A Day at the The-Ah-Tah

Circa 2009

I’ve never been a big fan of the “the-ah-tah” (insert uppity British accent here) but when I had the opportunity to attend a play at the new Arkley Center for the Performing Arts, I jumped at the chance. Plus it was a free. Oh, and I got to go with my kid. Bonus mommy points on the karma counter.

We left Taterbug’s school at about 10:15 AM in the hopes of being there and in our seats by 11AM. After a rather painless drive from Fortuna to Eureka, I turned onto G Street and saw something that seriously shook my consciousness, grabbing my spinal cord and violently squeezing it into bloody pulp. Lining the sidewalk was a sea of wild short people. There were at least two million grammar school children with a few parents scattered here and there, pounding at the doors of the Arkley Center, demanding entrance. I looked for a way to quickly turn around and escape the terror promising to envelop me and schat me out, but it was to no avail. The four large orange slugs (school busses) blocked my way and the entire street for that matter.

I carefully parked my car and sat there in the driver’s seat, looking for any friendly faces that might greet me in my plight to insanity. I saw my daughter’s teacher and ran over (yes – I did freakin’ run – the little people scared me) to find shelter, ducking small people cries and cheers. I also found my daughter who was standing with her little classmates. I think she could sense my fear because she grabbed my hand and squeezed it in her sweaty little palm. The line slowly moved towards the doorway of the the-ah-tah and I saw two nicely dressed woman and a suave looking man, attempting to direct the horizontally challenged grammar school traffic. The parents looked at them sympathetically as they franticly spoke to each other via expensive looking radios. Did they not notice they were within earshot of one another? But heck, you don’t look nearly as sophisticated yelling. I’d stick with the high tech walkie-talkies, too.

When we finally herded the vicious cattle through the first door, we were ushered upstairs to our awaiting section. The children and grown-ups for that matter, seemed to really appreciate the beauty of the rehabbed the-ah-tah and I heard many ooh’s and aah’s. I, on the other hand, was more interested in finding out where the bathroom was as my coffee had decided to make an early escape into the golden pipes of the the-ah-tah. I left Taterbug with her buddies and quickly found the bathroom.

Prior to leaving my seat, sweet little Taterbug reminded me that we were “sposed” to use the bathroom before leaving the school. I explained to her that I don’t like midget toilets that forced my knees to touch my ears when I peed and that’s exactly what her school bathrooms contained. You may call me a bathroom snob but I know for a fact that little girls aren’t the cleanest creatures – especially in this area.

As I reached the bathroom, I walked through one elegant door and then another and another, to discover there were only two bathroom stalls in a small room. I wasn’t quite sure of the appropriate bathroom etiquette – do you stay in the little two stall room and await the pee’er or do you wait by the sink and then face the chance that some little biotch will jump your spot in the line professing her need to go first while doing the well know potty dance? Decisions, decisions. I chose the latter and waited patiently outside the stall door, occasionally sighing and ever so often, tapping my foot for the slow going urinators.

After I did my business, I returned to my seat only to find a roaring the-ah-tah. The kids were going ape schat as they screamed, yelled, and otherwise strongly encouraged the actors to begin their play (which was “Cinderella” by the way). I guess they were expecting the worst from these little heathens because they even took the time to hire a uniformed security guard to patrol the second floor. He eyed each little bugger, threatening to take them in if they got too close to the balcony or even showed a sign of having chewing gum. I gulped when I saw his dedication and quickly looked through my purse to ensure that my cell phone was off. I didn’t want to get “hooked up” in front of my kid.

As I turned my cell phone off, Taterbug leaned over to me, whispering and pointing at a mother in the front row of our section. The mother, oblivious to the felony she was creating, was chatting away to some other nimrod on the other end of the phone. My daughter was peeved that this broad had not been following direction nor listening to the rules, so she offered to go over and “punch her in the nose” as a reminder that her phone needed to be off. I quietly suggested to Taterbug that although I did agree with her aggravation, I didn’t think bodily harm would do much for her and my reputation around the school yard.

When the play finally started, the lights dimmed and the kids again went ape schat. You’d think that Hannah Montana had hit the stage or even better yet, those yummy little Jonas brothers (who Mommazilla doesn’t mind watching). Heck, I’d probably even start screaming, throwing my granny panties at the stage and dramatically fainting in my seat until one of those little brothers came up and…well, you get the point. Cute kids. Bet their momma is proud. Yes, that’s so much more motherly sounding.

The play started and for the better part of an hour, the kids were very entertained by the actors and actresses. I was so relieved to see and hear that this was not a musical, except for just two songs. I think I would have completely lost it if there was singing. Again, I repeat myself: I don’t do the whole the-ah-tah experience, unless that is it’s covered with buttery popcorn, a large Pepsi, and a box of Milk Duds. And, the Jonah Brothers perform (the three good things about the Hannah Montana in 3-D movie). But I digress…

I liked the play just fine but was sad to see that they didn’t include any of the little rodents that helped to build Cinderella’s dress. The costumes were so-so and actually reminded me of the prom I went to my freshman year of high school. The kind of prom you want to forget when you look back at the craptacular pic’s . You know, the ones you took with that looser date who kept trying cop a feel the whole night, telling you what really happens on prom night and then looks so forlorn and sad when you tell him to pound sand – oh look, I’m digressing…again.

We then left the the-ah-tah without much hooplah. After I bid my daughter and class adieu, I was pleasantly unsurprised to find that one of the freakin’ busses had parked so closed to my car door that I think my car is now expecting a baby bus – a short bus I guess. The little turds on the bus saw my frustration (and the couple of f-bombs I mumbled loudly didn’t help too much) and laughed out loud watching the “funny wady” climbing across her passenger seat into her driver’s seat. And of course, while I’m trying to leap the gear shift, the bus pulls away from my door clearly exposing my precarious position to the million students on the sidewalk, waiting for their bus ride. Thankfully, the little monsters were too busy picking their noses and slapping each other to notice my vehicle frolicking and I was able to flip them the bird and quickly pull away from the sidewalk. No, I did not flip any innocent children off. It was only to the little schats who gave me a headache from their incessant screaming.

You may not have guessed it, but I did have a good time and I was ever so pleased to have been invited on this class trip. Next time, I’ll just bring ear plugs for the more “quiet” portions of the adventure.

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