Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Okay, so I lied. This post really isn't about last Thursday, because - in reality - last Thursday (a.k.a. Thanksgiving) was not all that interesting.

I mean, really. I woke up, ran the Turkey Trot (yes, all 8 miles), showered and...well...


...And ate...

...And ate.

Get the picture?
(See, really not all that interesting.)

I actually want to discuss the much more interesting day after Thanksgiving.

No, upon second thought, the day after Thanksgiving was not all that much more interesting than Thanksgiving, itself. Interesting just isn't the right word. In fact, interesting doesn't describe the day after Thanksgiving at all. No, no the day after Thanksgiving needs a whole NEW level of description. Something that cannot be summarized by a simple word (like interesting). It needs a whole sentence, a catch-phrase (if you will). Something that can capture my experiences, thoughts and emotions and put them into a neat little box - complete with gift-wrapping and a big, bright bow.

Yes, yes...that is what I want.

Now, let me see. How can I put this?

How about:

"I'm sorry...what?! Since WHEN can my body DO THAT?!"

Hummmm. Yes. That about sums it up.

Anyway...where was I?...ah, yes...the day AFTER Thanksgiving. A day that will go down in history as the day I almost died wanted to die.

And, no, I am NOT kidding. It was just that kind of a BAD day.


Well let me tell you about it (just don't forget that this will NOT be PLEASANT in any way, shape or form. In other words, consider yourself warned):

So, on the day AFTER Thanksgiving I had to go to a formal party honoring one of my many, many, MANY cousins (I'm related to everyone. Just ask RR (a.k.a. NDT). According to her, my family tree is a wreath. Charming, huh...?!).

Since I was going to such a...ahem...genteel affair, I thought I should, you know, make an effort. Thus, I donned the appropriate ball gown, matching shoes, and color-coordinated make-up. My super-hot, super-sexy boy toy (uh...I mean, boyfriend), Trevor arrived clean and shaven - looking quite smart in his tuxedo. Yes, yes. We quite looked the part.

And so - as in fairytales - the princess and her beau were off to the dance.

Except in this fairytale, I am playing the princess. Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
(This should be one of many, many clues that the evening does not go...uh...as planned.)

Anyway, my chariot (a.k.a. Trevor's Chevy Trailblazer) arrived at the ball at 8 o'clock - making us about half an hour (fashionably) late. The party was at the Dallas Petroleum Club, which is located way up high in the JPMorgan Chase Tower. Because of the Petroleum Club's location in the building, a very, very speedy elevator is required to "people move" the party goers to the 40th floor. And this is where things started to get...interesting.

Flashback for a moment...

...While I was getting ready for the super-swanky affair earlier in the evening, I was suddenly consumed with hunger. Unfortunately, my cupboard was bare EXCEPT for a half eaten bag of potato chips and an Organic Fiber Bar (lemon flavored, of course).

Now, I know what you are thinking and I whole-heartedly agree that eating ANYTHING with 14 grams of fiber just hours before you are scheduled to attend a black tie event is a BAD idea. However, after I ate a few of the potato chips I was feeling rather bloated and - quite frankly - guilty. Eating the fiber bar seemed like a good way of...well...flushing the potato chips through the system.

Yeah, well, hindsight is ALWAYS twenty-twenty...

Anyway, getting back to the story, it was on the elevator ride up to the 40th floor that I first started feeling...whoozy. But I figured that I would feel better once my ears popped (I was in denial).

Trevor, being the wonderful date that he is, thought it would help if I had a glass of red wine to...you know...relax me (which it did). In fact, the red wine relaxed me SO much that I decided that I would tell everyone about the battle raging in my stomach between the fiber bar and the potato chips (yes, I only had one glass, thank you!). Most people just smiled politely and moved on. Others laughed at me and my self-induced predicament. But one lady offered to give me advice (big mistake). All I can say is that NO ONE should EVER take the advice of a senile, close-talker who smells of mothballs.

And, yes, hindsight is STILL twenty-twenty...

