“For you, that’s a menu.”
I still don’t know what she meant, the usher woman at PCPA. I thought about it after she said it, during intermission, after the show, during the entire hour-plus ride home, and it even creeped into my head at particularly slow moments during the show.
Some context: Today I saw The Music Man at PCPA Theatrefest in Santa Maria with my mother and her parents. It is both my mom’s and my grandma’s favorite show, and it was the musical I “cut my teeth” on, so we were all very happy to see it. It was, incidentally, an excellent performance, and a review is forthcoming. More immediately interesting is this curious happening: as we were shuffling through the tiny hallway into the theatre itself, the woman who was handing out programs with a “here you are, ma’am” and a “here you go” suddenly turned, handed me a program and quoted me this post’s anterior sentence. Flustered, I continued my entry without a word, finally speaking in order to ask my mom if she knew what it meant, if it was some sort of thing that people say once they get older.
As stated above, I even several hours later have but theories as to her statement’s origins and intentions. Some particularly interesting ones:
- The woman has split personalities; one is an usher but the other is a waitress and seeing me in a red dress shirt made her think of the customers who usually frequent her coffee shop before heading off to the business world. Being new to her restaurant, she knew that I would need a menu to order.
- She knew that I had skipped dinner in my rush to get out the door and on the road in time to make curtain at PCPA and was taunting me by taking advantage of my weakened mental state. Imagine my shock when I try to order “Wells Fargo Wagon” with a side of “Shipoopi” but find that neither of those things are food. Oh, you got me good, usher woman.
- She was actually addressing somebody else and was in fact saying something completely different in meaning but similar in sound, like for example “forty-two, that’s where we’ve got you.” The theatre-goers to whom she was speaking promptly sat down and ordered breakfast.
- She was playing a game where random words are inserted instead where one might use the word “program.” Other things she said that night included “enjoy the appendicitis,” “don’t forget your lycanthrope,” and “my nephew is a dishtowel-er.”
Any readers with particular creative or meaningful interpretations as to the intent of this woman’s words (including her, if by some coincidence, she herself is reading this) are encouraged to leave thoughts.
Language. It’s everybody’s business.