I want to welcome back guest writer Peter Papachronopoulos who penned this week’s installment of Odd Jobs. He’s a funny guy and if you like his stuff here, feel free to check out his website: http://theloweststair.wordpress.com/. But enough of that, let’s get onto the column.
Odd job: Holiday puppet show
A fateful text alighted on my phone one Sunday morning this past November, jarring me awake with its endless buzzing. My brain streamed groggy profanities as I reached out to silence the noisy message. It was from my friend, Katie, who needed help. She and her partner had agreed to substitute for two other friends in a kids’ puppet show. But her partner had just dropped out. So she needed a sub for a sub. Was I available? I let an F-bomb loose and prepared to let Katie down nicely. Me plus puppets plus children would surely equal disaster, as puppets creep me out and I hate everything about children. As I texted her back, though, my instinct to help a friend seized control of my brain. Reflexively, my fingers wrote back that I’d be more than happy to help!! Yes. I used two exclamation marks, which legally obligated me to help.
One day, I was doing what all writers do when they sit down to write: scrolling through my news feed on Facebook. My friend, Daniel Ferris, had posted something like, “I am bored and feel like it’s time to do what any self-indulgent liberal arts major with too much free time on his hands does: Start a blog.” It felt like a total slap in the face, but I decided to let it go once I realized that Dan would be the perfect guest columnist for the site. I asked and was grateful when Dan turned in this piece about the day he worked for a moving company.
Dan did end up starting that blog and you can check it out at http://danferris10.tumblr.com/.
Odd Job: Moving
As is so often the case with really bad ideas, this all started in a college dining hall. Winter was starting to let go of its stranglehold, and Vermont’s version of Spring (mud season) was just around the corner. My friends and I were finishing up Sodexho Catering’s surrealist interpretation of Mexican cuisine when my friend Andy’s cell phone began vibrating itself off the table.
Let’s pause here to describe Andy.
Andy stands at a towering 6’4”, was a power-forward in hockey, and has been known to routinely rip phone books in half. Clear enough picture? Good, we can proceed.
He caught the phone, interrupting its vibration-induced, suicidal plunge toward the cafeteria floor, and looked at the caller ID with surprise.
I am very excited to announce that today’s column is penned by Peter Papachronopoulos (whose last name nearly detonated my spell check). He is a funny person and talented writer so I had been hoping to nab him as a guest columnist for quite some time. When he agreed to write the piece and then sent me a draft of his first column with an Ace Ventura reference in the body of the e-mail, I was worried I might have chosen the wrong guy. After all, was saying “Alllllllrighty then!” even funny 20 years ago? But Peter did an awesome job with this column about his experience playing Magic: The Gathering in some local tournaments for money. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here with my bizarre obsession with footnotes. The column is Peter’s, but any time you see a footnote, that’s me jumping in to make a random comment.