So, I listened as Ode-de-Mothballs explained to me that milk, cheese and essentially everything dairy has the opposite effect of fiber. Me (being me, of course) thought that this new tidbit of information was absolutely BRILLIANT, and immediately excused myself from Senora Mothballs to go join Trevor in the food line (where I promptly ordered him to pile Brie cheese, crackers and olives onto his plate).

Once Trevor's plate could hold no more, we began the process of looking for an appropriate place to sit down and...well..eat. This is always a trite difficult at a formal ball because there are hundreds of people - all dress to the nines - of which only a select few you actually want to sit with (or see or talk to, for that matter). Because of the fiber problem, I really didn't want to sit with anyone - at least, no one that might be within "odor" range (incase the so-called battle in my tummy produced a much uninvited and unexpected...smell).

So, we ended up sitting at a crowded table (of course!) full of people my own age - who all, up to that point, thought I was reasonably normal (and knew nothing of my apparent lack of judgment when it came to all things fiber and potato related). They all just sat there and watched - with a look of vague curiosity - as I consumed slice after slice of cheese. Thank goodness that I had enough sense to spare them the details (and reasoning) behind my sudden need to dairy-induce constipation.

Never - during this entire episode - did it dawn on me that it might be...unwise...to try to trump a fiber card with a cheese card. I consider myself lucky that I didn't explode on the spot.

As you might guess, it didn't take long for the battle in my stomach to become an all out war. And by "war", I really mean "REBELLION". Thus, after a brief (half hour) party intermission (spent, of course, in one of the stalls in the lady's restroom), I emerged and informed Trevor that it was time to leave the ball. Like, NOW! I was rapidly turning back into a (rotten) pumpkin.

It was 9:45 PM.

Trevor, because he is SO wonderful, didn't complain at all about having to leave the party early. He didn't even make fun of me as we road the elevator back down 40 floors to his champagne-colored SUV.

We made it back to my house by 10 PM - just in time for me to change out of my ball gown before I (and I am quoting season 7, episode 4 of the sitcom FRIENDS here), "visited a little town a south of throw-up".

So, yeah, that was fun.

It was especially fun because my wonderful, sweet and handsome boyfriend, Trevor, was in the next room trying not to hear all the...noises...that are famously associated with that particular bodily function.

So, again, that was reallllllly fun.

But just when you think that it can't get any worse...it does (because I'm blessed that way).

Anyway, I'm sitting on the pot and having problem "A", when I suddenly realize that I'm going to have problem "B"(yes, I was traveling north to that aforementioned town). So, I desperately reached for the trashcan (which, thank goodness, had a liner in it) and grabbed it just in time to be reintroduced to the potato chips, fiber bar and Brie cheese.


So, there I am, sitting on the pot having problem "A" and problem "B" simultaneously (which, before this evening, I didn't realize could happen at the same time. Boy, was I naive), while problem "C" (a.k.a. my handsome prince) is knocking at the bathroom door in an effort to inquire if everything was okay.

Yes, folks, it was during that moment that I actually wanted to die. My body was literately exploding from both ends, and I just didn't see how death wasn't an realistic option at that point. It felt like I was going to die regardless, and I was hoping for something along the lines of "sooner than later" in the timeline that I was sure was dictating the end of my life. In fact, I was actually wishing for death, because no creature should ever have to suffer like that. I think I actually asked Trevor to shoot me at one point. From my perspective, it was the only humane thing to do.

But, alas, he didn't have a gun.

He also said something about how much he loved me before he got in his car and left on a Pepto-Bismol and Gatorade run.

God love that boy.

So, in conclusion, I would like to publicly state that I am THANKFUL for surviving last Friday night (and Saturday and Sunday). I'm pretty sure that I really had the stomach flu (the fiber bar, potato chip and Brie cheese didn't help anything, but I don't think that self-induced food poisoning lasts for three days).

I find it somehow curious that people, in general, aren't more THANKFUL (like on a daily basis) that they are not - at this very moment - having both problem "A" and problem "B" simultaneously. We should all be thanking our lucky stars day in and day out...

In fact, I might just announce next Thanksgiving - at the dinner table - that I am THANKFUL for not having those two problems at that particular moment.

I really feel as though I've gained some perspective, here. Don't you?!

