I had to do two presentations at some libraries in Kitchener on Friday and it was one of those situations where you get really treated well–taken out to lunch, the whole works!

After the gruelling week I had, I was looking forward to it.

Eager beaver that I am, I got to the venue an hour early, tried to take a nap for half an hour in the car, but just couldn’t.

I was presenting in a really nice auditorium at the top floor of the high school that was attached to the library. It was a kind of complex that also included the headquarters of the school board that runs Kitchener.

I had been there before, and I liked the auditorium with it’s angled seats and everything.

I had everything set up and then the audience–some grade seven kids arrived. They were snickering and quite riled up and I wondered if they’d be a challenge.

In the past I would have thought they were laughing at me. My spirits would have sunk and I would have dreaded trying to get the kids engaged.

But with time and experience under my belt, this time I just thought maybe something had happened.


Something happened.

Even when I had been schlepping my stuff up the many stairs to get to the auditorium I’d had to navigate through some hulky seventeen year olds working out  to some music in the hallway.

Well apparently one of them got it into his jock-addled brain to drop his drawers in front of the twelve and thirteen year olds that were coming to see me, as they walked by.

I’m not sure what he was wearing, whether he mooned them or flashed them, but it was enough to get the kids snickering and riled up.

There’s a lesson in here for anyone who wants to present to children.

If they start laughing, it’s usually not about you. (Unless you’ve done something really dumb!)

I’ve been in sessions where I’ve been at the height of a poignant moment and some of the kids have started snickering. Usually what’s happened is that one of them has farted and the others were giving him space and holding their noses.

Those are pretty easy to figure out.

The frozen expression on the guilty flatulent culprit gives it away.

The only way I found out about the exhibitionist in the hallway was because the vice principal of the high school, a petite little dynamo-looking lady, brought the guilty party into my session at the end of it and made him apologize to everyone in the auditorium.

I resisted the urge to laugh till I was with the other librarians and we could chuckle about it.

Poor kid–or perhaps not so poor kid. Not only did he have to apologize for his misdemeanor to all of us, own up to it and confess that it did not represent the behaviour that was encouraged at the school, he had to sit in the office and miss his lunch period, he had to call his mom and explain why, and the vice principal was going to keep him there on the Thursday evening before an extra long Easter weekend, till she was good and ready to leave at 6 pm that night!

I doubt he’ll ever do that again!

The first time I’d ever heard of mooning was when a former childhood friend of mine did it in my grade seven classroom while the teacher was gone.

It just seemed the oddest thing in the world to pull down your pants like that and bare your bottom!

The second time I’d ever heard of it was when I was watching the movie Grease.

Then I realized it seems to be a cultural phenomenon peculiar to the West.

But why do they have to call it mooning?

I mean, the moon is such a lustrous orb! In so many cultures it’s held up as a pinnacle of beauty.

And then when you try to translate a perfectly nice simile like ‘her face was as beautiful as the moon’, into English instead you get images of bare buttocks flashing across your imagination! And it ruins it!

It’s just one of the ways that phrases in other cultures have hurdles to jump in translation.

But getting back to my presentation–afterwards despite all the inappropriate excitement, a teacher came up to me and said my presentation was ‘phenomenal’!

Alhamdu lillah, I get a lot of ‘fantastic’ and ‘wonderful’ comments but this may have been the first time I’ve gotten ‘phenomenal’.

It fills my heart like the rays of the luminous moon in its fullness, shining down from the … oh never mind!