It was twelve o’clock. That’s what a woman told me, anyway. I wasn’t wearing my watch which was strange because I remember putting it on that morning. I asked a man whether it was twelve AM or PM. He said PM. That didn’t help. I always get those mixed up. Was it midnight or noon? And for that matter, in what time zone am I?
I sat up and looked around to see if I could figure out where I was. There was a car’s bumper in my face blaring its horn. There was no car, just the bumper and a horn. I was in the middle of the street. I crawled over to the curb to let the rude bumper by. I wasn’t here to pick any fights. I don’t even know where here is.
I stood up and got a better view of my surroundings. I don’t recognize this place. I don’t think that I’ve ever been here before.
I looked directly into the sun. Twelve AM or PM? It’s the daytime one. I’ll just go with that. I like science.
Suddenly I was bumped from behind.
He pointed to a door leading into a building. I was in a long line of people. There were at least fifty people behind me and only two in front of me. I figured that if a line was this long, whatever is at the end must be great. Maybe it was whoever was in charge of this place. Maybe they could tell me what was going on.
As I stood there, more people got in line. The problem was that the line wasn’t moving. I still had two people in front of me and now sixty or seventy behind.
I looked at the guy behind me and shook my head.
“Lines” I said as bumped his arm with my elbow and rolled my eyes.
“What about them?”
I panicked. I didn’t expect a response.
“Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.”
He looked at me and shook his head. What is with these people?
While I was trying to make conversation, the next person was let in the door by two burly guards. One of them reattached the brass hook on the velvet rope to the brass column and then they both crossed their arms like flesh idols guarding a pyramid entrance.
I stood there and stared at the sun a bit more. I think that I remember reading that if you absorb enough sunlight into your eyes, you can see in the dark. What did I have to lose?
I heard a loud buzzing noise and the hair on my arm stood on end.
“Did you hear that?” I asked my line-mate.
I think he chose to ignore me so I asked him louder.
“DID YOU HEAR THAT?” I yelled.
“GO!” He yelled back.
I think I’m getting the hang of this now. Every time I turn around, the next person is let into the mystery door. This excited me and I wanted to share my discovery with everybody in the line. Maybe we could get this done a lot faster if we just looked the other way. That was my motto. “Look the other way and things will be ok.”
I knew that I wouldn’t have time to explain it all so I stepped aside and jumped up and down and waved my arms around to get the attention of as much of the line as possible. I’m no mathologist but I figured that the more people who participated in my line speed technique, the better.
“Hey, hey, look at me!” I yelled.
I got the attention of at least half of the crowd. I made a surprised facial expression and pointed out in the sky behind them and said “Look at that!”
As my audience turned around, a solar eclipse began. I heard lots of “ooh” and “aah” from the crowd. I couldn’t figure out how I did that but I felt like less of a bad guy for trying to trick them.
As I was enjoying the splendor of our universe, I was grabbed by my head and by my feet. The two burly guards were holding me like a hammock and threw me into the door. I tried to yell “Go!” back at my line-mate but the wind was knocked out of me when I hit the floor. The door quickly closed behind me. This was a dark room. It was spooky and uninviting. They needed a lamp and maybe a happy face on the floor or something. All that staring at the sun wasn’t helping me see in the dark. I think it made things worse.
I guess that I don’t even know what this place is. Maybe it is here to be spooky. Maybe the people outside are waiting for the best spooky experience in town. My lighting idea would be bad for their business model. I didn’t want to mess with that. I’m sure whoever is in charge knows what they’re doing. This is a prime piece of real estate in the middle of town. I’ll just keep my mouth shut.
I regained my breath and walked down a poorly lit hallway trying to stay positive but it was pretty gloomy. There was a door at the end of the hallway. I figured that I’d come this far already, I might as well see what was behind it.
I knocked just to make sure. It could have been a bathroom. I hate when people walk in on me while I’m in the bathroom. It taught me to start closing the door. I used to take my shoes off and prop the door open while I was using the toilet just in case something bad happened and I needed help.