(well, almost...)

I am also thankful for my adorable dog, Gypsy Kitty, who had "sympathy pukes" early on Saturday morning. She barely slept a wink all night, because she was SO worried about me. The whole time, while I was...uh...kneeling before the porcelain throne, Gypsy Kitty was at my side - licking my arm in (apparent) support.

Then, in the wee-morning hours - mere seconds after I had finally (and mercifully) fallen asleep - Gypsy Kitty jumped up on my bed and frantically started licking my face. Alarmed, I jumped out of bed and heard the unmistakable...

...grunt, grunt, grunt...

...of a dog on the verge of throwing up.

"Oh, no! Gypsy! Quick! Outside! Let's go outside!"

And, for the first time EVER, Gypsy made it outside and puked in the grass (instead of on the rug next to my bed)!!

If that isn't the very definition of "thankful", I don't know what is (personally, after a long night of blowing chunks, the last thing I want to do is clean up doggie barf. Plus, quite frankly, how often can you find a reason to be thankful for vomit?)!!


Monday, November 21, 2005

For Tinkerbell...

We will never forget you, Tinkerbell!

~ Love always (and forever) ~
Deals, Gypsy Kitty and Dolly
~ xoxo ~

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

When pictures speak a thousand words...

(A Photo Blog)

Today has been a weird day.

For what ever reason, everywhere I go and everything I see seems to illustrate the kind of day I am having. The “photo phenomenon” (if you will) has literately been narrating my experiences and emotions for the past ten hours.

So, on the off chance that this actually means something (and I'm just missing it), I thought I’d put it all together for your viewing pleasure.

Here goes nothing...

The word of the day is:

But not like:

And more like:

My morning started off with my boss calling me into his office, where I felt like:

He told me that he was changing organizational structure of the museum, and I looked at him like:

He held up a chart, and pointed to where my position was now located in the newly organized structure of things. It was too far away for me to see clearly, so I just made a mental note that I was now a:

(at least on his new chart)

After meeting with my boss, I went back to my office and started to return phone calls. One lady (who was not...uhmmm...how do I say this?...the sharpest knife in the drawer) engaged me for half an hour in a ridiculous conversation that went absolutely nowhere. This is when I thought something along the lines of:

It was getting late, and there was an event in the museum tonight for people from:

One of my coworkers asked me if I could help her upstairs for a second. I walked out of the office and the smell of:

was everywhere, and I could think of was,

"Ah! The smell of fromage in the evening!"

So, that was my day and now all I want to do is go home and:


Friday, November 11, 2005

Looney Tunes (Volume II)...

A woman walked up to the exhibit bookstore, and began to browse through the selection of Elvis books that were on sale.

I was bored and decided that I would engage the woman in conversation.

"So, are you a big Elvis fan," I inquired?

"Not really," she answered, "I loved Elvis, but I didn't love him THAT much. When he died I wasn't even all that upset. I only cried for six weeks, and almost got a divorce over it."

And with that, she turned and walked away.

Kind of makes me wonder what she is like when she really IS that upset...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A letter to my mother on a matter of politics...

Dear Mom,

I know we spoke briefly last night about this whole gay marriage issue, and the point of this email is not to try to persuade you in any way (your side has already won, after all). However, since I feel very strongly about this issue, I thought that it might be good to let you in on some of my thoughts and opinions about Proposition #2. At least, you can go to sleep tonight knowing – if nothing else – that I am interested in politics. We will probably never agree when it comes to topics like this, but it should be comforting to know that I try very hard to be an educated voter. I have read arguments both for and against Proposition #2, and I have researched the topic extensively.

Plus, I should get points for caring to vote, in the first place. It isn’t like I am all talk, and then “forget” to participate in the democratic process. Not voting yesterday was never an option.

Anyway, I cannot believe that Proposition #2 passed (although, I cannot say that I am necessarily surprised that it passed. I was just hoping that it somehow would not).

