I am at work and I am sitting quietly in a training session slated to go all day. It is a painfully slow class, and I’m only twenty minutes in. A straggler strolls in carrying herself like she owns the State. She is in a really good mood, but she can’t seem to get a song out of her head. I know this because she is singing it out loud. I’m using every ounce of will I’ve got to listen to the instructor, who is droning on with all the enthusiasm of a “dead man walking.” All the while, I can’t seem to ingore the tune stuck in my classmate’s head. She really hits a groove and starts to move. Hand gestures, full body swaying lead by a head seemingly attached by a spring, tapping feet … nothing is left out of the performance. This goes on until she gets hungry. She takes a break from her Tina Turner fantasy to haul out a snack. I challenge you to go through your shopping list and find a more distracting finger food … than sunflower seeds in the shell. O.k., so maybe you could find one more distracting, but I’ll bet you won’t guess what she did with them. She took a handful at a time and tossed them into her mouth with all the subtlety of lions feeding on Christians. She then proceeded to break the shells with her teeth, fish the shattered remnants of the shells from her mouth with her fingers, and flick the chesoggy mass into a coffee filter sitting next to her on the table. So, when I’m not listening to the snap-krackle-pop of the seeds breaking open in her mouth I’m mesmerized by the partially digested lump soaking through a coffee filter next to me on the table.
During the next cycle, she decides to accompany herself on some kind of brass insrument, probably a trumpet. NO JOKE. Picture in your mind the last scene, only now she’s got her hand to her mouth with her fingers apparently pressing and releasing the imaginary mechanisms of a trumpet. When she fininshes her imaginary jam session of one, she goes back to the seeds. She follows the seeds with an apple, crunched bite by distracting bite to the core.
By the end of the day I have learned nothing but my tolerance level for annoyance. Now I’m getting ready to go back for another day. I’m hoping for another seat.