Everyone has those stories from throughout their lives in which they did something that seemed like a good idea at the time, but, in the long run, proved itself to not have been the wiser path to tread. My life is full of them...
- Swapping electrical switches without, first, killing the circuit breaker.
- Consuming food or drink well past its posted "freshness" date.
- Chiseling glue off the back of a junior high shop project with one hand holding the board opposite the chisel-bearing hand (it was pretty cool seeing the sinewy muscle that operates my thumb, though).
- Reflushing a toilet that is already draining slowly.
- Jamming a freshly sharpened pencil into my grade-school desk, eraser first.
We've all done them. The above-listed examples were all committed by yours truly at some point in time in my life. And, in some instances, multiple times. For some of these, I still have the scars to prove it.
However, I have one, akin to a recent story told by Magazine Man, that happened to a guy I once worked for that is no less memorable.
As a Hall Director in grad school, I reported to the Assistant Area Coordinator whom I shall henceforth refer to as "Rev" (he was, in addition to his regular Residence Life duties, an ordained Southern Baptist minister). Rev was a great guy: easy to work with, supportive of "the troops," appreciative of life in general, etc.
You could tell him anything and we often did. Especially when we had problems with certain residents because we knew he'd help us out... he always had our back.
Over the course of one particular year, we were all having run-ins with a specific resident. Put simply, she was a major thorn in our collective side. I won't go into specifics other than to say we were desperate for her to leave the hall. Rev even told A (my fellow Hall Director; there were three of us in this complex) and me that if this resident agreed to move out for the upcoming academic year, he would get on top of his desk and dance a jig.
This I had to see.
I veered away from my regularly intolerant attitude towards Resident X and took a more proactive approach... I sought ways to convince her that her life would be better if she found housing outside our dorm complex. I even searched for apartment listings for her. I was such an angel, despite the obvious horns supporting my halo.
A month before the end of the school year, Resident X entered my office and announced she would not be returning to our hall the next year. I gave her the canned "Oh, we'll miss you" all the while clenching my sphincter to deny the winged monkeys their inevitable escape.
When she left, I found A and told her the good news and, together, we marched down to Rev's office to tell him. We were both looking forward to our mini-Riverdance.
Rev didn't miss a beat. With no prompting or reminding whatsoever, he hopped atop his desk and commenced his spectacle.
It was then I noticed just how close his spinning ceiling fan was to his desk and, at this moment, his head.
My warning was not nearly quick enough as Rev was thwacked in the head by the rotating fan blade just as I began to speak. He fell off his desk to the floor in a daze. A and I helped him to his feet. He then reached up and dabbed unsteadily at his freshly bloodied forehead.
And what do you think happened next?
He resumed his jig.
You cannot say he's not dedicated to his art.