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Monday, April 27, 2009

26,527 Steps

Saturday night, during service at my third Annual Pretentious Private Preparatory School Gala, I took 26,527 steps.

On a normal day, I barely hit 5000.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the fickle god of Banquet Serving (Steve) pointed down from the balcony and decreed “You shall run!”

And from 3:30 to 11:10 I ran.

We ran.

For a little over seven hours, the picture in your mind that you should be carrying insofar as my tale is of black-and-white-wearing servants prowling the Silent Auction area for empty wine/champagne/cocktail glasses, beer bottles, and crushed napkins; smilingly passing trays of champagne; walking ever so briskly with covered plates of food into a room with 44 tables of eight.

It was everything I suspected it would be; and while I can say that I was brisk, accommodating, and good-natured throughout, I stored up a million tiny details of the smug, glad-handing and insecure people moving in that particular circle.

For instance, there was a woman there in a strapless evening gown whose strapless bra rode higher than the back of her dress all evening. I found it interesting that neither her husband nor the host of similarly clad women who certainly looked and sounded to be her friends told her. Surely they noticed. The dress was black. The bra was a neutral. Why didn't they tell her?

I passed “Italian Egg Rolls” (phyllo dough wrapped around Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, spinach and some cheese I no longer remember) to two married men who did not stop discussing the shape of a woman that wasn't present. Aside from the surprisingly immature words from these men, I was disturbed that they spoke as if I wasn't there. They seemed not to notice that there was a woman holding the tray they were eating from.

Ah, but who cares? I was paid in cash.

And after the cash? The deluge.

Erin hosted an “after” party, and the first meeting of the Right Tired Knights of Whatever You Got settled on to the couches, chairs, and floor of Erin’s Little House in the Hood.

Details are now sketchy, but I’m pretty sure we were working on a new super hero at one time: The Budger. Based on the opinion of my grandfather for a neighbor who claimed grandpa’s fence was on his land, The Budger became loud, drunken fodder for our hyperactive minds.

The Budger is a bitter old coot, skinny and stooped, likely to liberate you of your cigarette lighter or some small decorative item on his way out the door of your house. He used to work as a housing inspector but now dedicates his daylight hours to watching the neighborhood, for which 90% of his neighborhood is glad.

But what is The Budger's super power?

The Budger cruises those 10-Item-Or-Less aisles in the supermarkets. Got 11 items? The Budger doesn’t want to hear about it. You’ll just need to move along.

He also enforces societal mores such as butting in line.

There is no butting in line, and no, you can’t “save” a spot either, either. Unless it’s for your mom. Or your dad. But that’s it.

I’m sorry. Those are the rules.

And so we went, my iPod plugged into Erin’s stereo (at her request, of course), our bruised (me), blistered (April), sore (everyone) bodies relaxing. We laughed the exhausted laugh of the overworked, and it was good.

I was home by 4:00.

My name is Pearl, and I took 26, 527 steps* while at work Saturday.

*They were giving away pedometers at work last week.
I’m thinking that at the next “event”, there should be a pool to benefit the person who has taken the most steps that evening. There would have to be rules against shaking your leg unnecessarily or taking the pedometer off and jostling it to jack up the count, but I think something could be arranged, don’t you?

But what could the prize be?


Not The Rockefellers said...

Big Ed has another name for the budger. The Ballbuster.

The Ballbuster was Big Ed's nemesis. His lair was Costco and he did everything within his power to make Big Ed's shopping experience unpleasant.

Want a snack sample?

Want to come down this aisle?

Wanta leave?

Everyone's a superhero and for every superhero there is a nemesis!

Peace - Rene

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Good morning Pearl,

That's an awful lot of steps to hear "two married men who ... discussing the shape of a woman"

Did they even see you or just didn't care?

At times we behave strangely.


♥ Braja said...

Wait....Steve is the god of banquet serving???

btw Rene is nuts and we love her :)))

powdergirl said...

We've got a Budger !
We call him "The Mayor", interfering in other peoples business is all that keeps him alive. We grudgingly thwart the odd by-law, just to give him a reason for being.
We're nice like that.

