On October 3, 2008, I entered my first ever speed contest.
Being one of the fastest court reporters (if not THE fastest court reporter) has been my goal ever since Theory Class back in the fall of 1993. I got my RMR this May, so the next step was to enter Illinois' Gary L. Sonntag Memorial Speed Contest. And by golly, I qualified on the literary portion, so I'm well on my way!
But the night before, I dreamt...
Back in Anaheim, Melanie and Mark hosted the Speed Contest. (Do I really have to explain who Melanie and Mark are?) Since the weather was beautiful, they held the contest outside in the hotel's courtyard. Mark greeted me with a solemn, Eeyore-ish, "Bueller? Bueller?"-like statement: "I neeeeed to inspect your macheeeeeeene pleeeease." I explained that I was writing on a LightSpeed (which I was going to do in real life), and he brightened up and waved me through.
I took my seat in the left front row of about three tiered rows of seats. No one brought any practice material, so someone found a 12-year-old skateboarder punk. He was given dictation material and instructed to read clearly and loudly.
Zero for two. "Wouldyewplzstatyrnmfrtr..." he said at speeds that would make Mark cry.
Ten seconds of this, and I stood up and announced, "What the HELL is he SAYING?"
They got rid of the kid, more material was found, and warmup began in earnest. I hoped I was taking it down well, especially since my laptop was connected to the overhead projector. "Melanie" wasn't tranning correctly. I was horrified. Even more so when the keys started falling off my writer.
The LightSpeed had completed its metamorphosis into the wooden puzzle you find at Cracker Barrel, the one with the golf tees. They started falling out and scattering none too silently.
I finally thought HECK with it, yanked the remaining keys off the machine, and switched seats. I figured the sensors underneath the discarded keys would still work, so I moved to the tier just below Mark. Maybe some speed and talent will flow downhill to me. Maybe. The Band-Aids covering every one of my fingertips impeded this, so I ripped THOSE off.
But now my denuded machine and fingers were all sticky, so I moved back to my original seat, hoping to salvage SOME of this experience.
At least we had a great view of the wrestling ring. The Rock came out and walked RIGHT BY ME! OMG!
And then I woke up.
And the speed contest went off without a hitch.
You know, we've all had the standard court reporting dreams of machine malfunctions, indiscernible speakers, et cetera, but this is the first time I've had them all in one package.
But I don't know why The Rock made an appearance, when my favorite pro wrestler right now is Shawn Michaels. I'll have to think about that.