Did you know that every single newspaper in Texas advocated for people to vote against Proposition #2? It is so poorly written, and people were (I think) way too preoccupied with the whole “moral” issue instead of looking at the amendment from a legal standpoint (hello! Let’s not confuse church and state, people! I mean, even Jesus said, "Pay Caesar what is due to Caesar, and pay God what is due to God." Moral issues have fatally divided nations in the past. Personally, I don’t care what your religious convictions are. Shout them from the mountain top – you have that right. Just don’t make faith based laws – at least not in this country! I think that the Founding Fathers knew what they were talking about when they came up with the First Amendment. For me, as far as the state should be concerned, “marriage” is really the act of two people entering into an official contract in which they agree to take legal responsibility for each other. Anything outside of that is not the business of the state. Period.

I would have felt better about everything if they had just come out and said that Texas will not recognize any marriage that happened outside of the state borders. I mean, think about it, one of the reasons that politicians still argue over “Roe vs. Wade” today is because that whole thing was so poorly written, and yet we’ve done it again. Except now, in my opinion, we’ve just set civil rights back 50 years, and people think that all they’ve voted for is a definition of the word “marriage”. I wonder how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be wasted over the course of the next ten or twenty years in an attempt to try and figure out exactly what is meant or implied by this new amendment.

I feel that it is hypocritical to say that the state of Texas will recognize a marriage involving a man and a 14 year-old girl just because it happened in the state of Alabama (you only have to be 13, by the way, to get hitched in New Hampshire), but they will not recognize a marriage that happened legally in Massachusetts because the couple is gay. Also, in more than half of the states in the country, it is legal to marry your first-cousin (Ew. Ew. And EW). It is illegal to marry your first-cousin in Texas, but if you marry your first-cousin in a state where it is legal to do so (and then move to Texas), Texas will recognize it. Why are gay couples so different?

Furthermore, why IS it legal to marry your fourteen year old first-cousin in Alabama in the first place? Why aren’t we writing laws to prevent that?!

How about children of gay couples? What about second-parent adoption? What if only one parent works, while their partner stays home and raises the children? That parent that stays home isn’t eligible for their spouse’s medical insurance now, because the state has just ruled that – because they are gay and got married in another state – their marriage is not a “legal” marriage in the state of Texas. Therefore, the working spouse’s medical insurance company can choose to not cover the non-working spouse and/or children in an “effort” to align themselves properly with the Texas Constitution.

And what about transsexuals? If, physically, they have become a woman and they marry a man – does THAT count? How about hermaphrodites? Parents are forced to “choose” the sex of their baby on the spot if it is born with both sex organs. So, what if the parents decide to raise the child as a “boy” and that boy grows up and is attracted to men? What then? And how about couples that have been together forever, and because they are gay, they can be forced to testify against their partner in a court of law, because they are not protected by rights and privileges of a legally recognized marriage? Plus, since the language of Proposition #2 is SO broad, it also bans the creation (or state recognition) of any relationship “similar or identical to marriage”. So, now, we’ve even prohibited the civil union for gay couples, and essentially placed homosexual couples into a kind of legal limbo! Even legal documents are not a guaranteed form of protection for homosexuals, because judges in Texas are not obligated to consider legislative intent when interpreting the Texas Constitution.

Similar legislation to Proposition #2 has been passed in other states (Texas, though, is the first state to add it to their constitution), and it has had a lot of “unintended” side effects. Like, for example, in Ohio. Judges there have either thrown out or lessened the charges of heterosexual men who have physically abused their girlfriends, because they ruled that Ohio’s domestic violence law no longer applies to unmarried couples. Therefore, it is naïve to think that Proposition #2 won’t adversely affect heterosexual couples in this state as well!

What it really comes down to (at least, for me) is that there is a fundamental separation between church and state in this country. Marriage is, and has always been, a religious matter. Similarly, marriage is a private matter between two consenting adults. Since we, as Americans, enjoy both freedom of religion and a fundamental right to privacy, maybe marriage (as an institution) should cease to be a state or federal concern. I do not want anyone butting into my business and telling me who I can and cannot marry – much less the state of Texas! Civil Unions are different (in the sense that they are much more like a legal contract instead of being religiously and/or culturally based, like the institution of marriage), but with the passing of Proposition #2, even civil unions and domestic partnerships are at risk of being nullified! Why would anyone, in their right mind, allow the government to interfere in their personal lives?! Yet, Texans have just given the government the right to do so! I am not okay with this!

