It’s our anniversary and I’m in a plane winging my way home from Las Vegas. Karen and I have gotten used to being apart on our anniversary. It’s our own fault because when we decided to get married, we hitched our honeymoon to a business trip so we could travel to San Francisco on the company’s dime. That means that our anniversary now falls right in the middle of travel season every year. We definitely outsmarted ourselves.
I am not a fan of Las Vegas, and this year I’ve been there for five events in four months—the PostNet, Franchise Services, Minuteman, Allegra, and AlphaGraphics conventions. Don’t get me wrong; I really enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones at these events and I really like presenting awards to the successful printers in each of these franchise systems. I just wish we could have done it in another city. Cleveland would have been fine with me.
Over the years it has become expected that I tell a short, funny story during my awards presentations. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and each year I have managed to scrounge up a new story. My most recent one involves a unique teaching moment at a girls’ boarding school.
It seems as if the pre-teen girls were going through a stage where they were experimenting with makeup and lipstick. They would put on lipstick while in the bathroom and make little “kissy” marks on the bathroom mirror. This annoyed the head mistress and she repeatedly told them to stop. Being kids, they pretty much ignored her.
One day, the headmistress called all of the girls into the bathroom where the school janitor was waiting. As the girls watched, the janitor dipped his squeegee into a commode and proceeded to use it to wipe the lipstick marks off of the mirror. Problem solved.
Toward the end of this year’s series of conventions I couldn’t remember if I had told this story before. I didn’t want to repeat myself, so at the Allegra and AlphaGraphics presentations I had to ad lib.
At Allegra the stock market’s nosedive and the hit to my investments helped me out and I told them I felt like the rating outfit that had downgraded America’s credit—standard and poor.
AlphaGraphics helped me out because their conference tagline was “The New Now—All In” and the theme of the awards gala was remembering the 1960s. There were lots of folks in period dress and Rat Pack style stingy brim hats, but I told the audience that I remembered the 1960s a bit differently because “this is the new now and you’re all in” is what my jumpmaster at Fort Bragg told me before ushering me out of the door of the C130.
I need to go online and look for some new material.