A Hair-owing Tale From Phoenix.

posted in: Day In The Life 7
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers.
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers. (Also: I was so horrified at my appearance — read below — that I didn’t get a picture this morning. I regret many things today.)

Gather ’round as I tell ye a legendarily funny tale. I am shaking with laughter as I write this from the airport. That’s some hype, but I think I can deliver.

I got here to the Phoenix airport at 5:15am for a 6:45am flight. In order to be able to roll out of bed this morning and just brush my teeth and go, I showered last night and went to bed. Ladies, you know that when you sleep on a damp head, you get some interesting hair in the morning because it gets all smooshed around through the night and dries like that.

This morning, I kind of liked my hair. I thought it looked kinda deshible. Sorta sexy, all mussed up like that. I rubbed a little pomade into the ends to combat frizz and I got into my airport shuttle. Got to the airport. Went through security. People were sort of looking at me and I thought, “Hm. I guess I look good this morning with my wool coat and deshible hair and patent leather pumps.” Gave me a little swagger. I get to my gate and plop down with my journal; this is de rigueur for me, as long as we’re dropping the only French words I know. I got out my ink pen and stuck it in my mouth so I could reach into my bag for my journal. I did not know that my pen was slowly exploding.

Then I realized I needed more coffee. So I get back up a few minutes later, walk ten gates to the coffee place. People are really looking at me and I think, “Geez, maybe they think I’m someone important!”

On the way back to my seat, I pop into the bathroom. And everything becomes clear.

My hair was not deshible. I looked absolutely insane. It was amazing, how insane I looked. It was tangled. It was sticking up almost sideways on the left side. A piece on the right was flipped to the left. I looked like a woman with no home.

In addition to this, half of my mouth was black and the blackness extended past the corner of my mouth about an inch. It appeared that I was suffering from a horrible, contagious lip disease; perhaps leprosy. I looked so scary that I startled myself. As I furiously scrubbed the side of my mouth with soap, I began to laugh so hard I tears were rolling down my face because I have never been such a hot, hot, steaming hot mess than I was just now. And because I was now laughing and crying into the mirror, people began to literally back away from me at the sink.

And as I write this now — the ink is gone and I pulled my hair back into a ponytail — I am laughing so hard (but trying not to because there are so many people around me) that I’m literally shaking with laughter silently in my seat and crying actual tears because this image of myself was so incredible. I have had to walk away a few feet from my computer to go behind a post and let the laughter out.

Phoenix? I love you, baby. See you around.

Welcome, Members!

"Rick, this is Mary. Mary, Rick. Oh, and there's Dave! Dave, this is Mary, and this is Rick. You see Gina or Rob? I think they're here. Mary, Gina and Rob are..."
“Rick, this is Mary. Mary, Rick. Oh, and there’s Dave! Dave, this is Mary, and this is Rick. You see Gina or Rob? I think they’re here. Mary, Gina and Rob are friends of Rick’s. They’re here from Cincinnati — Rob is hilarious! Who wants shots?!”

I live within spittin’ distance of Chicago’s legendary downtown Hilton hotel. The Beaux-Arts-style building takes up a whole city block; there are over 1,500 rooms! It has some neat history, too: every U.S. president since 1927 has stayed there, and someone recently told me that when the riots broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, so much tear gas was used by police on the protestors in Grant Park that the gas made its way inside the Hilton, where Hubert Humphrey was taking a shower. Sorry, dude.

The sky-high lobbies inside are gorgeous, especially this time of year; the whole place is festooned with pine bunting and poinsettias and twinkly lights aglow. There’s a towering Christmas tree inside the main entrance, too. Yesterday, I saw a kid nearly fall over backward while he looked up at it.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been working over there during the day. I’ve found an even better spot: downstairs, in front of the lounge fireplace. I go over each day and the first thing I do, the very first thing, is go to the hotel event screen. This is the big screen near the bank of elevators that tells what conventions are being held that day at the Hilton. (Though there are two hotels in the city with more rooms, nobody has more meeting or event space than my Hilton.) Nothing but nothing entertains me more than looking at a list of what people congregate to talk about. Here’s who’s meeting at the Hilton this week:

E & J Gallo Winery
Customer Supply Chain Connection, University of Chicago
The Mid-American Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA)
Thompson Holiday Event

I love it! I love to think about a band director literally bumping into a wine salesperson in the long line at the interior Starbucks. She spills her latte on him, he’s nice about it, they laugh about holiday craziness and bam! They fall in love. Years later, at a party, they recount the tale to their friend Julie. And now, a short play.

The Hilton Made Me Love You
A play by Mary Fons (c) 2013

(A party.)

SUE: Darling, why don’t you tell it?
CHARLES: Tell what?
SUE: How we met. Julie wants to know.
JULIE: Tell, tell!
CHARLES: (beaming at SUE.) Well… We were in Chicago.
JULIE: I love Chicago!
CHARLES: We do too, don’t we darling?
SUE: Oh, Charles!
CHARLES: I was there for Gallo. Sue was there for MACBDA, if you can believe it.
SUE: Back when I was still a band director! Isn’t it incredible?
JULIE: I’m so glad you moved into aeronautics.
SUE: Me too. Go on, sweetheart.
CHARLES: We were in line at the Starbucks and Sue bumped into me. She spilled her entire latte all over my shoes. It was an absolute disaster.
SUE: (swatting him.) It wasn’t the whole latte!
CHARLES: It was an entire latte.
SUE: Oh, you!
CHARLES: We got to talking. Sue actually got on her knees to wipe the milk off my shoes and we started laughing… Honey, that was the first day of the rest of my life.
SUE: (with a wink.) Room 1423?
JULIE: (gasps.) You didn’t!
CHARLES: Thirty years later, you’re still the girl of my dreams.
SUE: Charles, you’re my hero.

(CHARLES and SUE embrace, kiss. End of play.)