April 2018

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer #3: Bobbleheads

Summer #3: Friday night at Seattle's professional women's basketball game, the first four thousand fans received Sue Bird bobbleheads. I have no idea how many people were there before six, but folks were lined up in snake-like formations that wound around and filled the area in front of Key Arena. It was a scene for sure.

In case you don't know who Sue Bird is: she's the point guard phenomenon who came to Seattle after graduating from UConn with an NCAA championship. She was the Storm's point guard the year we won the national title. She skips when she dribbles. In case you don't know what a bobblehead is, it's a ten inch tall figurine, usually a caricature of a sports figure. The head is on a spring, so it "bobbles." Just about everyone I know went early to make sure to collect one. Everyone, that is, except Ann and Pam, who think there are better things to do than wait in line for a bobblehead. (Really?) I got my bobblehead, of course. It's on our living room table in the front room where all visitors can touch its (her?) head to make it bobble.

I know some people who are bobbleheads. These are the people who nod their heads when they attend classes and lectures and such, a bit garishly enthusiastic. Sometimes this attribute takes me quite by surprise, as being a bobblehead isn't always consistent with the nodder's character, and each of the following examples is someone I admire for their candor, clear thinking and at times fiendish humor.

Take my friend Ms. Marion. She's a New Yorker, and she's generally consistently New York-like. She's a terrible driver, and she curses at other driver's for getting in her way. She generally doesn't stand up for an ovation at the theatre even if everyone else is and the actors are in elementary school. She rolls her eyes at those who stand for mediocrity. I was shocked to discover that she's a bobblehead. Years ago, we went to an English teacher's convention (some people's idea of hell) together. I happened into a presentation that she was also attending, so I observed her from afar. As the speaker talked, Marion nodded so hard I'll bet she got a cramp in her neck. She also raised her hand energetically to comment on, I do not remember, I think the brilliance of the presenter. Who would have guessed? To her defense, she commented that she only nods for people she likes or feels sorry for. It's been years since she's nodded for a school superintendent, for example.

And then there's Rose. Rose has taken training on having difficult conversations, but not because she shies away from the truth. Rose tells it like it is. She and I enrolled in a two-year seminary series through our church (she's Jewish now, so I guess it didn't take.) One of our teachers liked to ask questions and have people guess what he thought the answer was. I sat back. This is one game I would not play. To my astonishment, there was Rose, sitting forward, hand waving frenetically in the air, as she blurted out one guess after another: Ruth, no Naomi, no Sarah. Mary? And so on. I am still stunned to think of it. The result of too much education, I think.

And then there's Joanna. Yes, Joanna, you too are a bobblehead. Sorry to break the news to you in such a public forum. Joanna has her own style. She does one giant nod, generally with an intake of breath, and then, without looking down, writes aggressively on the paper in front of her. She never removes her eyes from the speaker. It's as if that one giant nod continues to tremble in the air, like a musical note sustained in space. Only it's creepier.

If you missed Sue, there will be two more bobblehead nights: Swin Cash and Lauren Jackson. Wouldn't it be great if there were a bobblehead of me? It could have a big scar in the back of its head, and its whole body could bobble when it walks. Now that would be a collectible that even Ann and Pam would wait in line for. Mary

1 comment:

  1. I would TOTALLY wait in line for your bobble-head, Mary! How weird would it be to have THAT on my shelf?


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