Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A sordid tale of lacerations, Hungarian hip-hop performers and an icy petting zoo

--by Mike Adams

GBE2 - #40 Posting Topic: "Jane's Story" This idea caught my imagination and I had fun writing this...I hope you enjoy it!

Before I delve too deeply into the details of this story, I think it best to ensure that we are all on the same page. Though this is probably pointless, because if you are one of the two or three people who read my blog, you are obviously on this page, so perhaps I’ll proceed to the next order of business, namely, providing a short explanation of Hungarian hip-hop artistry as it has been revealed to me during my life’s most recent ...and dare I say confusing travail.

First, I’d like to assure you that I am no eccentric nincompoop, whose idea of being uber-cool entails being a fan of obscure, and probably sub-par, artistry. Rather my exposure to an Eastern-Block interpretation of African American entertainment, was entirely coincidental to my attending the grand opening of an “Arctic Petting Zoo” in down town Phoenix last week.

I’m sure you are thinking, “What was that lunatic doing in Phoenix, when he lives in New Mexico, and did he really drive that hapless excuse for a car to phoenix in order to witness the grand opening of an arctic refuge in a completely in appropriate biome?” Unfortunately, the answer here is yes...I am the dork, who traveled hundreds of miles in a rattling and squealing heap of petrol powered steel in order to witness the thoroughly out-of-context commencement of a wild-life habitat, which serves the dual purpose youthful entertainment center.

It was here that my auditory senses were overcome with the sounds of hip-hop, but not really done quite right. Apparently, the event organizer had acquired a number of arctic animals who are naturally denizens of frozen fields in far flung places, whose names, though unpronounceable, mostly end with the four letters “stan”. For purposes of this fable, we’ll lump them all together under the affectionate term, “refrigerate-a-stan”.

I assume the organizer had gone in search of eastern music, In an effort to either make the animals feel more at home or to be culturally sensitive in spite of the forced relocation that had been perpetrated. As it turns out, the only response to her query came from a Hungarian hip-hop band, so without giving it much thought, she hired the band, and with that, the wheels of fate commenced to turn towards the culmination of unfortunate events that would unfold on this day in this icy oasis, nestled amidst humid golf courses and soaring temperatures in the western city of Phoenix.

As I walked slack jawed towards the Hungarian funk masters, my dumbfounded gaze was momentarily shaken by another bewildered arctic pilgrim. As our eyes met, we shared a moment of telepathic understanding. One of those spaces where you intimately share an experience with a complete stranger and when the moment passed, she smiled and said, “this is amazing!” To which I replied, “I know! I never could have imagined that I might have the opportunity to enjoy DJ Funkgarian, while petting a Siberian Hamster.”

My new acquaintance, Jane, had also traveled to Phoenix for this grand opening, and it turns out her husband, like my wife, wanted nothing to do with visiting a sub-zero winter wonderland in the middle of a blistering desert. Unimpeded by the disapproving and emotionally more mature gaze of our spouses, Jane and I began to explore the possibilities of our surroundings. She mentioned seeing a sporting goods store at the mall right next door and in a moment of shared genius, we simultaneously exclaimed, “Ice Skates!” Goaded by the pulsing beat and hypnotic expression of the Funkgarian experience, we hastened to Big 5 in hopes of finding a pair of size 7 and size 13 ice skates. After searching through Big 5 for less than three minutes, Jane triumphantly,hollered, “Frank...or John...I mean Mike, MIKE! Get over here now!” I sailed on wings of misguided glee to the side of my co-conspirator and gazed with hallowed awe at two pair of clearance priced hockey skates in exactly our sizes. The price barely broke thirty dollars, even after tax. so off we went to join the penguins in sliding through Phoenix’s new winter haven to the throbbing beat of Funkgarian the Hungarian.

As we hastened towards the arctic petting zoo, I suddenly exclaimed “STOP!” “We cant just go traipsing in there with ice-skates, there is no way this is allowed...we HAVE to be stealthy Jane!” She acquired a look of purpose and said, “They’ll never know we’re commin’ man...you’ll be Mike the unseen and I’ll be double-O Jane. Before anyone has caught wise, we’ll have completed a minimum of three laps.” I affected my own purposeful expression and said, “follow me, I’ve got this covered.” Following a few preparations, we proceeded into the arctic petting zoo, easily evading detection, as we employed all the guile that a snow leopard might use, while stalking a skittish rabbit. Within minutes, we both were inside and ready to skate.

At this point, Jane looked at me and I saw for the first time a glimpse of terror in her eyes, as she confided that she hasn’t been ice skating since she was nine years old and she really didn’t want to be arrested. With the jovial and inflated assurance that one normally conjures only as a teenager, I smiled and assured my new criminal accomplice that all would be well, that we were impervious to legal consequences and that we should start skating before we’re spotted. Jane’s smile was immediate and it buttressed my confidence, so like the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, we took off into the winter museum on blades of hope, spurred by our vision of greatness, hoping to avoid disaster if only by a razor’s edge.

Within minutes, I heard the terrible sound of a billowing voice yelling, “Hey, you can’t ice skate in here...what are you doing, get over here right now.” But Jane and I were prepared, we broke for the exit, our plan...to place rubber covers on our skate blades and dash through the parking lot, to where we had left my grizzled clunker unlocked and running in preparation for our grand escape. At the exit, I attached my rubber blade covers with uncommon agility, but Jane was unfortunately shaken and she was having a great deal of difficulty preparing for our exodus, so as the guards bore down on us, I quickly affixed her blade guards and in a panicky voice said, “we better skedaddle, lest we cool our heels in the can tonight.” With that, we darted into the parking lot, guided by the singular focus of escape, driven by the overwhelming desire to remain free and it was then that I heard Jane’s voice, she was screaming in agony. I turned to see her clutch her face, and contort in pain, but she glared at me and said, “I’m not getting arrested...run faster, DON’T STOP!” We jumped into my car and sped from the scene of our crime with the same alacrity that Michael Weston might use in escaping disaster.

It was then, that I noticed the blood running down Jane’s face. Noting the look of concern in my expression, she explained that in fleeing the zoo, she misjudged her proximity to a Russian Olive tree. One of it’s protruding spears had, unfortunately, latched on to her left cheek and tried to tear it from her face. Fortunately, it had failed and twenty seven stitches later, with a great story to explain her scar, Jane slammed down a Dos XX and siad, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do...it’s after a close shave with the law and a closer shave from a Russian Olive Tree...thanks for the adventure Amigo!”