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March 14, 2013 8:37 am

Not quite myself: Little moments

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Any reader like me that reads the police report in the Digest on Page 6 understands that sometimes the littlest of things, even when they’re not supposed to be amusing, can be the greatest part of a day. Between the heavy hitting police reports that tend to make full stories in our front pages, there are ridiculous moments that make you wonder why someone would call the police, or why the police would stop in the first place. It’s important to see those to take the edge off of the serious reports that surround it.



I’ve spent the last several years enjoying some monumental moments of life — graduating from college, moving to New York just outside of the city, becoming a parent, finishing graduate school, moving to Wyoming, having my first essay published (all in chronological order) — and those moments are great, but the little moments are some of my favorites.

Here’s one: During college, in my second semester, I took a required Health Promotions course that discussed exercise and nutrition — good advice, but because it was required, nobody was really thrilled to be there. On top of that, it was at 8 a.m. in the furthest building from student housing.

Our instructor, a young, attractive female graduate student, did her best to keep our attention, but with college students, 8 a.m. is a difficult time to focus.

A pudgy guy in sweat pants sat in the front row, possibly to gain the attention of our instructor. He, like the rest of us, tried to feign focus, but his pink, bleary eyes betrayed his desires to be home sleeping — plus, the sweat pants didn’t help him seem professional. On one particular morning, he had one of those giant Arizona Tea cans while pretending to listen to our instructor. Nothing funny was said (our instructor was about as awake or thrilled to be there at 8 a.m. as the rest of us.)

Suddenly, the pudgy guy swallowed his tea in some funky way, covered his mouth but coughed anyway, and his hand created pressure causing an explosion of spraying Arizona Tea which spritzed his desk and our instructor. She stopped talking and brushed away the moisture while he continued coughing, mouth covered, with more pressure and more tea spraying out. The whole class waited with great anticipation, finally awake at 8 a.m., while he was seemingly drowning at his desk.

Would he die? It had lasted for way too long. Almost an entire minute of coughing and spraying tea in an otherwise silent classroom. It was stunning. Cinematic. Magical, even.

When he finished coughing, he didn’t look around or apologize, he just took another sip of his oversized tea, and then the instructor continued as if nothing had happened.

To this day, I have to hold back laughter when I think about that moment.

There is no real message or moral in this particular column. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before, or stating the obvious like “Take some time to smell the roses.” Maybe I’m just trying to say that it’s OK to smile at the light-heartedly unfortunate sometimes. It’s OK to be amused by some of the more trivial parts of the police report in the Digest. I know reading it is one of my enjoyable little moments in Wyoming. Happy reading!

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