I teach at a local large company in the evenings on Wednesdays. Our class takes place in the activity center for the company, and down the hall from our class is the basketball court, with windows so you can watch the guys play. Usually it’s full of pasty, slightly overweight 30-something Chinese, with a big ol’ black man thrown in there for the fun of it.
But this week,…this week was different. As my student and I were walking out of the classroom, I saw Yao Ming and Mengke Bateer practicing with the Chinese National Basketball team. It was incredibly surreal. I hit him hard on the arm and said, “That’s Yao Ming.” I was trying to be cool, and since it wasn’t VC I didn’t faint dead away. But I definitely had to chill the hysteria in my voice, because, dude.
It’s Yao Ming.
For fucking real.
I would have KILLED for a camera phone, something to prove that I had seen YAO MING in person!!! I started babbling about it to my student, saying, “Hey, and that’s Mengke Bateer, too, how cool.” I only know of Bateer because of a friend of mine from Mongolia, but my student was like, “Who?” and I told him he used to play for the NBA, too. I don’t know if he’s playing anymore, I can’t seem to find that info.
But anyway, I was trying not to hop around and squeal with the coolness of it all. I walked over to the desk and asked if they were going to give autographs, and the guy said No, like I was lame or something. I thought about groupie-ing around, hangin’ till the end of their practice, but then again, I had promised Mama to go shopping, and the people in the gym were looking at me like I was nutso anyway, like I shouldn’t freak over a true-to-life NBA STAR not eight feet in front of me. And I also don’t work for that company. I didn’t want them going, “No, you need to clear out because you don’t work here.”
Maybe I should have groupied anyway. Crap crap crap.
I wasn’t ever a really big Yao fan, and I don’t like want his jersey or anything. And he’s not VC. If it was VC I would have flashed someone for an autograph, maybe. But he’s famous, he’s skilled. And that was cool as shit.
In other news, Kiki’s home now, freshly declawed, still semi-stoned from her pain patch. This Mama’s gotta do extra work tonight to care for her, like clean out the litter boxes and put bigger litter in them so she doesn’t get an infection. And I postponed my class to tomorrow night to watch over her, just in case. My poor Kikita. I’m so glad she’s home and resting and relaxed.
It was so pathetic when I brought her home. The vet’s office couldn’t manage to get the Elizabethan collar off of her (I heard the spitting and yowling, I know they tried). So when I drove her home she couldn’t turn herself around in the carrier, so she just sat there, complaint-free. I think it’s the drugs.
I opened the carrier after I carted her up the stairs, and thought I would let her come out at her own pace, but she couldn’t get the collar past the sides of the carrier, so I gingerly leaned to help her. She accepted the help without a peep, and ran straight to the food bowl. She turned her conehead down into the bowl and thunk…couldn’t reach the food. The sides of the collar were just long enough to form a vaccuum seal with the floor, and the food was millimeters away. It was hysterical and sad at the same time. I tried not to laugh too much as I bent over, wary as hell, to help her take it off. She seemed to know I was there to help, and she didn’t remove one of my limbs, and I got the stinky collar off of her. She wolfed down some cat food, drank a lot of water, and sat down right where she was.
I think she’s glad to be home.