Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Footprints on the ceiling

In September of 1996 I had the good fortune to be sent from Melbourne to Boston on a business trip. I was sent to help in the evaluation of a software product. The good fortune was that the trip was paid for by Australia Post and we scored first class all the way. When you've only travelled economy before the step up to first class is quite the win!

I was one of a team of four; one of the others was Maxine. Strange girl! She had a fondness for the kind of hat that reminded one of the more garish lightshades from the early 70's. Indeed, we used to call her the walking lamp on the strength of those hats. Nonetheless, at the time I got on pretty well with her.

As befits a business trip on the customers dollar we were convivial in the extreme and the libations flowed freely. Too freely one night perhaps; I ended up in a loud argument with one of the team which ended with the pair of us standing on the footpath next to Kendall Station poking each other in the chest. I had a sore chest the next morning but I'm pretty sure he did too!

We patched that one up the next morning and a couple of nights later the four of us went out to enjoy the evening. It was our last evening in Boston and the flight was late afternoon so we knew we'd have ample opportunity to sleep off any slight excess.

Very very late that evening we returned to the hotel, a bottle or two in hand, and retired, the four of us, to Maxine's room for a nightcap. Being Australians we had, of course, a jar of vegemite. I always packed a jar of the vile stuff when I visited the US prior to moving here; I love the look of disgust that most people get when they sniff it!

One thing I didn't mention before is that Maxine is very petite. Barely five feet tall and light to go with it. So it was the work of a moment to coat her feet in vegemite, hoist her upside down and have her walk across the ceiling!

We've often wondered what the hotel staff thought the next morning.

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