Thursday, May 26, 2011

My embarassing encounter with Mr. THATAABOC.

The sound of the static tension above me in the florescent lights is stagnant, and my tolerance for it is not.

It was 2PM and I was hitting the afternoon stretch. Nay we call it the home stretch to be optimistic?

My boss has been out of town all this week, and will continue to be through next Wednesday. She’ll be back for two days, and then gone for another week. I am desperately searching for work to keep me busy. I get disgusted at the idea of doing nothing for an entire day, much less an entire week. At least at work. At home- I would be okay attempting to do nothing for a day… or two.. I digress.

I’ve been helping out the two professors that are here, as every other sane one is home enjoying the bloom of their summer vacation. I had already read a 250+ page book for a professor, double checking the scripture references. He repaid me with a Starbucks Soy Strawberries and Crème frappuccino, which I was very grateful for. It was an interesting study on the book of John which he was co-authoring. Some of it was a little mundane, but some of it surprised me. Especially a section, where he talks about angels. I emailed him this morning asking for the Scripture references, since I returned the draft copy of his book yesterday, and didn’t write any of the verses down that had caught my attention. When I asked him for the scripture reference he used when talking about how angels have taken on human form (remembering my encounter here: I wanted, really really wanted, to write to you all about my angel experience a few weeks back...), he emailed me this:

  • Angles on occasion have taken on human form.
  • Genesis 18:1 – 19:1 (most people think these men were angels)
  • Jacob wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32:24-34 and Hosea 12:4)
  • Hebrews 3:2
  • Judges 13:2-6
  • Angels  are referred to in masculine terms and in masculine names.
  • A few people think they might also appear women  (Zechariah 5:9).


Nevertheless, later that afternoon when the two o’clock hour had finally hit (every new hour was a milestone passed), and that same professor called asking for a favor, I went downstairs. I enter to find Mr. THATAABOC (short for Mr. Thinks he’s All That and a bag of Chips) in his office in his usual progressed linebacker position. He’s the kind of guy that talks with not just his hands, but his body. When you listen to him teach, he shuffles from one side to the other, as if getting ready to dodge an opponent on the football field. He laughs with his shoulders, and his face turns kind of a purply-red when he is caught off guard by someone one-upping his joke. He greeted me with his usual “hello” (enunciated HeLOW!). The conversation below ensued:

Mr. THATAABOC: Well I need to try out a game.
Me: You know, Mr. THATAABOC (real name was used), I was a Youth Ministry major and I hated playing games. Hence why I never once in four years volunteered to play any of the games when asked in class.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh it’s not that bad. You see, I write a monthly column in a national article that is published for thousands of youth workers, and my focus is on games.
Me: (thinks to herself) Shocker.
Mr. THATAABOC: And I need to try out this game. You see, I get a lot of my game ideas from my students.
Me: (thinks to herself) Real original.
Mr. THATAABOC: Well a student wrote about this game where one person uses one of these (shows Article A) to catch a Kleenex while the other person uses a straw to blow the Kleenex up in the air.


Article A


Me: (thinks to herself) You have got to be kidding me.
Mr. THATAABOC: Here let me show you.
Me: (outloud) You have got to be kidding me.
Mr. THATAABOC: (Chuckles with purple face) (moves stationary chair out of his office and into the main hall.)
Example Chair

Mr. THATAABOC: Okay, so one person sits on the chair like this. (Begins to straddle the chair, and then sits with both knees kindergarten grade style, legs underneath knees bent).
Excuse her butt- its the only picture i could find that accurately showed
how uncomfortable I was while demonstrating an accurate pose.

Mr. THATAABOC (continues): Then you blow this thing (holds up Article A again), and try to catch the Kleenex. You can play that role, which you’d probably prefer, or this one where the person lies on his back underneath with his head right at the base of the chair.
Me: Oh yeah, I’ll sit in the chair. (prego-penguin wobbles over to chair). You know Mr. THATAABOC, you could have Professor Diamond or Professor Too-Good do this.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh yeah! (chuckles with purple face), Professor Diamond! Ha!
*authors note- both of these professors, Professor Diamond (truly a jewel, older woman who is very well educated, kind of the “mama” of the family) and Professor Too-Good (also a wonderful woman, but despite her claims to be completely different off-campus, has never been seen forgetting something in the oven/microwave, walking on a crack in the sidewalk, misspeaking, without high heals) would truly never be seen – even if Jesus asked – doing this game with Mr. THATAABOC. Or just doing this game period.
Me: I’d pay big money to see one of them do this.
Mr. THATAABOC: Oh yeah! Okay… (chuckles with shoulders without making any sound). (He hands me Article A and says) I haven’t used this. (He then lies on his back and proceeds to position himself where I can only see him if I lean forward enough to look in-between Mt. Everest and Mt. Shasta. Awesome. Good thing I’m wearing jeans. I try to lean back, realize that the length of Article A can only stretch so far, and I must place my pride aside to play this game.

This is Mr. THATAABOC (Chair is backwards, with back of chair slightly behind head).

He begins to repeatedly try to place this Kleenex at one end of the straw, while blowing the other, directing its destination to be in the exact spot that it could catch on Article A if I blew it at the right time. We try this unsuccessfully 3 or 4 times. As I slightly lean back, just to pull up my jeans and make sure I’m still looking professional (ha), guess who walks down the hall in the previously empty Faculty Offices but Professor Diamond. Of course. Awkward.....



Professor Diamond: Well (raises eyebrows and grins, stopping in the hallway at the other end of us).
Mr. THATAABOC: (Goes from grape to strawberry.)
Me: Oh Lordie. It’s for a game.
Mr. THATAABOC: (Rolls on his side to keep from choking from laughter, or embarrassment)
Professor Diamond: Well they do say when the cats are away, the mice will play.
Me: You can’t tell my boss this is what I’m do when she’s gone. She’ll think I don’t get anything done!
Professor Diamond: Gets up off the floor and half out of breath, attempts to tell Professor Diamond what we were doing, and how it couldn’t possibly be as irresponsible or outlandish as it appeared.
Mr. THATAABOC: You see, I write a monthly column in a national article that is published for thousands of youth workers, and my focus is on games.
Me: (Thinking to herself) Of course, he has to preface is with national.
Professor Diamond: (politely grinning and smiling while clutching her briefcase, probably in fear of the crazy youth ministry/game guy.
Mr. THATAABOC: And a student wrote about this game that I wanted to try before I published it in this national article.
Me: (thinking to herself) Oh give me a break.
Professor Diamond: Oh I see.

Untraceable conversation ensues of generalized comments between Professor Diamond and Mr. THATAABOC. I end up briefing Professor Diamond on the work I had completed for her the day prior, and letting them both know,

Me: If either of you need anything, please let me know. Well, except Mr. THATAABOC, I think you’ve hit your quota.

All in the day of a life of me.

Me: Walks upstairs, thinks to herself, of course it had to be Professor Diamond that walked in. Serves me right for trying a game with Mr. THATAABOC.


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