Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Disappearing Magicians, the North Pole and the New Female Fraternity

I've kind of missed blogging - there's a lot going on - and a lot to catch up on. Back in May, I was coordinating the entertainment for a corporate carnival... I hired face painters, jugglers, unicyclists, magicians, balloon twisters, crafters, karaoke, costumed Mascots (no snide remarks, please), and caricature artists. The event was particularly difficult during the early hours because it was at a place with big security protocol. Performers had to sign in with photo ID, then needed to be escorted to their places at the carnival... So everyone signed in. As I was checking my roster, I noticed I was missing a magician.

"Presto" was nowhere to be found. Security had no record of signing him in. My gate people had no record of him. I had no idea where he was. I called his cell - maybe ten times in a row. No answer. I then did the only thing I could think to do. It is a measure I had to do, yet regret. I called his wife:
Kelly: Hi. This is Kelly. I'm looking for Presto - he hasn't arrived, and I can't get him on the phone.
MP: That's funny. He left hours ago.
Kelly: Do you want to try his cell?
MP: Yeah. I'll call you back.

Moments pass - and my phone rings again...
MP: Kelly. I can't get a hold of him.
Kelly: Should we be worried?
Kelly: Ok. We'll keep trying his cell. I'll call you when I know something.

I'm now freaking out. I like this magician.

Finally, the phone rang. It was Presto.

Presto: Kelly! My wife said you were looking for me. I've been here for a half an hour.
Kelly: Wow. I'm glad you're not dead. How'd you get in?
Presto: I came in with (so and so). They told me it takes a magician to get in here... I guess they were right.

Thankfully, I only lost two years of my life worrying that Presto had died in an untimely car crash on the way to MY event. I'm still not sure how he got in. That event ground was locked up like Knox. This is of course, nothing in comparison to the damage I've done to poor Mrs. Presto. I'm officially apologizing.
In other news, I told you our former bass player, Scott, is moving to Ohio to take another job. He's put his house up for sale, so Dave and I volunteered to help him paint. I have to admit, I've painted for a few people, and where I keep offering, I never actually expect anyone to take me up on the offer (read: Call my bluff). Well, Scott did, but I still feel like I got the best deal out of it:

Scott: Do you and Dave still want to help me paint?
Kelly: Sure.
Scott: Okay - here's the deal. I think the best way to help me is if one of you helps me paint, and the other takes "Madeline" (his 4-year old daughter) away from the house for a few hours.

I readily volunteered Dave to paint. I took Maddy to
The Crayola Factory. Now I dig spending time with Maddy because she's so funny. The last time we were together, I asked her what she was doing for the weekend. She said, "I'm going to Kermit the Frog's house!" I asked what she and Kermit were going to do. She replied, "Well, we're going to hang out, listen to some music, watch movies... drink some beer..."

She's my kind of girl.

As we were driving to our destination on painting (read: got out of painting) day, Maddy pointed to a utility pole.

Maddy: Do you know what that is?
Kelly: That pole?
Maddy: Yes. That's the North Pole. That's where all the kids get presents.
Kelly: All the kids, huh?
Maddy: Yep. Just the kids. No adults.

I'd already considered getting out of painting a gift, so I just let it go.

We had a good time at Crayola, although I must note that the factory used to be a lot more fun when they let us play in big vats of melted wax... Must be some insurance issue. Now, we traversed stations - where we made wind socks out of tissue paper and paint stamps, silly birthday hats, and Model magic bracelets.

When we returned to the house, I started to understand why Maddy's absence was a good course of action. She immediately asked everyone in the room if she could paint - and then proceeded to get paint all over her shirt and hair.
Lastly, I'm telling this story on the condition that you, the reader, belong to neither the Masons, the Shriners, nor any other fraternal society. If you do, and choose to read on, know that I warned you. Do not, I repeat send hate mail. You may call me ignorant - but just know that I TOLD you not to read this. As a woman, I know very very little about your adult fraternities - and am only reporting this to record my hasty education on such matters. Dan Brown, take notes. This stuff wasn't in the DaVinci Code.

Okay. I told you we have a new Bass player, right? Well, his name is Dean, and he seems to be a good addition to the band. Two weeks ago, my husband Dave mentioned (out of CLEAR BLUE NOWHERE, MIGHT I ADD) to the band that he would like a FEZ. He'd never mentioned this to me in all of our 5 years knowing each other. Dean chimed in immediately. "I have a fez! My grandfather was a Rajah Shriner!"

Dave seemed very interested, and continued talking about the Fez. It seemed only natural that Dean would bring it along to our next gig. The Fez was impressive. It said "Rajah" on the front. It had a tassel held to the fez by a rhinestone brooch. It had embroidery. It was a fez dream. Dave put it on immediately.

Now, here's where I have to toss out the following disclaimer. Neither Dave nor I have ever been a member of a fraternal organization (particularly me). Dean's grandfather used to bring Dean to Shriner events when Dean was a child... So the fact that fraternal organizations don't like it when outsiders wear their stuff was an unknown to any of us. Likewise, the secret handshakes and hairy eyeballs that allow co-fraternals to recognize each other are also a mystery. I would not know a shriner unless someone said "Hi! I'm a SHRINER!"

Dave walked over to me and plopped the fez on my head. Fran, our guitar player, snapped our photo... Meanwhile, during the unceremonious plopping, I happened to be chatting with the male patron next to me...
PATRON: Um, you know... I'm a Shriner. You can't wear that fez. It's disrespectful
KELL: Of COURSE you're a Shriner. Of all the people I don't offend on a regular basis, I sit next to a Shriner when someone happens to plop their fez on my head. I tried to explain that the fez belonged to my new bass player's grandfather...
PATRON: Yeah. It's um. Disrespectful to Shriners. Did you know we have the best children's hospitals in the nation? Do you know any kids who need help? We can help them...

I took the fez off immediately, walked to Dean, and handed it to him.
KELL: Dean. The gentleman next to me is a *RAJAH*SHRINER* I'm being disrespectful - so I'm returning the fez. Yeah. Small world.

So we did the gig. Afterwards, I was explaining what had happened to "Frank," one of our regular "fans." I explained how I had no idea that I couldn't wear the hat of a fraternal organization. I explained that outside of the children's hospital, I had no idea what a Shriner did... (except I suspect that there's a lot of drinking - and who knows what else, Frank?!!!) - then, Frank turned to me and delivered the worst line I've heard in a long time:
FRANK: Did you know that all Shriners have to be Masons first?


It then became clear to me that if Frank knew that, he could only be one thing:

FRANK: You know, I don't tell many people about this - but I'm a mason... And it WAS disrespectful for you to wear that hat. Do you know much about the Masons?
KELL: No, not really.
FRANK: Well, George Washington was a Mason - Did you know that? In fact, the Philadelphia Temple still has his Apron... We don't wear Fez's - we have aprons.

Frank then told me long tales of how many of our presidents were masons... How the masons had a large role in the formation of our country... And where he didn't say it specifically, implied something like "How dare you wear that fez!"

After that, I politely said goodnight - then swore off Fraternal Organizations forever... As if they'd let me join anyway.

DISCLAIMER: Really - I didnt' mean it. I have the photo - of me and Dave. I'm wearing the Fez. It's states evidence, I know. If it weren't so very offensive (which I never meant to offend - it was just a cool old hat) - (HONEST) - I'd post the photo - you know - the photo that I put a black bar over mine and Dave's eyes.