Last week I went a bit batty . . .

and yes – the obvious joke there is of course the “Batty Bumpercar” one – but come on – are we really comfortable enough around each other at this point to start throwing around nicknames?!

I will start it off with the easiest one. It is a simple illustration of a fairly typical interaction between me and (basically any person that I have any potential to chat with over the course of a day or so) . . . There I was sitting at the counter at (Taqueria del Sol) which just so happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world when the waitress walks past and says something to me . . .

I should have prefaced this by pointing out that this on this particular day, I was in a serious fog a kind of haze – a rolling stupor which was induced by it being one (1) day after driving eighteen (18) hours “straight” from the city of Newburgh, NY back to home base – which I am in no way building up to be construed as an excuse – I just figured that it would be polite of me to give you an illustration for my state of mind at the time . . .

Back to the waitress – who as you all remember had just said something to me – which I failed to hear or understand . . . Normally I would have enough composure to manage a polite “Excuse me miss, but could you please repeat what you just said . . . I am terribly sorry, but I wasn’t able to hear you.” Or something as erudite as that . . . but on this day all i could manage was an “E-ummel jimber plackle?”

The waitress stopped dead in her tracks tilted her head got a questioning look in her eye and said “What did you just say?”

At which point my belly turned to ice – what had I just said – I wasn’t even sure of it myself. So I did the only logical thing that I could muster under such circumstances . . . I turned it right back onto her with a well placed “Uhm – well what was it that you had just said – ah – well – there?” Which I realized had “deftly” ducked past the fact that I was clearly the one that started the ball of confusion rolling when she started back towards me and said “I just asked how everything was.” And that should have been that – except this was the point where my brain really decided to focus on if “everything” was all right – and we are talking not just the plate of food, or me, or the restaurant, or the street, or on and on and on – which then led this conversation:

Me – “Yeah – I’m just really really tired . . .”

Her – “I worked twelve (12) hours yesterday – I’m pretty tired too.”

Me – “Well I drove eighteen (18) hours yesterday . . .”

Her – “Oh.”

Me – “Uhm – and I was with my dog . . .”

Her – “Then you must be more tired.”

Me – “But . . . you are on your feet all day . . .”

Then she just kind of walked away. I got up, left my money on the counter and wandered back to my car trying to figure out what exactly had just happened . . .

[That was just the first instance of the ridiculousness . . . a tiny minor bubble . . . but instead of going on and on right now – I will tease a bit – and follow up with more to come – so stay tuned!]

For three seriously strenuous days this week I got to put on the hat of “Art Handler” for the Madison Morgan Cultural Center, located in the bucolic town of Madison, Georgia.

According to the Morgan County Citizen the show [“Neat Pieces”] was “An exhibit of “plain style” furniture made and used by Georgians in the 1800s.” So basically it was a bunch of old old wonderfully crafted sometimes very very heavy furniture that needed to be taken home after an extended exhibition. And what an adventure in driving a 16 foot truck around all kinds of parts of Atlanta and then carrying scarily expensive pieces of furniture into really nice houses (that often smelled like my Grandparent’s old house – ah the boxwood) it was.

I had great fun getting to put on a different work hat for part of the week. I enjoyed pretending that we were playing an odd version of “Smokey & the Bandit” except we the only cops that we saw were looking out into the woods, the “blocker” car was a Toyota with nary a “Firebird” symbol to be found, we were carrying furniture and not beer, I never remembered to wear a cowboy hat – okay – to buy and then wear a cowboy hat, and instead of a basset hound named “Fred” I had Ronald. But other than all of that – seriously – a lot like the movie . . .

Maybe next week I’ll put on some other different type of hat . . . perhaps something along the lines of a stovepipe?!

Last Monday and Tuesday I had the terror and pleasure of being the guest artist of the week for two days at a little school by the name of Smith-Barnes Elementary to talk about drawing, painting and a wee bit of animation. Terror, of course, stemming from doing something that I had never done before (going and talking to a bunch of people about the little world in my head) and pleasure when everything was received as well as it was (more on that in a second).

I was brought in by the actual art teacher who goes by the name “Mister C” – I had a nametag on that read my actual name – but the kids took to calling me “Mister Harris” or sometimes “Mister H” – I was equally thrown off when I heard either one. I had bunches of paintings (the largest 10′ x 5′) on canvas, some on wood, some on paper and then the “doodle poodle” cartoon that I had finished the night before (which allowed me to say “And here is a cartoon that I made just for you . . .” which seemed nifty).

I wish that I would have taken photos or any kind of video because the room was full of stuff and they really seemed to like it – of course when you are the guy who comes into a classroom of 4th/5th graders that says “Does anyone here like cartoons?” you are almost guaranteed to go over pretty well . . . But when kids rush up to you in the hallway and demand autographs (as silly as it sounds) and your website gets more hits than in most months it sure does feel . . . uhm . . . what would be a good word here . . . hmmmmmm . . . like some serious great-itudey-ness – yeah – there I said it without even a hint of tongue in cheek whateverness . . . serious great-itudey-ness.