So, I hate wrapping paper. Seriously, it's lametastic. It's the epitome of one-time-use, and it's expensive. I get the allure of giving beautifully wrapped gifts, I just can't get behind wrapping paper.
Several years ago, I stumbled across furoshiki, which is an old Japanese method of wrapping anything you can imagine. Started as a way to carry your stuff to the bath house, and evolved from there. Pretty and reusable, I can get behind that. So I taught myself how, using a book and some basic Girl Scout knot knowhow.
Seeing that it is easy, I started teaching it to my students in summer camp. We'd tie-dye a bandana, and then I'd teach them how to use it to wrap things. Worked out nicely. Killed a few hours. Kept the kids somewhat entertained (well, the ones who don't immediately give up when they CAN'T DOOOOO IIIIIIIIIIIIIT, but that's a rant for another time).
Decided that, since the holidays were approaching, I could probably teach a workshop at the nature center. Ecofriendly wrapping, plus holidays, plus fun. So I schedule one, and the BossLady does her usual marketing magic. It fills up relatively quickly. Fantastic.
The Bossman gets a call from a local news channel. They have somehow run across the advertisement for my workshop, and want me to come do 3 minutes on the morning news. Cool. I'll even schedule another workshop, since the first one is full, just in case this drums up business.
All right, I'll drive up to LA on a Sunday morning to teach the anchors how to tie pretty packages. Why not? My only request? Let's keep this on the ecological side, not the Japanese culture side. I am not Japanese by any stretch of the imagination. I am not an expert on Japanese culture. I do not speak Japanese. I have never been to Japan. I'm probably butchering the pronunciation of "furoshiki." Everything I have seen has suggested to me that it is pronounced "f-ROSH-kee." I tell the producer guy this. Cool. Nobody ask me how to say it. Let's just dance around the subject, yes?
So I put on a decent shirt, gather up all my wrapping cloths, and drive up to LA. I hover around the edge of the set for about 45 minutes, watching what is going on. The anchors are doing the usual morning-news act, with the loud jovial bickering and the forced laughing. It's morning news. That's what they DO. As soon as they go to commercial, the anchors all drop the persona and start checking their email. It's a weird transformation to watch. Okay. During a commercial, the producer guy hustles me over, sits me down, arranges my visual aids, and I get ready to rip.
Everyone has been warned not to ask me about pronunciation.
About 2 minutes before my spiel, one of the weekday anchors pokes her head around the corner of the set. She has her 7-year-old daughter in tow. The regular morning anchors get all excited and drag her over (with the kid!) and the Clever Morning Banter starts. Male Anchor jokingly storms out in a huff, letting Weekday Anchor take his place (with the kid still right there at the desk). Weekday Anchor has no idea what's going on, and starts reading the teleprompter. And then my segment starts. YouTube, take it from here!
I don't really sound like that. That is Super Controlled Acting Voice.
The best part about this train wreck?
They spelled "environmental" wrong.
Later, when I figure out how to do it, I will make a bunch of instructional furoshiki videos so that everyone can share in the fun. I won't try to pronounce it, though.
Ahh, good times. Tip your waitress.