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Taking a little nip

Barry Smith

The talk being given was entitled &quotSpontaneous Nipple Emissions.&quotThe presentation lasted for 45 minutes, during which time I saw about 73 different slide images of nipples projected on two 8-foot screens. The doctor giving the speech probably said &quotnipple&quot 500 times. It was close to an hour of nipple this, nipple that, as you can see on this nipple, could you focus that nipple a little, please … and all the while he was pointing at the 6-foot diameter nipples with a laser pointer.I was there working as an AV guy, in charge of the slide projector, and I didn’t so much as crack a smile.Not a chuckle. Not a giggle. Not even so much as, dare I say it, a titter. I just sat there, doing my job, focusing nipple slides, when it suddenly dawned on me what a pathetic shell of my former self I had become.Shocking. Devastating. Next slide, please.Ordinarily, of course, even a word that SOUNDED like &quotnipple,&quot like &quotbipple,&quot or &quotdipple,&quot while I was at work would have sent me into full blown Beavis and Butthead convulsions. But there I was, being all professional and mature.Terrifying. Sad. Next slide, please.Clearly I’ve been an AV Guy for too long. All the signs are there, I’ve just been in some serious denial. Like when I’m hanging around with my other AV Guy friends, and someone will say something like, &quotSo, get this, then hetries to plug a BNC directly into the quarter inch full-back return, without even using an adapter!&quot and I’ll shake my head in agreement that yes, the world is sadly full of those who don’t understand the nuances of audio cables.And it seems like a perfectly normal conversation.But here’s what’s really bothering me: I know a lot about slide projectors. I mean a hell of a lot. I can field strip a Kodak Ekta-slide Model III (the old version, with the removable lamp assembly) in under two minutes. Blindfolded. I can dislodge a jammed slide using nothing more than a piece of carpet lint and my belt buckle with 300 people staring me down.It hit me hard while I was watching the nipples flash on the screen I’ve spent almost 10 years perfecting a skill that will never, ever come in handy anywhere other than the one place I don’t want to be inside a stuffy conference room.I just can’t picture ever being, say, on a DC-10, high above the Atlantic, and having a stewardess announce, &quotLadies and gentlemen, please remain calm. We have an emergency in the cockpit and we were wondering if anyone on board has any experience with slide projectors?&quotNo. Never. I am an expert at something useless. And now, on top of that ugly realization, I don’t even get a chuckle out of the immature things that used to make my job worthwhile. Yes … like nipple slides.But maybe this is actually a cause for celebration. Maybe my being able to look at slides of nipples and not break into junior high giggles is my rite of passage into adulthood. Maybe it’s like the opening scene of KungFu, where Grasshopper is finally able to snatch the pebble from his master’s hand after years of his master berating him.Maybe this newfound maturity will lead to a life rich with … Hey! &quotMaster berating.&quot Ha ha! Get it? Master berating? Aaa ha ha ha.Whew. That was close. Next slide please.Aspen-based writer Barry Smith moves his lips while writing this column, and hopes you do the same while reading it. E-mail him at barry@irrelativity.com or visit his Web page at http://www.Irrelativity.com.


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