“What a crappy day… how the heck did all of this pile up on me? I’m going to be here all night at this rate…”
Several minutes later, Teresa busy entering data into her spreadsheets hears what appears to be an African drum coming from somewhere in the building. Completely immersed in her work she looks up for a second before brushing it off- figuring it was just one of the janitorial staff’s Walkman turned up way too loud.
“I wonder if I call Laurie if she would come help me out with some of this…” Teresa muttered to herself as she stretched her arms and rubbed at the tension growing between her shoulder blades. That’s when she heard it again, this time the drums were louder and there was singing… yes, she distinctively heard a man singing along to the beat of the drum.
Suddenly, as if from out of nowhere, a black man dressed in what appeared to be tribal costume filled her doorway and after throwing a huge grin at her swung his drum around his body and entered Teresa’s office. Not far behind him came two young women, also in colorful costume including grass skirts and bold purple prints, swinging their arms and stomping their bare feet. “Ah Ha Ha Ha!!!” the man screamed. Answering his call in kind, the two women repeated in sweet melodic voices, “Ah Ha Ha Ha!!!”. And then the drumming began again. Dancing to the beat of the drum, the women swung around Teresa’s small office in an organized frenzy, all while a huge grin painted on both their faces.
Teresa was too stunned to move.
After a few minutes of drumming and dancing, the man began to sing in a deep baritone, “Oh, oh… Happy birthday… to you. Happy birthday…. To you-oooo-oooo… Happy birthday, sweet MAh-lisssaaa, happy happy birth-a-day… toooooo ahhhh youuuuuu!”
“Melissa?” Teresa said to herself and then repeating it aloud interrupted the man and his dancing ladies who had moved into a second drum-induced dance. “Wait a minute, who’s Melissa?”
The drumming stopped. So did the dancing.
“You are not Melissa?” the friendly-faced man asked, sweat pouring off his face from his efforts.
“No, I’m Teresa,” Teresa responded.
“So, it is not your birthday?” he asked, obviously quite confused.
“No, it’s not my birthday. My birthday is in October. I think you have the wrong office. There’s a Melissa on the second floor, maybe you guys are for her?” Teresa offered, strangely feeling a bit bad for disappointing the enthusiastic trio.
“Oh ok. Thanks!” and with that, they shuffled out of Teresa’s office and down the hallway. Teresa heard the ‘ding’ of the elevator arriving a moment later and after another moment the ‘whush’ of the elevator doors closing behind them.
Teresa sat for a moment and thought, “Yep… that wasn’t strange at all…” before returning to her work.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Tonight Andy and I joined a friend of mine for her birthday dinner at a popular tapas restaurant known as Café Tu Tu Tangos. This place is pretty epic… set up to look like an artists’ studio, there are independent artists painting in the restaurant, there’s a tarot card reader, a portrait artist and the food is hands down awesome (wild boar flat bread anyone? How bout gator gumbo?). By the time I was on to my second glass of sangria, I began to hear drums. Thinking perhaps I had received a bad batch of the fruity drink, I looked around for a minute before identifying the source of the suddenly loud drums that seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. A man dressed in tribal garb and beating a drum followed by two very limber dancers in grass skirts and necklaces made of shells snaked their way out from the bathrooms and into the center of the very crowded restaurant, where they then danced and shout/sang for a good ten minutes. It was freak-a-frackin awesome. The experience made me think, how funny would it be if a band like this just appeared randomly in other settings, like while you were shopping for shoes, or at work in an office building. How great would that be? Wonder if they are for hire, I mean my birthday is coming up…
Love & Squirrels.