Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pomp and Unusual Circumstances

Still trying to play catch-up with some Singles-centric stuff that's happened over the last couple of months, but which have been put on the back-burner since the New Obsession reared its ugly head and there was much distraction. But now, I am forcing myself to take a short break from the obsession to talk about the surprise that was waiting for me in Sunday School one morning last month.
The Sunday morning after our last murder mystery party was a heavy attendance day for the Singles department. Not only were the majority of the members of my class present, but we also had two or three guests, including Sonic-Man, a former Single who was there to introduce a friend of his who was visiting our class for the first time. After the big group time was over and we started to head towards our separate classes, Papa Lightbulb motioned me to wait for a second, saying "Got something to ask you." As people streamed past, heading down to our classroom, Papa L. started to ask me if I would be willing to help him out on his recently created blog; I told him sure, at which point he said "Actually, I'm just supposed to stall you for a couple of minutes, so that's what I'm doing: stalling." I complimented him on his stealthy stalling technique, assuring him I was totally fooled.

I had a pretty good idea what the stall tactic was for: the previous night at the Murder Mystery, two or three people congratulated me on my upcoming graduation, and a few more had done so that morning as well. At first I had thought that the news of my passing the Capstone had finally filtered through the group, but now I figured that they had planned something for me while I was gone the previous week visiting Clan G'ovich. So, Papa L. and I stood around for a couple of minutes before he said "Okay, guess we've stalled enough," and we headed down to the classroom. When I walked in, I saw that I had been right: they had planned something honoring my graduation. However, what they had planned took my by complete surprise.

There at the front of the room stood Cap'ns Cluck and Disaster holding a cap, gown, and diploma for me, in front of a big posterboard card taped to the dry-erase board. The card, which featured the words "Congrats, Master Cap'n" and a picture of a monkey reading a book, was signed by most of my class. The gown was covered in magazine clippings of some sort; upon closer inspection, I saw that they were all cut out from the latest issue of TV Guide: there were blurbs and ads for shows I regularly review on TV Tuesdays, as well as cut-outs of the TV schedules themselves, with the shows I watch highlighted in yellow. And then there was the cap, which had been decorated by a stuffed monkey holding a book. They made me put the full ensemble on, and then had me open up the diploma and read it for the class. I just realized that diploma is at work, so I'll have to post the full text of it tomorrow, but the important thing to note is that, not only was it filled with references to CoIM, but it was a diploma for a "Masters of Neurosis" and was signed by Papa Lightbulb, Freezeout, Cap'n Disaster, and Cap'n Cluck, all using their CoIM nicknames for the signatures. I apologized to those people in the class with extremely puzzled looks on their faces, explaining that if none of what they were seeing and hearing made any sense to them it was because they hadn't read my blog, but that was probably okay, since most of my blog didn't make sense anyway. Next they had me walk around the classroom while they sang Pomp and Circumstances; I started out slow and then sped up, trying to see if they would speed the song up with me, but they held tempo.

In addition to the graduation accoutrements, I was also presented with another stuffed monkey (gathering quite a collection) and a copy of an Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe compilation; Cap’n Cluck thought that since it was a book about comics, and not a regular comic, that I might not own it; she was partly right, in that I didn’t own the particular volume they got me, but that’s just because I own all of the various issues it collected. Still, it was a nice gesture, and much appreciated.

So, after all of that, I sat down at the head of the class; we usually form a circle, but that day they had pretty much made a big semi-circle and left my chair in its usual spot, so that all eyes were directly on me. And, being the sort of person I am, I left the cap and gown on through the entire lesson; I know it was a bit of a distraction for some, but probably not as big of a distraction as it turned out to be for me, since the danged monkey on top of the cap was not rigidly fixed; every time I would glance up or down at my bible, it would bounce up and down as well; sadly, even with all of that commotion, I think my lesson that day turned out better than the one I gave this morning. Note to self: skipping caffeine intake before teaching class while sleep deprived: not a good idea. But I digress.

After the lesson was over we headed out to lunch; I briefly considered wearing the outfit to the restaurant, but decided not to. It was probably a good thing, too: since it was my day, I got to pick the restaurant, and chose Chili's; however, by the time we got there, there was going to be a very long wait, and they were going to have to split our group up into multiple tables. We decided to say "forget that," and instead moved our party over to the Black-Eyed Pea which was right next to it, and which was able to seat us within minutes; they might have been more cautious about seating us if I had had the monkey cap on. We didn't think anything of the change of venue, since everyone that was going to be able to come to lunch was already there when we made the move . . . or so we thought. However, not long after we had finished ordering, I got a call from Sonic-Man; his friend had decided to join us for lunch, but none of us had realized it, and so he was currently standing at a Chili’s filled with junior high cheerleaders, wondering where we had all disappeared to. Luckily, he had Sonic-Man's cell number, and Sonic-Man had mine, so he was able to meet up with us after all. Surprisingly, even being abandoned at Chili's and having to witness the bizarre ritual that was my unorthodox graduation ceremony, Sonic-Man's friend has come back to our class every week since then. Can't say the same for the other visitor that day . . .

Now, before you scroll any further down, let me just say this: if anyone ever complains that I'm picking on them by showing embarrassing/goofy pictures of them online, I'm just going to send them the link to this post and let the following speak for themselves.

See, Flunky? That "short-shorts" picture doesn't look half so embarrassing now, does it?


Cap'n Cluck said...

Having successfully completed the course of study as prescribed by the faculty and board of Cap’ns and having complied with all other requirements of the CoIM, has been granted the Degree:

Master of Neuroses

And is entitled to all rights and privileges appertaining to that degree.

Hereby witnessed on November 13, 2005 by the following:

Freezeout; Papa Lightbulb; Cap'ns Disaster and Cluck

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Many thanks, C.C.; now I don't have to type it in myself :)