The Dinner Party
My wife and I had three friends over for dinner last night. We are all highly educated, living in a city with many such people. Some of the talk inevitably turns to what people are doing professionally. I always hate this. Just hate it. Except that I can sometimes overcome the jealousy and live vicariously for a few moments.
One guest visits every few months or so from Chicago. He works with a major art museum here on video archiving. Another will be taking his family to Paris in a couple of weeks for a work trip. Another is working on putting together a meeting between George Clooney and Barack Obama for the organization she works for. My wife just got back from a trip to New Mexico where she met with groups working on Native American health on reservations.
“So, Mr. Teachbad, how’s work going for you?”, asks a kindly guest.
Oh, God. Is it really my turn already?, I think to myself. I consider faking some sort of seizure or fainting spell. Wet my pants. Stab myself with a fork. Loose my voice. Amnesia. Demonic possession. Narcolepsy. Virgin Mary in the soup. Kidney stones acting up. Sudden deafness. These have all worked in the past, but I don’t want to overuse them. Best to save those for real emergencies in larger groups. OK…let me think…
“Let’s see…well as you know I am a teacher. I spend most of my time basking in the respect of my students, superiors and society at large. The rest of the time I spend using my keen intellect and creativity to solve complex, ever changing problems. No, I kid. I am treated like a retarded factory worker by my superiors. I do pretty much the exact same fucking thing every day and every week. I see no end to that.
“I did have a very insightful meeting with my vice principal about how bad I suck at asking higher order thinking probing questions….or something like that. Besides this one I went to five other meetings. None of them were really about anything. I just got some paper and some new instructions about some other mundane tasks I must do.
“Earlier in the week I graded some rough drafts of papers and revised an exam for…what’s that? Wrap it up?…Right. And thank you. I was getting bored as well.
“In summary, I had a pretty good sandwich for lunch one day, but they did put too much mayo on it. I also saw one of the largest boogers I have ever seen. It was stuck to the wall next to a urinal in the boys’ bathroom. I will spend most of Saturday grading the exam I referred to earlier.
“Thank you for your kind attention.”