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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gorilla For My Birthday

Me (the gorilla) and Gina on my 20th Birthday

My friends at #Crowdtap asked me to tell a story about me and my BFF. To tell a funny story about something that happened to us both. Immediately, what came to mind was my 20th Birthday. I wanted it to be memorable and fun. What could be more memorable and fun than A GORILLA! Although this is not about crafts, it is about being creative and making your own fun.

I decided to rent a gorilla suit and walk down, Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wisconsin Avenue is the heart of Milwaukee and cuts through the Marquette University Campus where I worked as a secretary by day, went to college evenings and worshipped at Gesu Church. Well I did more than worship at Gesu Church. It was where I hung out. Yes, at a church. I attended liturgies, was an Eucharistic Minister, got to know what the Jesuits were about and adapted their mindset. To explain that would be another post as long as the bible. I tell you this because it will become critical to our story. I had gotten to know most of the Jesuits who lived there, and they got to know me, as this quiet, reverent, spiritual, shy, young woman who silently went about her business at church. Hold onto that image as we pursue the gorilla for my birthday.

I decided to rent that Gorilla suit and picked it up immediately after work on my birthday, and headed to my apartment at 24th and Wisconsin. I called my friend Gina, a wonderfully eccentric woman who was as alive and fun loving as myself. I was chickening out of my birthday celebration and realized, I needed a partner in this crime.  She was more than happy to join me. We walked out and down the street, me swaying and hanging arms over, hands dangling as a gorilla would, but giggling as a gorilla wouldn't.  People looked and laughed and Gina explained, "It's her birthday!"

Gina had a stroke of genius, and suggested we visit the nearby 7/11 to buy, of all things: Bananas! We went into the 7/11, and I could only guess what the clerk was thinking, including all the times that corner store had been robbed. I grabbed a bunch of bananas and through $3 on the counter and wawangled my way out of the store. The first people we met were a couple, young students from Marquette and I hyped up my woo wooo woo and gave them a banana.  They laughed so hard. Next we ran into some men who took their drinking very seriously and had turned it into a lifetime career. Frightened, the old man cursed at me, er ah, hmm, the gorilla. Gina and I kept going, laughing all the way down the street. What next?

Let's go to the Marquette Campus! What a wonderful idea!! Let's go where allot of our friends were. We made our way to the Onion, the center of campus and simply walked into the large ballroom. Oh my my my, it was student/parent orientation night!  The orientation was run by Father A. who recognized Gina. We were dancing to the music, handing out bananas, woo woo wooing and having a great great time. Fr. A. laughing but concerned approached this unplanned gorilla and wanted to know who it was. Gina did not tell but we left out the back door, after giving Fr A. a banana and half a heart attack. The parents and students thought it part of the party.

We made our way to the church and the Jesuit Rectory. As Gina and I were deeply involved in the events of the Gesu Church, we literally hung around the parking lot, in the trees occasionally alarming students, parents and Jesuits.  Fr. J came to his window and called out. Gina only told him it was my birthday. Who is that?  A car of other Jesuits we knew drove into the parking lot, slowly, then slower.
Cautiously they parked and got out of the car. They saw Gina and pressed her to tell who it might be, but she did not. By this time, on a hot August night, I was sweating heavily and needed to air out the head of this beast.

When I removed the head, jaws dropped, heads shook as they could not believe who was under this monkey prank. It was quiet, gentle, shy, and composed, ME!!  From that day on, everyone knew that I had an entirely different side that they never suspected. They laughed so hard, they cried and wished me a happy birthday. Some shook the gorilla's paw, others dared to hug this hairy thing. The next work day at Marquette, it was all over campus about the gorilla who had crashed parent/student orientation night by dancing its way through the door handing out bananas for admission.  My boss, a Jesuit as well came into work with his traditional "another beautiful day" but stopped and asked if I had monkeyed around this weekend.  Busted! The President of the University, stopped in and warned certain young ladies about crashing parties on campus, laughing and telling others that "we have to watch that one; it's always the quiet ones!" And Fr. A, well he never looked at me the same again. He would joke with me every time he saw me rather than this restricted nod.

I never would have done it if it wasn't for Gina. She still lives in Milwaukee, WI and takes care of my cat Powder. We are still very good close BFF's, thanks to the internet, for all the laughing and crying we ever did when we were together.  Both of us would rather laugh and be silly, than quiet and regretful. I love you Gina and I think its time to get together and monkey around once again! woo woo woo arckkk

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