Saturday, April 12, 2008

...And then I saw Shaq

As teachers we get a crap-load worth of mail from a bunch of different places that basically want us to buy their program, book, material or stuff. The really smart places realize that every time I open my mailbox and find a catalog/letter/other annoying mail that I definitely think counts as spam I simply throw it away without reading it. Their attempt at my business moves from the mailbox to the trash in 5 seconds flat.

This place was different. They decided to be really cool and call Christina and offer to put her and guest up at the Four Seasons for the night so we'd listen to their little spiel about their programs. It worked. Free totally sweet hotel room? Open bar? Free food? Sold.

Christina and I met up with some other teacher friends, had good food and totally classed up the joint with our beer drinking (I don't do wine, even for the Four Seasons), but before any of that even got started... we met Shaq.

Yes, Shaq. And when I say met, I mean, TALKED TO.

So here's the back story:

I arrived before Christina (as I always do) and sat in the lobby waiting for her to show up. There was an olderish guy sitting on the couch by me and after a few minutes he says "Man, that guy is as big as a shack." I smiled politely and thought that was a really weird conversation starter.

He continued with "I mean, he's really big. Big like Shaq." At this point I realized he wasn't saying shack, but Shaq and I still thought it was a weird way to start a conversation with a 24-year-old girl.

At some point in this process he managed to get me to see that he was actually talking about Shaq. He had walked by us and was standing outside waiting for a car. I stood up to look out the door mouth all agape because (damn) he's big. Like big, big. He's huge. Television does not do this man justice.

By this time Christina has walked in and completely neglected the fact that she has just walked by a massively big basketball player — because she's Christina and this is part of the reason I love her. When I asked her to take a moment and just acknowledge that she has walked by said player she looks around all confused and says "where?"

Um, he would be the big huge black guy standing 5 feet infront of us. I realize he's very easy to miss.

At this point we decided it would be a great idea to get a picture with Shaq because neither one of us have very many cool points with our students and we felt like this might help us out in that department.

I walked outside and stared up into the sky searching for the head attached to the neck attached to the shoulders I could barely see.

And then he smiled at me.

And said "hi."

I said "hi" back.

That's my conversation with Shaq.

He then walked back inside and as he passed, Christina made some type of plea about us being lame teachers of poor kids and "coolness points" (see how we're not at all above guilt trips? Great, right?). He said "no, sorry, I'm too busy."

He was a lot less cool after that part of the conversation.

He was apparently too busy getting ready to lose to The Rockets. Too bad Shaq, maybe if you had been nicer to two really great teachers God would have shown favor on you. I think we're lucky there were no wrath-filled lightning strikes last night. You are the tallest thing, well, anywhere in sight.

I realized after all of this that even if Shaq wouldn't smile for a photo he could be forced to take part in a photo. If I had taken out my phone like any other rational star-struck person would do. But no. Phone stayed in purse. No photo to commemorate the time I talked to Shaq.

Here's a photo of Martha Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They were part of the program the next day. Oh yes, you better believe I had my camera phone out for that.

How cool am I now kids?

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