Thursday, May 13, 2004

So what's going on at The League?

Jamie's company is based in Oletha, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City), and every year the folks in Kansas have a fun activity, such as going to the Kansas equivalent of Six Flags or going to a Royals game. But since Jamie's satellite office is out here in Arizona, they just don't do anything most of the time. To try and make up for this lack of fun, the Kansas office ordered the Tempe office to find something and go do it.

So Saturday we went to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Not much to say about it except that it was actually more interesting than the Phoenix Zoo in a lot of ways, although a much more humble affair. It's also interesting to be in a place where all that stands between you and a 600 pound tiger is a chain link fence. The key is not to piss off the tigers.

Sunday we went to see Urinetown which was being performed on campus as part of the traveling Broadway series. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and I think other folks would like it (how can you not like a musical with songs like "Freedom, Runaway!" celebrating the need to run away when confronted by your oppressors). Not everybody liked it. We went to a matinee of the play and, as Arizona is crawling with retirees, we were surrounded by the elderly. At intermission the dudes in the men's room were vocal about their confusion. Apparently post-modernism has not yet hit the Matlock crowd, but, hey... That's okay.

The truth is, unfortunately, I will not remember the show as much for the script or the songs as much as the crowd. On Jamie's right sat a blind woman who was getting an Al Michaels play-by-play of the proceedings, and to my left sat an elderly couple who had rented headsets to better hear the show as they were both deaf. Consequently, I heard the entire show as an echo through the old people's headsets. To add to the fun, the headsets were making one of their hearing aids whistle out of control, which, apparently, neither of them seemed to notice for the entire 2.5 hour duration of the show. I don't know if you've ever heard a hearing-aid whistle from feedback or from running low on batteries, but it's absolutely horrible and intended to get the wearer to immediately remove the device.

But I'm a nice guy and so I just decided "hey, they're old. This show can't be cheap for them, either... I can live through it." But, then, of course, they started talking to each other, too. Loudly of course, because not only were they deaf, they had on those headsets and squealing hearing aids.

Finally another old guy, who had no need to have respect for old people, turned around and said "WILL YOU TWO BE QUIET?!!!!" I now love that anonymous old man in front of me and two seats down.

Before the final note of the final song, my darlings stood up and bolted for the exit, eager to beat other folks out of the parking lot and to the Early Bird Special at Denny's, I'd guess. Consequently, they missed the end of the show, more or less.

The moral of the lesson: No more matinee shows in Retirementville, USA.

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