Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Pass the Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans

And here I was, thinking that I hadn't posted one of those "charming stories from my past" entries in quite a while, and John Scalzi posts his invitation to a 24-hour blog-a-thon for charity.

Which I think is a splendid idea -- although, for me, personally, I think I'd do better if I can tag-team it with some other bloggers.  I'd be happy to take the 11 pm to 3 am shift, but don't think I should put my body through an actual all-nighter again.

I was going to say that I've never pulled an all-nighter -- I think it is fairly remarkable that I graduated college and law school without ever doing so -- but the fact is, there was one time when I stayed up all night.

I do not remember the year -- but I do remember the date:  December 30th.

I was invited by a friend to accompany her church group decorating a float for the Rose Parade.

(The finishing touches on decorating are done the night of the 30th, so the floats will be ready for judging on the 31st.)

We worked on a float that celebrated Sesame Street.  I remember the float vividly.  When I first got there, they were unsure of my float decorating skills, so had me working on a part of the float that wouldn't be particularly visible.  I was assigned the task of gluing lentils on what would be a giant-sized pencil holder.  After I proved my lentil-gluing abilities, I graduated to carnation petals.  (The name of the corporate sponsor was to appear on the back of the float in white letters -- hence, carnation petals.)  We worked in an assembly line -- someone tore petals off carnations and lay them out in a cardboard tray, someone else (me!) put a drop of glue on each carnation petal, and a third person attached each petal to the frame of the float.

From there, I got to try my hand at everything -- including something to do with getting feathers on Big Bird, for which I had to climb some scaffolding.  I learned that night that I'm not too good with heights.  No, scratch that.  I'm not too good with unsteady heights.

As the night wore on, I decided that staying off the scaffolding was a really good idea.  This because lack of sleep was causing everyone to make stupid mistakes, and I'd rather not be the victim of a stupid mistake while on a plank of wood twenty feet up.  But we were all getting a little punchy -- I have a vague recollection of very carefully gluing a few hundred clover someplace that lilies should have been.  (Oops.)

They saved the very best part -- the pools of roses that cover the bottom of the float -- for last.  Of course, by now, everyone has been working all night and nobody is really capable of intelligent thought.  You're on auto-pilot, and when the team captain says that you should make a cascading stream of roses over your part of the float, you just sort of nod stupidly as though the word "cascading" means something to you.

I got home the next morning sometime in the afternoon.

(You know, that sentence is just a perfect illustration of how well I was thinking.  And that's the product of five whole hours of sleep last night.)

Anyway, I got home sometime the next afternoon.  My mom made me breakfast, and I rolled into bed.

Woke up extremely late on January 1st.  Had totally missed the parade.

1 comment:

chattiekimmie said...

Oh the memories this entry brought back for me.  I remember nights working on floats in high school.  I got my first real kiss during one of those nights. hehe  :) have a great day!