McMullen jingles on the green

December 11, 2008

I jingled on the green, and I didn’t even get arrested.

State Fair Community College sponsored an event called “Jingle on the Green” for the first time Dec. 44, and my attendance was practically required.

I was forced to attend and write a report about the concert that ended the festivities. Sure, I kind of wanted to attend before I realized I would have to, but I had no intention because the campus is on the opposite side of town from my home.

I could have just attended the concert, but I figured it would be a real shame to pass up free cookies and hot chocolate.

My last class ended at 3:15, and I figured that I would just stick around until the festivities began rather than find someone who would give a bum like me a ride both ways. (I don’t have a permit, or a license, a car or any of that jazz.)

I sat in the Parkhurst Commons as the tide of decoration slowly started to flood the room. Tree branches and flower arrangements started to litter the tables, and I constantly felt like I was in the way. The campus walkways were lined with candles in white paper bags; little lights known as luminarias in all of the official press releases and such.

I moved from place to place in a poor attempt to not interfere with the decoration, and eventually found myself in the middle of a row of tables. The time went by slowly, but the public eventually started to arrive.

I had apparently inadvertently found my way to the table designated for “people who matter,” because I soon found former Sen. Jim Mathewson sitting right next to me.

He asked me for a pen, but my pen was in a notebook on top of the pop machine, so I wouldn’t have to carry it around all night.

I tragically let one of our former elected officials down in his time of need; luckily, his wife had the pen that he sought.

We spoke briefly a short while after the incident. He said that he read my column, and he was impressed with the talent I had acquired at such an early age.

Sue Heckart was awarded a well-deserved blue ribbon for her community service work, and a few school-age kids were recognized for their coloring book artistry.

Whenever one has to wait in line for something, there are always a few people who say to themselves, “I’ll wait; the line will get shorter.” On that night, that person was me and that bit of wisdom wasn’t quite working out. Every time I looked again, the line seemed to be just as long as ever.

The fudge was good, and the chocolate chip cookies were, too, but the sugar cookies had an odd taste to them. No, they weren’t inedible or even bad; they were just weird. The hot chocolate was pretty good for being made out of water instead of milk. (Yes, I know milk would have cost them a lot more than water, which is why I’m not really faulting them for it.)

Due to my line reluctance, I hardly had time to ingest all of the good food and drink. My friend, who had my ticket for the concert arrived, and we were nearly late.

The Jazz Runners were the first performers, and there were a lot of people playing woodwind and brass instruments in the group. I haven’t found many instances in which I enjoy a performance involving that many wind instruments, but they were well played.

The Soundstation Express chorus performed. The name is a bit silly, but these young adults can sing well. Their renaissance fair attire, overwhelming energy and constant eye contact made the performance seem a little creepy. I snapped into consciousness every few minutes and wondered what exactly it was that I was watching.

I don’t know a lot about what a clarinet should sound like, but the Clarinet Ensemble didn’t sound very good to me. I certainly couldn’t have done a better job, but it seems like they should have been able to.

The Concert Chorale finished out the night with a good performance that was capped off with the singers infiltrating the audience and lighting a bunch of candles like we were attending a vigil.

I jingled on the green, and I could possibly see myself doing it again next year even if I’m not required to go.