It was one of those circle-of-life weekends--baby shower one day, funeral the next--but the most bizarre moment occurred while I was walking down the picturesque center of campus with the wife of the President (of the College, of course--what, you think I'm going for a Sunday afternoon stroll with Michelle Obama?), when suddenly, out of nowhere, I started giggling.
It was really not the appropriate time to catch a case of the giggles. We were dressed in black, joining a parade of somber people headed for the memorial service honoring a recently deceased colleague, and at the time we were discussing the news that yet another valued colleague is leaving us for a much better job elsewhere, which made me really sad (for us) but happy for him--so mixed feelings for sure but not a time for giggling. However, in the midst of this bleak and somber occasion I glimpsed, just over the President's wife's shoulder, a new addition to our campus: the head of a pinata attached to a blue and white traffic cone perched high atop a campus kiosk.
Now I've been noticing that traffic cone up there for a week or so and I've even pointed it out to others, but the Powers That Be apparently haven't notice or it would have disappeared in a heartbeat. After all, we're in the heart of recruiting season, with prospective students and parents visiting almost daily, and the people who keep the grounds spiffed up have made some special efforts to bring out the beauty of spring. That traffic cone really doesn't fit into the tulips-and-daffodils color scheme of the campus mall.
But the traffic cone sat on the kiosk for a full week, and then sometime over the weekend it suddenly sprouted a face. What pinata sacrificed its head for the cause? Who climbed up there to embellish the traffic cone? If the miscreants had fallen off a ladder or otherwise injured themselves in creating their art piece, how much liability would the college bear? Inquiring minds want to know!
What amuses me the most is how few people have noticed this colorful new embellishment sitting right smack in the middle of the busiest part of campus. How long will it stay before someone in power notices and takes it down? There's only one way to find out: keep the pinata's presence strictly under wraps. (My lips are sealed! How about yours?)