• Running the pneumatics, only to have to re-run
them after the compressor was moved.
• Walking around, finding sheared bolts.
• The daily mystery bruise count.
• The toilet paper at the San Mateo Event Center.
• Missing all the other events.
• Arguing the unstick rule.
• Implementing the unstick rule.
• Irregular bowel movements thanks to event food.
• Not seeing my apartment or daughter for over a
• Eating In-n-Out three out of six nights.
• 8’ x 4’ x 0.5 in Lexan sheets that are way too
floppy to carry on your own.
• San Mateo’s best bar to get roofied at.
• Getting a face full of builder while on combat
• Union guys outside “encouraging” us to use them
• People who don’t cover their weapons in the pits.
• People who don’t cover their plumber cracks in the
• Smelling like a goat in a chemical fire for three
• Daily bolts found in jeans count.
• All seven different sizes of fasteners for the arena.
• Needing to pay special attention to the dirt
encrusted in your elbows. (Seriously, they’re filthy.
What would your mother say?)
• The ramp stackers.
• The giraffe danglers.
• The bad coffee.
• Packing six pairs of jeans for three days of event.
• Industrial-sized bottles of Ibuprofen.
• The bananas.
• That first really good hit against the arena; the first
one of the event, when you look up at the shaking
and the settling and you ask why in all that is holy
are you doing this again?
and FB posts, I only have one question. Giraffe danglers?
David Calkins: Here’s the ‘giraffe dangler’ story. It
isn’t as funny written down as it is orally, but here goes:
During the course of events, Simone and I often
mutter to ourselves about what’s got to be done. In the
mornings, as we’re showering, etc., a fly on the wall
might hear entirely random comments such as “That’s not
gonna happen,” “Gotta make sure the painting gets
done,” “Two jugs of coffee,” or whatever. The comments
aren’t directed at anyone; they’re just the normal busy-person-thinking-out-loud stuff.
So, one morning several years ago among the usually
ignorable internal dialog, I hear Simone mutter what I
thought was ‘dangle a giraffe’” I spun to her and said
‘You’re going to dangle a giraffe?’ as I had this perfect
vision of her standing on the raised combat control
platform, holding an upside down baby giraffe by its
hoof, screaming at the builders (sleep deprivation does
funny things to your imagination).
What she actually mumbled was ‘day-glo giraffe’
(bright orange) as a reminder to herself about what the
day’s audience wristbands would be. Wristbands come in
different colors and print patterns — such as striped,
diamonds, or a ‘giraffe’ camouflage pattern.
She, of course, giggled at the mondegreen, and for
the rest of the event I would call her a giraffe dangler.
Somehow, the combat safety staff picked up on this, and
since that event, giraffe dangler has been used by the
staff as a generalized insult Although, I personally will
use the phrase ‘stop dangling giraffes and get back to
work’ as a synonym for time-wasting.
Kevin Berry: Thanks for that. And, by the way, “ 10”
on style. I’m been a professional writer and editor for 20
years, and I’ve never heard ‘mondegreen’ used correctly
in a sentence. SV
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
ensued; lots of it
However, there was
one thing that
needed clarifying ...
Okay, having never
made it to
myself in forum
28 SERVO 08.2013