Proposition #2 does nothing to preserve or sanctify marriage. Nothing! It is just another way of imposing Christian values into the laws that govern this state in an effort to do…what?...discourage people from being gay? All it is really doing is overtly discriminating against tax paying citizens because of their sexual orientation. I’m sorry, but if that is not a violation of civil liberties, I don’t know what is! What’s next? Are we going to vote in an effort to make homosexuals count as only 3/5th of a person? It isn’t the same thing, but it isn’t that different either!

Okay, I’m done now. Again, the point of this email is to let you know where I am coming from on this issue. I’ve thought a lot about it, and I think that it is important that you know what I think about stuff like this. Of course, I do not foresee us ever agreeing on subjects surrounding matters of politics. But that does not mean that we cannot respect each other’s different view points. At least, rest assured that I am not just a lemming when it comes to politics. Believe me, it isn’t “cool” to be a liberal, a democrat, etc. in the state of Texas.

In the past, you have called me an “idealistic youth”. Although, I am young, I do not think of myself as an idealist. I look at things from a historic perspective. I study a situation and I research it thoroughly before I make a decision. I apply the situation to today, and I think about the Golden Rule (i.e. if I were gay). I do not like to be told what to think, what to do, what to say. I interpret things for myself, and then I decide. I do not consider myself an idealist, because I take a realistic approach to things. I guess I’d prefer to be called passionate, if I must be labeled at all. I have sworn no allegiance to any one political party, because I am not a political drone. I vote for what I believe in and what I think is right – not just what is right for me, but what is right for people unlike me, too. We are not all the same, and laws should protect us all. I believe that everyone has certain inalienable rights (i.e. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness). That means, that if Trevor makes me happy, than I should be able to love him and marry him (if I so choose). Just like if a man falls in love with another man, or a woman another woman. Why deny yourself what you love, what makes you happy? It is a personal thing, a private thing. It is not the business of the state to decide who you can marry and who you cannot marry; who makes you happy and who doesn’t.

I believe in God. I have read the Bible. I have go to church. I read, “Love thy neighbor” and I choose to take that literately. I believe that loving thy neighbor does not have any restrictions. The Bible never says love thy neighbor except if he is black, Muslim, Jewish, female, gay, rich, poor, liberal, conservative, etc. I believe that God created everyone equally. Everyone.

I also believe, understand and accept that not everyone thinks the same way that I do. No one is right or wrong. We just all think and believe in different things. That should be respected. Keep religion out of law, because the law will govern those of all religions – at least on this earth and in this country.

Less "othering" and more "accepting".



P.S. Incase you were curious, here is Proposition #2 (and, YES, I am quoting here):

Ballot Language
"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

"Enmienda constitucional que dispone que en este estado el matrimonio consiste exclusivamente en la unión de un hombre y una mujer y que desautoriza, en este estado o en alguna subdivisión política del mismo, la creación o el reconocimiento de cualquier estatus jurídico idéntico o semejante al matrimonio."

Brief Explanation
HJR 6 would provide that marriage in Texas is solely the union of a man and woman, and that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage, including such legal status relationships created outside of Texas.”

I would also like to point out here (my last point, I promise) that it would not be all that difficult to read the language of Proposition #2 and infer that Texans have somehow just passed a law that outlaws marriage itself. I know that’s not what just happened, but it wouldn’t be difficult to argue that none-the-less.

Monday, November 07, 2005

When "Rare Form" isn't so rare...

So, imagine you are me and you have to attend a large awards luncheon for work (because it is your museum's largest annual fundraiser).

And now, imagine that you have to dress-up for the function (because THAT takes effort - A LOT of effort, actually).

A single ticket to the super-swanky affair is $100 ($1000 if you were purchasing a table). Therefore, normally "optional" daily activities like shaving, bathing and deodorizing are suddenly prerequisites for attendance (along with dry-cleaned clothing, application of make-up and blow-drying of hair). After all, the event's guest list looks like something out of a who's-who-guide-to-Dallas-society. So, my only option was to play along (and look the part).

