Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Into the Mild

As I wove my way through the packed ballroom, I all but ignored the priggish stares. It started with a toothy lobbyist holding court by the hotel wing entrance, the one who brought his golf parable to an awkward halt so he and his cronies could squint disapprovingly at my scuffed up kicks. I arched an eyebrow as I passed, hoping my choice of shorts and fairly unwrinkled shirt would cause him further indigestion. Then I locked eyes with a matronly executive gnawing on a dainty croissant. For a moment I thought the old bag was gonna choke on it, all because a lenslinging ruffian was in the hiz-ouse. Before security was called however, she noticed the high dollar fancy-cam hanging at my hip - the one fashion accessory that can win you entry into both the cloistered enclave of the hobo village and the bedazzled confines of the Tight-Ass Convention. Given my druthers, I’d be hanging out by the tracks right now…

But druthers aren’t often offered in my line of work - I suppose that’s why the bosses insist on paying me for it. But unlike my wage, my duties changes on the hour. One moment I’m hiding behind my tripod as SWAT team members move in on a sleeping gunman, the next I’m crashing the stuffiest of breakfast affairs for a breathless interviews with celebrity windbags. This morning it was the latter - and I wasn’t about to let a sea of movers and shakers keep me from attempting contact with guest of honor Liddy Dole - even if I was dressed like a field trip chaperone. So I squeezed past a clutch of old guys dressed like Matlock and scanned the upper torso of every over-perfumed woman in sight.

No, I wasn’t getting’ my perv on. I was reading nametags, hoping to find a moniker that matched the name scribbled on the press release in my pocket. For only she could grant me what my bosses so wanted - a few on-camera comments from the good Senator on the immigration reform bill. Never mind the fact she was in town to talk manufacturing. Seasoned politicians like Dole however, never need a lot of cueing. I have no doubt Liddy can segue from the ramifications of Guantanamo to the virtues of Cheerwine without so much as batting an mascara-laden eyelid. In fact I think she pulled the stunt the last time I interviewed her. Either that or I’m confusing it with the time I fought back Planet of the Apes quotes while training a camera on Charlton Heston. Either way it doesn’t matter as Mrs. Dole gave me the slip this morning, popping up at the last minute behind the podium before vanishing into a cloud of dried-ice like smoke, exclusive interview be damned..

Perhaps the hip waders were too much.

UPDATE: A pox on me for not mentioning the lone highlight of my executive foray - a few stolen moments with Maintenance Evangelist and Hamburger Champion Joel Leonard. In his trenchant comment below, Joel lifts my cynic's veil for a look at someone remarkable among the blue suit group. Classy guy, that Joel...


The Joel Burger said...

Being one of the tight ass attendees it was refreshing to see the authentic and perceptive Lenslinger grace the premises and the reading this piece this morning has definitely provided the humorous energy for me to endure more leg numbing meetings.

Hope that you got to meet the CEO of Timco. This 64 year old turn around exec looked like he too would rather be at 1000 other places than to be perched up on stage to field questions about the latest business buzzword strategies. In fact after all of the younger CEOs spouted out their implementation of LEAN Business, Employee empowerment program called EDGE, and Six Sigma. He said we don't implement any of those high minded strategies. We are just maintenance company implementing the fanatical pursuit of common sense.

He upstaged them all. When asked if he thought politicians were crooks. He said "Nope, I just think they just see a problem and shoot from the hip with a solution. Then realize that that the solution has perhaps even more dire consequenses than the previous problem and they are now responsible for the bullet that they fired and now can't recover it.

It was a shame to see Liddy collect 2 awards speak for 30 minutes and then scram. Just made me wonder if she gives the CEOs of NC the short shrift what does she do to the common people of NC? I guess just send them the bill.

Anonymous said...


dustin. said...

That's her MO for sure. She does that to all the media down here in Wilmington. It's become a running joke. After behaving like that, I think the real joke is that she's running again.