So Board.

I know, I know. I’m even making myself gag at these corny titles but I don’t see an end to them in sight. Sorry.

So in addition to drawing, painting, making jewelry and loving the gadgets, I can also write with chalk. Amazing, huh? This is one big gi-normous chalk board that I’ve had the pleasure of maintaining for the past couple of years. It’s at a very fine restaurant in Hartford called Max Downtown. Every so often, once or twice a year, the nice folks at Max’s call me up and tell me that there’s some changes that need to be made and I head out to Hartford in the early morning to update.

You really have to see it in person to appreciate the hugeness of this thing. When they called me the very first time to do the board, I had only been doing small boards, like 2ft by 1ft boards. The kind you can take off the wall and sit on the floor to write on. When I asked if the board could come off the wall, the nice man from Max’s burst out laughing and nearly fell over as he told me that it was about ten feet long. And about four feet high. And about seven feet up in the air. Oh boy.

I’ve got it down to a science now and I was able to get in there, move the tables and booths, haul in the enormous 12ft ladder, remove five items, add four, change one, move the tables and booths back, and put the ladder back in the storage area without breaking a single fancy, expensive lighting fixture, all in just over an hour. Not too shabby.

There’s a Polish cleaning woman there named Sophie who I see everytime I go in to do the board and I love her. She doesn’t entirely speak English but she understands what you say and she says back words that, when you throw them up in the air, shake them around and rearrange them a bit, will make an intelligible sentence. It’s like talking to Yoda.

Here’s an example. I was supposed to go there yesterday to do the board but the crappy, slushy weather and the insane traffic made me so late that I didn’t have time before the restaurant opened so I made arrangements to come today. When I walked in this morning I saw Sophie and said “Good morning!” She said “G’morning. Ah, you today. People you yesterday looking.” After a second’s pause to rearrange, I knew that meant that not everyone got the message that I had rescheduled and they were expecting me yesterday.

I once heard her yelling at a Spanish-speaking cleaning lady in her Yoda-English. It cracked me up. I wonder if the woman understood. The important words stand out and allow you to get the gist of what’s being said. And that’s all that really matters.

So from Sophie and me to you, my good readers, and especially to you, Paula – “Morning you good. Day too.”


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