* Groan *

Anyway, since I am an employee, I got to attend the awards luncheon for free (yippee-tye-yai-a). Technically, I was working the event (employees are strategically placed throughout the room in an effort to "talk up" the museums programs and activities), but whatever.

Of course, the staff has to arrive early and stay late (set up and break down). So, I arrived at the Wyndham Anatole about 10 AM to help out with last minute preparations. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

All of the background information that I just provided serves only one function (and, NO, my intention was not to bore you to death with insignificant event particulars). In fact, my objective was to enlighten you to how uncomfortable a social situation this was for me. If you do not understand what I am talking about, please refer to JLR's (a.k.a. DT) post entitled "It's not that I don't like you, I just don't want to be around you". Pay special attention to the part about introverts.

Yes. I am an introvert. I admit it. I don't like social situations, especially social situations that involve me being...uh...social with 2100 other people. Not to mention social situations that I have to attend as an employee because, let's be honest here, in those situations I am nothing more than "the hired help" (for the case-in-point, keep reading...).

Now, I will not bore you with any more details of this event, because the REAL purpose of this post is to discuss a conversation that I had with one of the luncheon attendees. And by "luncheon attendee" I really mean "Arrogant Dallas Socialite".

Anyway, let me set the stage:

The awards luncheon was just about to start, and everything was running smoothly for the most part.

I was finishing up with a last minute task (involving a pen, paper and clipboard), when I was approached by the aforementioned "Arrogant Dallas Socialite" (or ADS, for short).

ADS: "A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: [Continued writing on clipboard.]

ADS: "Ahem...A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: [Continued writing. Vaguely remember thinking, "I wonder why this guy is 'spelling' at someone?"]

ADS: "[Swatting at my clipboard to get my attention...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Confused] Uh...what?"

ADS: "[Obviously irritated...] A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: "...[interrupting] I'm sorry, sir. I don't understand..."

ADS: "...[Angrily interrupting] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Turning red out of embarrassment and confusion] Sir, I am sorry. I don't understand. Why are you 'spelling' at me?"

ADS: "[Shouting] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "I don't understand..."

ADS: "[Violently points his finger at a stack of papers on a table to my left] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Realizing what is going on...] Oh, you think that I'm checking people in! I'm sorry, sir! I didn't realize! I'm not checking people in today, but this lady right here is...

[ADS's eyes narrow, and I can tell that he is about to lose it with me]

...I mean, I'll check you in. Now, what did you say your name was?"

ADS: "[Very slowly...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D"

ME: "Uhmmm...okay...just one second. Let me see if I can find your name..."

[My face was extremely flushed by this point. I was nowhere near crying, but my eyes water when my face turns red. Therefore, when I tried to read the check-in papers, everything was just a blur.]

ADS: "[Angrily pointing at his name on the list...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "I'm sorry, sir, but I cannot read!"

[Long pause as I realize what I just said...]

ME: "Uh...wait...I mean..."

ADS: "[...Interrupting] Never mind, I will just check-in with her, since you are apparently incapable!"

[And with that, ADS stormed off...]

Later on, at the end of the awards luncheon, the museum staff was asked to stand up and be recognized. Here I am, the Director of Education, and there is someone out there who thinks that I am illiterate.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Because JCOL asked (and I was curious)...

I am Schroeder!
("Frequent bouts of neurosis" is a good thing, right?!)

Which Peanuts Character are You?
(C'mon! Give in! You know that you want to know!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Loony Tunes (Volume 1)...

PRELUDE (or INTRODUCTION, if you prefer):

I've been working on this post for about a month now. It was my intention to have it finished last week, but - alas - that has not happened.

Anyway, during the State Fair (which, by the way, FINALLY ended 10 days ago) I met a lot of...how do I put this..."interesting" people. I took note of the exceptionally "interesting" with the intention (yes, intention. I've had a multitude of "intentions" as of late) of posting about them here.

