Jenny sat down in my office that Friday morning and explained that the ‘Wizard of Oz’ promotion was falling apart. It seemed that the female university student that was hired to play ‘Dorothy’ at a local mall on the weekend called in sick. This was all news to me. I was not privy to this particular promotion at the mall. I knew we were presenting the musical at a major Toronto theatre, but had no idea about this special promotion between the radio station and the production.
‘I’ve tried everything’ she said frantically, and continued,
‘I have a student playing the cowardly lion and a student playing the scarecrow, but now we don’t have a Dorothy, who, if you are familiar with the story, is the main character’!
‘Then hire another student to play Dorothy’ I said frustrated.
Really, she insinuated, I didn’t know who Dorothy was? This was going to be a long day and I had planned to leave early. I had to admit, I was a little happy that this entire promotion was beginning to swirl the bowl. Maybe, just maybe, if she had opened up about the promotion and hadn’t taken on everything herself, this might not have happened.
I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth next,
‘Do you need me to find someone?’ I asked quietly and hoping she would not take me up on the offer.
‘No, there is no one’ she said sadly. ‘Can you please do this for me this weekend at the mall’?
I lifted my head from my desk, and the only word that flew out of my mouth was ‘what?’
‘I have the costume ready at Malabars (the local costume shop) to be picked up. All you have to do is drive there, pick it up and this weekend be Dorothy at the shopping centre. The other students have their costumes and have been given the display that they will set up in the morning.’
What? Me, Dorothy, weekend? Those were three words I didn’t think went together.
‘I’m blond, and 26 years old. I don’t think I would make a good Dorothy’, I said trying to convince her otherwise.
‘It’s okay, they have a wig for you to wear, please!’
This is where I had always fallen down; I could never say that 2-letter word, NO.
Shit, shit, shit. I didn’t want to do this, I had plans this weekend, I wasn’t good at playing characters, I hated crowds, I was awful with strangers, I hated doing things last minute, No way, I am not going to do this.
Then out of my mouth I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ Where the hell did that come from?
‘Great, I’ll call the costume shop and let them know you will be there soon to pick it up, take the rest of the day off and have fun this weekend’, Jenny said while flying out of my office with her big hair blowing behind her.
What just happened? What the hell? Wait a minute, I wanted to yell, I have plans this weekend, and you can’t do this! But nothing came out of my mouth. My stomach began to turn and I felt the redness appear in my face. I was about to cry. I was so frustrated. Why didn’t she let me in on the promotion when the idea was hatched?
‘Paula, or should I say Dorothy, I hear you will be starring at the mall this weekend’, one of the sales reps said standing at my door smiling.
‘I want to thank you for doing this; Jenny just told me that you volunteered. I appreciate it.’
Volunteered? Volunteered? I don’t remember volunteering for this, I do remember that Jenny screwed it up and is making me do this.
‘No problem, but you owe me’, I said smiling. That’s it Paula, be a good sport, its not the end of the world, I spoke quietly in my head. I slowly rose from my desk, took my purse, and walked out of the station. I was on my way to the costume shop looking for that ‘yellow brick road’.