Nobody answered so I covered my nose with my shirt, turned the doorknob, and opened the door. I was suddenly inside a fast food restaurant. There was no line. I was there only with four other people and they were all appeared to be employees waiting to take my order, cook my food, and rescue me from the toilet if necessary.
A woman with a big smile asked me what I would like to eat. I approached the counter and saw the rest of the staff ready to make whatever I asked for. One guy was already chopping. He wasn’t chopping anything, just air. I guess he was just warming up before he does the real thing. I do the same thing before I wash my dog. I call it air-washing. It confuses people but I know where this guy is coming from. I already felt a bond with him.
I looked up at the menu and there was only one thing. It was called “Porknutdent” and served with a side of “noodmoose”. I had never heard of these things but It looked like it was this or nothing and all of that standing in line made me hungry.
Instead of telling her that I wanted the only one thing on the menu, I just said “six”. I wasn’t here to waste anybody’s time. She smiled and pushed a button six times. I still need to talk to somebody in charge but at least I can get a couple of porknutdents and noodmooses while I’m here.
“Forty dollars”, she said.
“That will cost forty dollars. How would you like to pay?”
I didn’t expect to pay for this stuff. It seemed like a special place. I reached for my wallet but it was gone. I wasn’t going to be able to pay for it. Choppie Charlie had already started dicing what appeared to be sticks of gum.
“I’m sorry but I can’t afford that.”
Everybody stopped at that moment. It was like I farted really loud and they hadn’t heard a fart in their entire lives.
“What? You’ve never heard a fart before?”
“Sir, if you can’t afford your meal, we will have to ask you to leave” she said, quickly waving her hand in front of her nose.
I really wanted to eat but they were all glaring at me. Even that big smile turned into an even bigger frown. Comically large. I think her mouth doubled in size just to show me how disgusted she was with me.
“Fine, I’ll leave” I said, storming away.
I stopped and looked around.
“Do I just leave through the same door I came in?”
I turned around and was met only with unfriendly glares. I hate unfriendly glares. I like friendly glares just fine. I’m good at those myself.
I walked out the door, hungry and a bit sad. Where was my wallet? Where is this? Who am I?
I walked down the same dark hallway. I looked up and saw my line-mate on his way into the restaurant. I put my hand up for a high-five.
“Up-top” I said.
He just looked at me and kept walking. I decided that he probably didn’t want to be my friend.
I heard the door open and close behind me. I kept walking and heard that same buzzing sound that I heard when I was standing outside. The hair on my arm stood up again. It came from the restaurant. I turned around and stared at that door. What is happening here?
I finally made it to the front door. The one that I was gently hurled through. I wondered if I had to stand in a line to get out just like I did to get in. Just to be safe, I did. I made my own line right inside the door. I waited for a long time until finally they let somebody else in. I tried to step out but was stopped by a velvet rope. The two guards looked at each other and then looked at me. I had a feeling that they didn’t expect to see me again.
They picked me up by my head and feet once again and threw me out in the same street I found myself earlier. I wasn’t making any progress.
“What time is it?”, I asked a line-stander.
“Two”, she said.
Great. I’m back exactly where I started but at least I have ten hours to warn the observatory about the solar eclipse.
We had a great opportunity to go and visit some family up in Phoenix this weekend. Sarah did pretty well on a two-hour drive and did quite well over night in a new place. At the end of the drive home she got a bit fussy. When we got home we found out why.
Leo and Patty hosted us in a spare bedroom and my mom in another spare room. It was great.
On Saturday night I got to see a few of my cousins and my uncle Jeff and aunt Janna. We had ham and potatoes. It was a good time.
Patty even made bacon and eggs this morning before our drive home. It was incredible.
Let’s do it again soon. I love zoos and that’s a great thing to do with a baby. There are some nice ones up there in Phoenix.