. Boozy the Clown. He made all the kids swords out of black oblong ballons. It was basically the easiest balloon "animal" to make. Fold one end in a clump for the handle/hand guard and you're done. Except, when you make a big bubble/clump at one end of a balloon it doesn't look like a handle. It looks like testicles.

I still remember that day fondly...all the kids running around...smacking each other with huge black dicks...ah. Those were the days.

But back to Short Round. One of the 9 year olds in my group was an Asian boy who spoke no English. I think he could say, "Hi" but that's it. His camp application was even filled out in Chinese or something so we couldn't even phoenetically figure something out. Being an Indiana Jones fan, I Christened him "Short Round." It stuck.

Short Round was an unruly character. It was extremely difficult to get him to move with the group from one activity to the next. Swim, to softball, softball to art class etc. One day while he was running away from me I grabbed him by the seat of his pants and lifted him off the ground. He instantly put his arms out like Superman and screemed, "Whhhheeeeee!" He loved it.

From then on that became our way of traveling from activity to activity. He would walk over to me, stick his butt out, and I would "fly" him over to the next game.

At one point during the summer some genius had the bright idea to take the entire camp to the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo during the summer is mobbed everyday, it is a 1000 degrees which means the tons of animal feces combined with the everyday New York City smell has baked and fermented into lovliest bouquet this side of George Wendt's ass. Not to mention the fact that our kids were animals as well. One kid survived all summer on nothing but eating his own snot. Like he just found a secret stash of rare truffells or something. Boy, did that kid LOVE snot. Another kid in my group was named "Capone" and used to threaten to turn his uncle on me. "Capone." No shit.

So we split the kids up into groups and Short Round is in my group, mostly because I was the only one who could control him. First up? All the kids want to go to the Bat House - a domed cement building with one small door in, one small door out. Naturally there is no organized way in, so this huge crowd of 500-600 people are all squished shoulder to shoulder hobbling inch at a time towards the entrance. Like trying to cram on a packed subway car during rush hour. Short Round is right in front of me so I can keep an eye on him.

After 15 minutes of squirming this kid (as would any) starts to get real antsy. Short Round starts to rock, then push, then shove everyone around us.

"Calm down," I say.
"Take it easy Short Round."
"Do you want to go back and sit in the bus?"

Suddenly it dawns on me - my magic trick. My "go to" move. The one thing that always calms him down and makes him happy - Superman. So I lean down and say, "You want to play our game?"

And this young child. This young child from a foreign land. This child who has not spoken one word of English the entire summer....yells...


500 sweaty, squished heads whip around and look at me like I just ate Jon Benet Ramsey's head before their very eyes. A chorus of "Oh!" and "My word..." and "Don't go near him" leap out of the crowd. And the worst part? We are SQUISHED IN LINE FOR THE FUCKING BAT HOUSE AND I CANNOT MOVE ONE INCH. Mothers are trying deperately to slide their kids away from me. The people I was shoulder to shoulder with are holding their breath and trying not to accidentally touch me and get the pervert cooties.

Trust me, in this situation, there is nothing, I mean nothing you can do to prove you are innocent. If you try to down play it you look like a suspicious pig. If thou doth protest too much you scream "guilty." I literally had to stand there with my head bowed and take it.

And if that wasn't enough? The Bat House fucking sucked.

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