This is the story all about how, my life got flipped turned---
Wait. Sorry. Let me start again.
This is the story of the day I crowned myself Nerd Queen of Okinawa. It all started back in 2008 when my husband received orders to Okinawa, Japan.
So, after a great deal of hassle and headache, we made it to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Now, upon arrival, we were informed we needed to go to "Island Indoctrination." Basically, it was a military briefing to give us all the information we needed in order to make it through three years on Okinawa without winding up deported, dead, or permanently affixed to the scenery.
If you're familiar with the military life, you probably snickered at the word "briefing". Why? Because it's anything but brief. Briefings last for-fucking-ever. Always. Never fails. And this one?
10. Bloody. Hours.
But that wasn't the worst of it. You see, flying to Japan from the States involves crossing about 7 million time zones, not to mention the International Date Line. This results in a degree of jetlag you simply have to experience to believe (and it's actually worse going back to the States from here, but I digress). Basically, for the first few days, your internal clock looks a little something like this:
And they wanted me to sit through a ten-hour briefing. Let the fun begin.
Being perpetually on time, not to mention having our internal clocks all jacked up, my husband and I were early. Which meant we wound up sitting in the front row.
So much for casually nodding off and getting away with it.
The briefing began, and the boredom set in like a tick burrowing under the skin. Not only did most of our speakers go to the William Shatner School of Public Speaking, and graduate magna cum boring from the Politicians' Academy of Being Interesting, they also went to the University of Graphic Design for the Blind. Either that or the College of Torturing Innocent People by Way of Their Retinas.
And they were armed with PowerPoint.
On, and on, and on, they droned. Reading the PowerPoint slides aloud. Repeating everything multiple times. Harping on stupid crap while glossing over the actual important stuff.
And deeper still burrowed the tick of boredom.
I mean, seriously. There's only so much PowerPoint a girl can take.
It was starting to get ridiculous. I'm not kidding.
And I was starting to get fucking irritated.
My husband knew I was getting annoyed, and he started getting worried I might do something like morph into an alien and decapitate someone. I was seriously thinking about it, but then they served lunch. And by "served" I mean they made us purchase lunch from the enlisted club. Nothing like shitty food at highway robbery prices to make a briefing easier to stomach.
But, at least I'd eaten. So things were more bearable.
Slightly more bearable.
I'm not kidding. This dude was lecturing us about drugs and alcohol and how they're bad. If I'd had a desk, I'd have been getting my forehead acquainted with it.
I started to tune him out. It was my last defense mechanism. I had no choice. It was either that or drop to the floor in a fetal position and start weeping for death. Believe me, that was tempting.
But then the speaker started talking about a drug problem that was especially significant on Okinawa, and with six words, I was jerked back into full awareness:
And somewhere in the deep, dorky recesses of my brain, something sprang to life. For about 7 nanoseconds, I fixated on that word...
...and I couldn't stop myself.
The words echoed through the room.
And...nothing happened. Murmurs of confusion rippled through the crowd.
And I realized...no one had a damned clue what I was talking about.
After an awkward moment, I took my seat, and while the speaker cleared his throat to continue his coma-inducing lecture, I silently crowned myself Nerd Queen of Okinawa.
But at least for a few fleeting seconds, I wasn't bored off my ass.