28 JAN 03: GOD CLOSES THE BAR
I slept in until about 2:30 p.m. today. But before you send me e-mail - no, I have NOT found the money-making secret of the Internet, that allows you to be your own boss and kiss the "nine-to-five" goodbye.
I slept during the day because I worked an overnight shift at the TV station for the second night in a row. Both nights were unexpected. I was at work about 5:30 p.m. Sunday when the 6:00 a.m. news producer called in sick. I wound up producing newscasts for both late Sunday night AND Monday morning. This must make up for my being a good student in college, and not pulling any all-nighters.
(It made for a busy night, to be sure. When can I get a special screening of the Super Bowl commercials?)
But last night's overnight shift was the most fascinating of all. No one in The Management told me they needed me to fill in until a 9:00 p.m. phone call - and at 9:00 p.m., I was at a sports bar watching college basketball! Sometimes it can pay NOT to have a cell phone....
I'd debated for days whether to go to The Sports Page to watch my alma mater Kansas play Texas. K.U. had lost two games in a row, to Colorado and Arizona. But then I considered the alternative - and a $32 ticket to see a chorale sing at the RiverCenter didn't seem quite as thrilling.
Texas took charge of the basketball game early, but Kansas made things close at halftime. Then at 10:05 p.m., during the halftime break, a strange thing happened. The sports bar staff shut off all the TV sets, to close for the night! We Northerners simply get no respect here in the South at all!
(At least the waitperson took the drinks OFF my tab, before closing time. All those diet colas I had with dinner must have cost them big profits.)
I drove home from the sports bar, puzzled by what had happened. Do these people close the bar on Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. during football season, too? And how far has pro wrestling fallen when "Monday Night Raw" isn't on a single screen anymore?
When I arrived home around 10:30 p.m., there was the 9:00 p.m. message on my answering machine. They needed me to work - and at 10:30 p.m. I was already a bit late. It was an amazing chain of events. And as I told people later at work, it proved the existence and intervention of "That Being we can't talk about at work, because some people might be offended."
True confession: I did NOT dress up for work, after confirming the phone call. I changed into dress shoes, but put a sweatshirt on over my Kansas T-shirt instead of taking a tie. I felt almost like a regular member of the staff.
(Through it all, I wound up wearing the same pair of socks for three days - socks which are "Texas Longhorn orange." Somehow that seems fitting, too.)
I write this now on Tuesday evening, wondering again if the phone will ring. This time, though, I'm at home for the evening -- and feeling a bit like a high school senior, during Prom Week.