Several years ago, one of my closest friends moved to Kansas City for her husband's job. Her son, Seun, asked us to participate in a 'Flat Stanley' project for his 6th grade assignment. Apparently, 'Flat Stanley' is a writing exercise where the kids make paper outlines of themselves and then send them to their preferred destination, where the people chosen take the cut-out, in this case 'Seun,' around their town and take photos, then send them back to the kid and he writes up a 'What I Did on my Spring Break' sort-of paper. Seun choose us over PA and DC, and we were flattered, though a little concerned about how to show a paper cut-out a good time for the week. Anyway.
We were remodeling the house, so had plenty of wood lying around, and one of the carpenters decided to make a wood cutout of 'Suen' so he could stand up when posing. Seun was busy that week. We have photos of him feeding hay to the horses, painting walls, on the roof of the house, even visiting his old house and favorite neighbor's yard.
Seun has a mask on to protect his face while working with chemcials...
Finally we needed to wrap it up: He went to church and posed with his old friends and the priest. As we were driving home, I got the brilliant idea that 'Seun' should pose in front of the Clinton Library downtown, which was being built at the time. it was then Excy started to whine.
"I have too much going on today...you go."
"He's your godson, too. I am not driving all the way home and then back downtown."
"Okay, damnit, but hurry up..."
We get to the Library. Take the picture. I decide as long as we're there we should take 'Seun' to the Riverwalk.
"Oh, come on...the horses need to get out this afternoon..."
'Please? Just to make his stay more interesting to write about..."
Driving home, I have another idea.
"I know! As long as we're here, let's go by the Old State House."
"Seriously??!! Amy, let's go HOOOMMMEEEE..."
"It'll just take a minute.." I'm driving so I win the argument.
By this time Excy is hot cross and double whiny.
"Should I go with you?"
"Stay in the car! You can't walk fast! I'll just run up and pose him!"
I park across the street and watch as Excy hauls 'Seun' up the steps and then deliberates where to prop him up. What looks like a slender woman with dark hair is sitting on the bench with a man. They engage Excy in conversation. Now, Excy is a talker. I mean, A TALKER. But since he's done nothing but kvetch about this exercise since the day began, I feel certain he will cut it off -- or at least respect the fact I'm sitting in a hot car waiting for him.
No dice. Eventually the woman-figure goes over to where Excy has propped up Seun and wraps an arm around him while Excy takes the picture. Then, does Excy leave?? Nooooo.
Five more minutes pass. Then ten minutes. Finally it's been 20 minutes and I am peeved. I am not known for my patience, either, but I'm more than a little annoyed that he's bitched all day about having 'no time,' but then seems to have all the time in the world to chat up this person while I'm waiting in the car.
BEEEEEPPPP.....at the sound of the horn all three heads turn my way to stare in the direction of the car. Excy makes his goodbyes. Trots across the street.
"Sure as $%#@ took you long enough for someone who couldn't wait to get home," I grumbled.
"Know who that was? You know the girl I think kinda looks like you, the one in the Lord of the Rings?''
"That was NOT Liv Tyler," I snap.
"No,that was her dad, Steven Tyler. He played here last night and was just hanging out before making a plane."
Oh no -- you did NOT just meet Steve Tyler and not even bother to wave me over.
I did NOT just honk my horn at a celebrity.
The next day I take two rolls of film into Walgreens for the fast photo process. Return within an hour. "Sorry, mam, but we ruined one roll of your film."
"You gotta be kidden' me....I had Steve Tyler on one of those rolls!"
This would be a 'big fish' story -- where we'd tell it to people and they wouldn't believe us.
The fat cow sat at the desk, mouth agape, blinking a bit. I could tell she had no idea what I was talking about (this was before he was on American Idol).
Fortunately, that roll survived.
But we had to replicate one entire roll -- going around to all the places again, for Seun.
His teacher was apparently crazy for Tyler -- she gave him an A+++ and still keeps the photo as her screen saver.
We, however, have yet to even read his report. I finally quit asking. But we've got our own story.
Tyler's rock-star pose with Seun...