Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Love the color Purple

Many, many, moons ago I worked at a reception hall on Pine Avenue in Long Beach.  This wasn't any ordinary reception hall.  This place had gone through major restoration as have many of the old buildings in Downtown Long Beach.

The owner had gone through great pains to keep it's original decor and color.  The expense, I'm sure, was huge but the new owner in his determination to keep the building as original as possible worked long hard hours working with the city and all their demands.  Indeed, it was beautiful inside and out but required constant maintenance.

How I landed a job there, I don't recall but my duties were to see that the place was kept clean, deposits were paid in advance, the caterers followed strict rules, wedding parties were set up and cleaned up within the proper time limits and of course, anyone renting any of the rooms were to be kept under control.  The latter could prove to be one of the most difficult tasks by the owners standards of control which, in my opinion, was too controlling.  I did my best without completely ruining the parties fun.

Some days, with the constant running around, I'd be near the point of taking my heels off to get myself up and down those two flights of stairs.  But the only time the shoes actually came off was when I was seated directly behind my desk with no one in sight.

One day I decided to wear a heel a little lower than normal as I knew I had a lot of tearing down/setting up to do and thought they might prove to be more comfortable.  On days when the schedule was as heavy as this, I worked very closely with our head maintenance guy, both of us running up and down the stairs together, apart, crossing paths and sometimes bumping into each other.  So this day it was no surprise that he and I met at the top of the first landing had a quick chat and decided to head down to the office together.  Being the gentleman he was, he allowed me to take the lead.

To this day, I still don't recall what our purpose was in heading down those 2 flights of stairs but I can tell you, the 'trip' was one of the fastest I'd ever made in reaching the bottom.  As I took the lead in my usual chatty manner something in those shorter than normal heeled shoes caught hold of the top stair. What followed next?  Let's just say I could probably teach Slinky a thing or two about how to take the stairs.  I literally rolled and rolled and rolled, came to a small landing, attempted to get up...but quickly discovered I hadn't yet recovered my balance and began the second set of rolls. Barnum and Bailey, here I come!  I could hear the fellow behind me screaming 'Marie! Marie! Marie!' and trying desperately to stop me by grabbing my clothes, hair, arm...well, anything he could.

I'm sure you have great concern for me at this point in my story so let me assure you, there is no need.  I was in hysterics.  Not from fear, or desperation.  More that of someone who had just witnessed the funniest stand-up routine ever.  I just could not get my own image out of my head. My thoughts ran to the Tasmanian devil and Bugs Bunny.  Those crazy cartoons where someone is rolling down stairs and appears as a ball of string.

I get to the middle of the second flight and start to slow down.  The thought quickly comes 'at last, I've stopped' but oh, how wrong I was.  My encore performance is a repeat of the earlier; 'Marie! Marie! Marie!', grab, grab, grab (we've now got this down without the boring rehearsal period except we failed to run through the final bow).  I finally stop sitting straight up, ala Raggedy Ann, with legs wide open.  After a few seconds of uncontrolled laughter I hear the sigh of relief of the poor gent who made every attempt to rescue me, look up and realize I'm facing straight out to Pine Avenue at the biggest window known by man, showing the world my purple panties and tousled hair. 

I get up, check myself for blood and find none.  I think, my nylons must be torn to shreds; nothing. I move around expecting something to hurt, not a pain.
My would be rescuer asks 'why on earth were you laughing so much?' to which I respond 'haven't you ever seen Bugs Bunny?'.

Later that day and through the days that follow, I'm asked by many people who work in the building if I'm ok and how I survived such a crazy fall.  To this day, I don't know how I made it without any sign of injury.  I have nothing to show for my spontaneous, never to be repeated, performance.  My only response then and now is that laughter can get you through just about anything.

Now, I wonder what ever happened to those purple panties??

1 comment:

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I am in hysterics at this moment, trying not to laugh to much because my back is still sore from that snow-shoveling incident on Saturday! I cannot believe what happened to you! Did Auntie C. laugh when you told her? I'm sure she put that one in "her book" of great falls!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh dear, that is unbelievably wild, beautifully written and am I ever glad you are my cousin. LOVE YOU and good to see you back in the writing saddle!