Originally, I wanted to talk about all of my experiences with the exceptionally "interesting" in one post, but that is proving to be difficult (not to mention long). So, instead, I've decided to break them up a bit. Future installments to follow in the days and weeks to come (yes, I have that much of material).

Therefore, without further ado -

LOONY TUNES (Volume 1):

I work at a museum with a small staff. During the State Fair, the staff (armed with about fifty volunteers) manage the exponential increase in museum visitation, and we all take turns doing our "normal" jobs as well as our extra "fair" duties. This means, for the past several weeks, I have been splitting my time between my desk and the museum bookstore.

And, no, sales really is not my thing.

Typically, for the Fair, the museum puts on some sort of special exhibit, and this year was no different. This year's display dealt with the history of Rock 'n' Roll, and focused on the lives and music of several infamous musicians (i.e. Elvis Prestley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc.).

Oh, and I should mention that ALL "The Crazies" came out during the State Fair. No joke.

AND they ALWAYS seemed to appear during my bookstore shifts (because I'm blessed that way).

Now, that you have some background, let's discuss:

INCIDENT #1 (Sunday, October 2nd):

A man walks up to me and wants to know where he can buy a yellow submarine.

"A yellow submarine," I inquire?

"Yes. A yellow submarine."

"Like the CD?"

"No, an actual yellow submarine."

"You mean from the Beatles?"

"Yes. I want to buy their submarine."

"Uhmmm...okay. Well, we have replicas over here. Would you like to see one?"

"No! I want to buy the REAL thing. Not some replica. I cannot play 'Yellow Submarine' in a replica. Jeez!"

"Uh, right. Well, sir, we only seem to have the replicas. I don't suppose you could make a miniature of yourself, so that you could play 'Yellow Submarine' in the replica, huh?"

"No, I have to be inside the submarine to play 'Yellow Submarine'. How do you expect me to play 'Yellow Submarine' without a real submarine?!"

"Right. Obviously, my mistake. Unfortunately, we are all out of life-size yellow submarines today."

"Darn! I was really hoping to take one home today."

"I know. I'm sorry. Can I interest you in a book or a CD?"

"Uhmmm...maybe. Let me see what you have here."

[Long pause as he browses around our museum bookstore.]

"Ah! I see you have Elvis CDs," he said!

"Yes, sir. Would you like one?"

"Yes, I most certainly would. In fact, I will take all three."

"Okay, great! Just give me a second and I'll get you all rung up."


[Long pause as I begin to ring up the customer.]

"Okay, sir. Will that be cash, check or credit?"

"Uhmmm...I dunno. Whatever works best for you," he replied.

"Well, sir, why don't you just hand me one or the other and I'll proceed from there?"

"I think I need to go and find my wife first. You know, so I can get permission."

"Uh, okay. I'll just put these on hold for you. Just come back when you are ready to check out."

"I cannot have them now?"

"No, sir. You have to pay first. Why don't you go and find your wife?"

"Uhmmm...okay. He isn't leaving anytime soon, is he?"

"He? Who are you talking about?"



"Yes, Elvis."

"You mean, the impersonator?"

"No. I mean, Elvis. I want him to sign my CDs."

"Well, the impersonator will be here next weekend, and Sonny, Elvis's bodyguard, is in that room over there. He'll be here until 6 or 7..."

"...[Interrupting] No. I don't want Elvis's bodyguard's autograph. I want Elvis's autograph. And not an impersonator's signature, either. I want the REAL thing."

"Uh, sir. The real Elvis cannot be here today."

"Why not?"

"Just because."

"Because why?"

"Sir...do you really not know?"

"Know what? What are you trying to say, here? It's not like Elvis is dead or anything!"

"Well, actually..."

"...[Interrupting] NO! Elvis is NOT dead! I know this for a fact."

"Uh...yes, sir. Whatever you say."

"No! I don't think you believe me. Elvis is most certainly NOT dead."

"Sure. He's alive and well..."

"No, I can tell. You think he is dead. Well, let me tell you something, Miss-Smarty-Pants! I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, and HE said that Elvis was engaged to be married to Marilyn Monroe later on this fall. Hear that! Rush Limbaugh! He is on the RADIO! I think he knows a little more about these things then you. He's on the RADIO and you work in a BOOKSTORE! A BOOKSTORE AT THE STATE FAIR!"

