September 22, 2009

What do people think about when they sit in a bank all day?...

Who’s in charge of those penny squashing machines you see at amusement parks and museums and aquariums? Those are the kinds of places and memories we deem important enough to imprint on official US coinage, but what if I want to remember other things? I think we should have some coin squashers at the supermarket so I can forever remember in alloy goodness, the day I saved $4 by buying 12 boxes of cereal. The machine would have to have picture options, like the standard squashers. Let’s see… you could choose from a picture of someone putting their hands all over every item in the produce department just in case you were thinking you might skip washing off your apples, a picture of a guy awkwardly picking out tampons for his wife, or a picture of a grocery cart headed for your parked car. I’m sure I’m not alone in my acquired cherished memories of the grocery store. It is a magical land with sweet smelling foods and more sugar than any being could ever ingest alone.

And how about the DMV? When you finally reach the front of the line – or even better – when you are done and leaving don’t you want something to commemorate the occasion? And of course there should be some set up at the bank. At the bank you could have all kinds of different sizes for different coins – the dime, the penny, the nickel, the quarter, the dollar coin, and the behemoth 50 cent piece, and for people who hate coins, have no respect for President Eisenhower what-so-ever and want the biggest piece of squashed metal they can find, the Eisenhower dollar. I wonder how big that would be when squished. You could have squashed coins the size of your head. The possibilities are really endless. I’m not sure why the machine owners don’t branch out a little – I mean who needs one more squashed penny from SeaWorld with a dolphin on it?

September 06, 2009

Darkness and mayhem... in a good way

How old are most people when they first see a shooting star? Is that one of those memories that is like the first time you taste ice-cream or the first time you wipe something gross on someone else? For me, I went my whole life, up till this part of it, until I finally saw this spectacle of brilliance. This might be due to my frequent sleeping indoors growing up. I blame my parents for this; how often was I allowed to sleep in the back yard in a sleeping bag? It just didn’t happen. Of course, now that I think of it, our backyard was never anything but hard-packed dirt at best and stickers that never seemed to come out of your socks if you tried to find vegetation to sleep on. And putting little kids outside at night in convenient carrying bags probably wouldn’t be a good idea in my neighborhood of weirdoes and creepy guys with mustaches. I suppose I should thank my parents for not allowing me to become an abducted child with the constant need for visits to the chiropractor.

So back to shooting stars…
The nothingness of the western Utah desert is very similar to the Mohave – it’s dirty, and it’s dark at night. It also happens to be the best place for a meteor shower. I drove out with a group of friends late at night prepared with an inflatable mattress, the car connecting inflator, and some blankets in a Pathfinder with a good solid roof. I don’t know if you have ever climbed up on top of a SUV and onto and inflatable mattress (not notorious for their stability), but it is quite death defying. It is also quite comfortable once you are all settled and staring into the sky. So there I lay peacefully gazing at the sky and waiting, while listening to the cry of coyotes in the distance. It gave me a bizarre longing for my desert home, which is not a normal response for me. One friend did not seem to share my sweet nostalgic moment as she seems to be quite afraid of coyotes. I found this very funny, even though I realize they are wild scavengers who can eat your face off. I mean, have you seen the roadrunner cartoons? Those guys are idiots; the roadrunner doesn’t even swerve very much and there’s never any hope for that Wile E Coyote. Although I’ve always wanted a catalog for the ACME Company. Plus, of all the times I’ve heard coyotes howling in the desert they’ve never been so bold or desperate as to get very close to live people. I suppose all the dead bodies laying around out in the desert are so much more accessible.

Did I mention meteor showers are SWEET! I can’t believe I waited so long.