Mason's job involves interacting with a wide variety of people on a daily basis. He is a "trainer" so to speak, so most of his work is spent teaching people. He clocks alot of hours in the classroom and also does some occasional advising. Well, one "client" of his is a woman who suffers from Graves Disease. No idea what this is? Basically, it involves an overactive thyroid that can affect the tissue behind your eyes. This makes them bulge out. Do you remember Minera McGonagall from Harry Potter? She was the Headmistress of Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. She has Graves Disease. See how her eyes are kind of bulgy?
This is a picture of probably a more severe case of Grave's Disease:
Now, if you are a sufferer of Graves Disease, please don't think I'm making fun of you, because I'm not. I don't think it's a funny disease at all. I am actually quite sensitive about diseases that affect the eyes, since I have a lazy eye that is difficult to keep straight. It's even more difficult when I'm tired. There are some days where, if I don't get enough sleep, I can't control it and it just keeps going "crazy". It's horrible. I remember sitting through classes as an undergrad, when my right eye was going crazy and I couldn't straighten it out and the professor would happen to glance my way and then do a double-take because there I am with one eye looking straight ahead and the other one staring off at the kid's head sitting next to me. Awful! So please don't mistake this blog for anything other than an attempt to tell a story about Mason's many missteps involving a woman with Graves Disease.
Ok. Back to the story. Mason is the kind of "trainer" that discusses what some may consider to be shocking topics. One of our close friends nicknamed him a Gonzo-ologist for his subversive style. (If you don't know the term "Gonzo" then you really need to read about Hunter S. Thompson.) So, it's not unusual for some of his clients to look really shocked and surprised in his trainings. One day, about a year ago, Mason had been discussing a topic that really wasn't anything that should have prompted a surprising reaction, but yet this woman appeared to have a shocked look on her face. So, Mason asks "Why do you look so surprised?" This led to her getting a little embarassed, turning her head down slightly, and muttering "Um, I don't know." At the time, Mason didn't think anything about it and just went on with the training.
A few weeks later, she came to his office. For those of you who don't know Mason or interact with him regularly, he has a bad habit of doing random facial expressions for no particular reason. He has this strange ability to make his eyebrows roll. It looks kind of like a snake slithering along the ground or even like "the wave" that fans do at baseball games. It's totally bizarre. He will also randomly acted shocked, surprised, really happy, really angry, or totally bewildered. I have no idea why he does this and I don't even think he really knows why either. So, when this woman comes to his office Mason gives her this random look of surprise. You know, that look: you raise your eyebrows and your eyes get really big. Well, she gets a little frustrated and with hand on hip tells him, "I have Graves Disease." OH CRAP! Mason goes on to ask what is and she explains it to him and he feels really terrible. I remember him coming home that day feeling guilty about doing that to her, because he didn't know she had Graves Disease and really didn't mean anything by it.
After this last incident, probably about a year went by and then this Fall she ended up in one his trainings again. One day, he sees her walking down the hallway and she's wearing these weird socks. Mason says to her "Um, nice tube socks." She replies, "They're not tube socks, they're knee highs." "Oh, ok," Mason says and walks away. Well, then a few days later he sees her again with a different pair of knee highs on and Mason says, "Nice knee highs." And, she looks at him with this bewildered expression and asks, "Did you just say nice, big eyes?" PANIC!! Mason yells, "No! No, I said NICE KNEE HIGHS. NICE KNEE HIGHS!" OH GOD! It was like something out of a Seinfeld episode, when Jerry suddenly realizes he screwed up and gets that high pitched, shrilly screech and scrambles to tell the person what he really meant. Yeah, it was bad. So, yet, again, without even intending to put his foot in his mouth. He did.
There is one final incident that I must share: While heading to his office, Mason ran into her again. He was having a bad day and decided to share with her how horrible his day was. He began by telling her, "I have a paper cut between my fingers." She replies, "Well, I'm broke." So he says, "The battery just went dead in my car." And then she tells him, "My boyfriend broke up with me." He retorts, "I work 60 hours a week for sub-standard pay." And she comes back with, "I'm getting my thyroid removed." AAARRRRRHHHHHH! No! Not again!
DAMN YOU GRAVES DISEASE!!!!!