"Uh-huh. Whatever you say, sir."

"I don't think you are hearing me. Rush Limbaugh!"

"Yes, sir. You already said that. If you want, why don't you go and take it up with Sonny in the next room? He used to be Elvis's bodyguard. I'm sure he would know more about this than me."

"Well, I might just do that!"

And with that, he stormed off into the next room to confront Sonny.

It is important to mention that this whole thing caused quite a stir ("The Elvis Psycho" was yelling, after all). He was very serious (at first, I thought he was kidding. Boy, was I wrong), and was getting quite angry about the whole "Elvis: Dead or Alive" issue. One of the volunteers was so concerned about my safety that he went and notified the security guards of the problem.

However, the story does not end here (No, I am not THAT lucky).

Anyway, I almost felt bad about pawning the "Elvis Psycho" off on poor 'ole Sonny. But, Sonny IS a bodyguard, so I felt like he could...uh..."handle" (defend?) himself better than I could. How could I have known that he'd talk to Sonny for almost an hour?!

So, again, I ALMOST felt bad for Sonny. Well, that is until Sonny told the "Elvis Psycho" to go away and sent him BACK over to me.


So, here we go again:

"Did you talk to Sonny," I ask?


"What did he say?"

"He said that Elvis is dead. That is why there are no current pictures of him anywhere."

"Oh. Well, I am sorry that you had to find out such bad news here."

" I know. [Audible *sigh*] Sonny said that if Elvis was still alive, he'd have come out of hiding when Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson."

"Probably. That's an interesting take on it anyway."

"Yeah, I guess. I just really wanted Elvis to sign my CDs. I thought that would be really special."

"I'm really sorry, sir."

At this point, another customer came up and bought several books. Since I was the only one working the bookstore, I had to leave the "Elvis Psycho" unattended while I handled the sale. While I did this, the "Elvis Pyscho" browsed around the bookstore looking at the various items available for purchase.

About ten minutes or so went by, and - to be perfectly honest - I had almost forgotten about the "Elvis Psycho" because he was so quietly reading a book at the far end of the table. However, this did not last long (again...just my luck).

All of a sudden, he was back in my face waving a large, hardback book and shouting:

"This is NOT what it looks like, this is NOT what it looks like!!"

"Sir, please calm down. This is not what 'what' looks like?"

"The ferris wheel!"

"Uhmmm...let me see."

He handed me a copy of Carolyn Brown's, Where Dreams Come True. In the book, there is a picture of the Texas Star. The photograph was taken at dusk and, therefore, (most likely) taken with a relatively low f/stop and long shutter speed. Taking the picture in this way produced the effect that the ferris wheel was somehow rapidly spinning, when it was actually going no faster than normal. To see what I am talking about, click here.

"Sir," I reply, "that is the ferris wheel. I see nothing wrong with it."

"It doesn't MOVE that fast! It is SLOW. I know this for a fact! I rode it this morning and it was boring and slow!"

"Uh...this is just a wild guess here, but I think that this is just an old photography trick. The effect is that the ferris wheel LOOKS like it is moving really fast, but it really isn't."

"Well, how do you do this?"

"It depends on how much light you let into the camera during each shot..."

"...[Interrupting] But I SAW IT. IT DOESN'T MOVE THAT FAST."

"Yes, sir. I understand that. I'm trying to explain..."

"...[Interrupting] Can you imagine if you were riding the ferris wheel while it was going that fast? You'd get sick."

"Yes, sir. You are probably right. You'd probably get really sick."

"How sick?"

"I dunno. Really, really sick."

"That sick, huh?"



"I dunno. All the fried food, I guess."

"Oh, good point."

"The Elvis Psycho" hung around for a little while longer until his wife FINALLY showed up at the bookstore to "collect" her spouse.

The worst part of the whole thing is that she wouldn't even let him buy something after all of that! She just looked at him like he was crazy (which I think he was), and told him that they needed to go. She PHYSICALLY had to lead him out of the building.

So, that was fun...