Jodie Kash said...

You truly are a renaissance woman, aren’t you Pearl? So much yet to discover about you.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Who hasn't encountered the budger while carrying 11 items a the grocery store...

You are officially absolved of exercise for the rest of the week. That's a lot of walking!

Chris said...

The "Budger count" among parents of elementary students is also exceptionally disproportionate. They'll nitpick every rule, with one exception. Whatever one they're breaking at the time. "Well, what about Mrs. Wilson last week, SHE didn't park in the visitors' lot!"

You get the idea.

Eskimo Bob said...

The prize should be three snickers bars - to negate the steps taken. It would be just like "The Man" to try to keep other folks down.

No - we are the elite and you shall become chubby.

Each year the general office in Anchorage has a black tie event wherein all of the agents are invited to attend. We went to the first two - but everyone was so pretentious, pious and so not fun that we're no longer going to them.

Just so you know we did acknowledge our servers, although it may have seemed to come off as pretentious as everyone else was in the room.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Dr. Scholl's should be the prize. Or something else pedo-centric.

Yeezh. That looked dirty.

Ann's Rants said...

Support hos. Hoes? Hose?

Dr. Scholl's inserts.

And a Budger Booty-Bustin' Badge

darsden said...

goodgooglymoogly Pearl... all that stepping you should have been stepping through my door by now.. I have the coffee ready...!

I would ask for pictures...Uhmm but still waiting for the christmas party pictures...


yep that's all I got.. I have been with a 3 year old till 10 minutes ago...I'mma fried!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

NIce that no one told the poor lady about her dress. I guarantee they were all talking about it behind her back (no pun intended) though.

The prize? A foot soak, a foot massage?

IB said...

Didn't Sabbath do a tune called "The Budger"? I'm almost sure of it; no, wait...

lizspin said...

Can I be a budger too???

I want that job in the worst way!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Get your butt to Maine and I'll recreate the party in your honor!!

Hallie :)

Pearl said...

Rene, we’ve got to get Big Ed a chunk of whatever kryptonite-style element drains the power of the Costco people…

U, you would think they had seen me – I was holding the tray they were eating off of!

Braja, 1.) yes, Steve is the god of banquet serving, just as Byron is the god of bowling, and 2.) yes, Rene is nuts and we love her.

Powdergirl, it’s good of you to give your Budger purpose!

Jodie, oh, yes – a little of everything, and all of it at minimum age!

Chris, the Budger Effect is everywhere…

Eskimo Bob, on behalf of servers everywhere, we thank you. (And the word has gone out – we won’t spit in your food anymore!)

iNDefatigable, that’s an excellent idea!
And yes – pedo-centric looks dirty. :-D

Ann, support hos. :-D It’s quite possible that some of the servers could be considered support hos.

Darsden, my dear, turns out that I walked 13.25 miles. I’m quite impressed with myself (and my legs still hurt but yoga was fantastic Monday night!).

Blogging Mama Andrea, you know they were.
More good ideas. A pedicure would be nice…

IB, that was The Wizard, but I think it could be adapted!
“Mystic morning
Clouds in the sky!
Without warning
The Budger walks by!”

Lizspin, I think we can all aspire to The Budger.

Hallie, honey, when I get to Maine, I want to see that disco ball!

The Jules said...

Regarding the two blokes discussing the shape of a woman - this could've been fine if she was unusually spherical, or had a medical condition or two backs or something.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I can barely make it thru 12 steps. I've got to get a pedometer. That's the secret.

ladyfi said...

Love it!

The prize should be a foot massage for she or he who takes most steps...

Pearl said...

Jules, I agree with you! :-)

Smart Mouth Broad, it's actually very interesting how much (or how little) one walks during the day. My average, including the walk to the bus and back and the walk to yoga, is a little over 5,000...

Ladyfi, wouldn't that be lovely? Anything based on me getting touched (I'm willing to pay to have my hair brushed!) is a good thing!

Bex said...

hi! stopping by from ... someone's blog - i forgot who linked you.

the prize should be dr. scholl's inserts - the really good kind!