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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Scrooge strangled my acting debut

By From page A2 | October 16, 2012

ACTING DREAMS DASHED … one of the reasons I felt so strongly about last week’s school district cancellation of Emerson Junior High’s presentation of “A Christmas Carol” is that I had a part in a play of the same name at the old Davis Junior High School a few dozen Decembers ago … there were three Scrooge parts that many of us tried out for: teenage Scrooge, middle-age Scrooge and old and crotchety Scrooge … the last was easily the main and most coveted role, while the first two Scrooges were bit parts at best to be filled by kids who didn’t have much future in the theater, but whose parents could be counted on to buy tickets …

I got the part of the teenage Scrooge and had but one line, consisting of two words … seems teenage Scrooge’s lady friend, Bell, played by my classmate Sally McKinney, was about to dump Scrooge for being so, well, Scrooge-like, and it was my job to raise a half-hearted protest with the words “but Bell” …

Suffice it to say, when I stepped onto the makeshift stage of the multipurpose room where I had eaten more tuna fish sandwiches than I dared to count and looked out at all those expectant parents, I froze … my big line came and went and I couldn’t salvage the moment no matter how hard I tried … I couldn’t remember Sally’s stage name after I mumbled the word “but,” and I knew I couldn’t call her “Sally” or everyone would laugh …

I haven’t been on the stage since …

TAKING HOT-DOGGING TO A NEW LEVEL … Superintendent of Schools Winfred Roberson was a busy man last week, first canceling, then reviving “A Christmas Carol,” followed by a letter to the editor decrying the behavior of three fans at the recent Davis-Jesuit soccer game at DHS … wrote Roberson: “The three fans, dressed as hot dogs, displayed a large banner that read ‘Jesuit (heart symbol) Loves Wieners.’ Students and staff agree that the sign was a clear anti-gay message targeting the Jesuit all-male student body population.” …

Despite his disgust, Roberson was quick to point out that the three weenies who pulled this stunt “were not currently enrolled DJUSD students,” implying that they probably once were …

Clearly, this town is slipping if this is the best we can come up with for a banner at one of the top high school rivalries in the region … it doesn’t get much better than a Jesuit-Davis soccer showdown before a packed stadium … has creativity gone on vacation in the City of All Things Right and Relevant? … since Jesuit won the game, 4-0, the banner was hardly the main topic of conversation for the Jesuit lads on the bus ride back to their Carmichael campus …

FOOD FOR THOUGHT … after I complained last week that the Blue-and-Gold Food Police inhospitably confiscate all edible items from unsuspecting fans trying to enter Aggie Stadium to enjoy a college football game, the reaction was fast and furious … Bonnie, who has been attending UC Davis games for a long while, called the food ban “unpublicized, inexplicable and unexplained.” … I’ll give you the explanation, Bonnie … they want you to buy the overpriced food and drinks at the concession stands inside the stadium … there’s nothing more to it than that … adds Bonnie, “The whole stop and frisk mentality of the gate personnel at Aggie games is really off-putting.” … amen to that … not only do they take your food without just compensation, the very notion of a bag search immediately puts otherwise happy patrons on the defensive …

“As a 30-year plus season ticket holder, this non-welcoming approach really makes me pause and wonder how much longer I want be treated in this antagonistic manner,” Bonnie notes … “I really feel badly for families wanting to bring food/snacks for their kids to avoid the exorbitant prices in the stadium. This food confiscation approach seems especially short-sighted.” … welcome to Aggie stadium … now hand over that sandwich, young man … Go Ags …

EVEN MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT … one Aggie fan who wished to remain anonymous told me that the food ban is “all about security.” … in other words, you never know what evil lurks in that battered green backpack or overstuffed handbag … “Fans might bring things in that can be thrown on the field.” … of course … how did I miss that? … then again, in my many decades of watching Aggie football, first on Toomey Field and now at Aggie Stadium, I’ve yet to see a fan throw even one Subway sandwich onto the field of play … or an orange, an apple, a bottle of water or a bag of peanut M&M’s … it’s time for UC Davis to revisit this decidedly unfriendly approach to its fan base … let’s ban the ban …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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