Friday, January 19, 2007

Pulling your strings

I got a call on Tuesday from the woman who coordinates volunteers for the Warwick school department.

"We have a meeting on Thursday morning at the library. You signed up in September as a volunteer to do puppet shows at the elementary schools. You got a letter about it this week."

I did?

Uh. Ok. I don't remember signing up, or getting the letter, but what time is the meeting? I'll come and check it out.

When I got to the library, the room was empty, even though I was on time. I brought my coffee and sat down. Eventually the coordinator arrived, along with another woman named Helen, who is a veteran of the program. We chatted a bit. Time ticked by. We were waiting for a couple others, but they never showed up.

So I am, by default, a puppeteer for a program that goes around to the elementary schools teaching kids to be tolerant of folks with disabilities, brush their teeth, stay away from drugs. I don't have to talk... all I do is move the puppet's mouth to match a recorded script. I am probably going to be Mark, a puppet in a wheelchair. Roberto is the blind puppet, but Helen has been doing him for years now and I don't get the impression she wants to change.

My kids claim to be mortified at the thought that I am going to do puppets at their school, but I think they are secretly excited.

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