Saturday, March 10, 2012

Grub On A Wire

It’s funny how things sometimes just drop in your lap.  I’d been trying to figure out how to write about our recent trip to see friends in Yuma, Arizona without being responsible for bruised foreheads or electrical shock due to heads and drool meeting keyboards and then yesterday I saw this. You may wonder how words on a watch list have anything at all to do with a mid-winter break from snow and cold.  What would a watch list have to do with drinking pina coladas, beer and wine on a patio with friends?  How would a watch list be remotely related to the freeing of our piggies from wool socks?  And how could baking out the rest of the virus I’d been sick with be connected in any way to a watch list?  Here’s the thing.  If you’re drinking pina coladas and wine and beer, soaking up the heat, watching that one cloud in the sky, you need to get some exercise so you can drink more pina coladas and wine and beer.

So we did a lot of hiking.

And every day as we drove out of town to go hiking we saw a white maggot-shaped object floating high in the sky.  It was as spooky as a word watch list.

We didn’t know what it was but it was always there.  Every day.  It sometimes faced a different direction but it never moved.  We couldn’t figure out why it didn’t float away until one day we noticed it was tethered to a long string.  Every day when we drove to a new place to explore we tried to figure out what it was doing up there. 

We joked that it was spying on us and even though I didn’t truly believe that, it made me uneasy to see it up there.  But not quite as uneasy as a word watch list.

It’s not like we didn’t have astounding intuitive abilities and superb deductive reasoning when it came to other mysteries.  We’d already determined exactly why there was a wide “street” out in the petroglyph area we’d gone to explore.

It was obviously a boulevard for a wedding processional.   

Back “in the day” the king and his nubile bride-to-be would march up the boulevard, crawl regally across the rocks until they reached the top of the sacred monument where the king would 

scoop a handful of “nectar” (made from mashed creosote bushes with a drop of snake urine) from the cups carved into the stone and offer it to his bride as the masses watched and cheered from below.  

Then they all gathered at the pavement for post-ceremony reception. Either that, or the monument was an altar and the cups were for collecting the blood of the sacrificial virgin who was offered to appease the gods.  Either way, it sounded plausible to all of u … me.

Besides the maggot there were a few other mysteries we couldn’t solve.  Like ―

How can a cactus grow out of a rock? 

Why would palm trees choose to grow here?!

If you were a killer bee, wouldn’t you choose  to make your hive somewhere closer to flowers?

What the heck are these?  Halloween alien bugs? 

Does Buford know this is not what Betty had in mind when he told her to pack up the kids because they were moving somewhere warm?

And finally ―

How many conglomerates will a conglomerate collector collect when a conglomerate collector collects conglomerates?

We did finally figure out what that maggot was through questions and Googling.  It IS spying.  And that’s spooky enough, but learning that tweets and facebook comments and all that social media stuff we all use so blithely is being monitored kind of sends a chill up my back.  Especially now that I look back and realize that I’ve used several of those words in this post. 

But I’m not going to worry about it.  Today it is too beautiful for worry.  As I write this I’m sitting by an open window, glancing up now and then to look at clear blue skies, bright sun, and … what's that … ?



Art Elser said...

Yes, Virginia, there is an NSA, and it is watching you, to see if you've been naughty or nice. Really scary isn't it? I suppose that white thing was some kind of surveillance balloon looking for immigrants headed north to pick the fruit on the farms in western Colorado that Americans are too soft and lazy to pick. But it does make me all warm and fuzzy to know that those checks I've just sent off to the feds is being put to good use by professional idiots looking for those words on the "list."

And who says that 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were just fantasy novels or silly scifi.

Can I answer the conglomerate quiz and have a chance at the grand prize, a visit from Homeland Security? A conglomerate collector will collect as many conglomerates as he can until his tongue gives out.

Hmmm!! Maybe if I use words from the "list" in my poems, I'll have many more readers? Perhaps I could even have a reading some day for CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and the FBI.

Your post is funny and scary, Carlin ... er ... Cathy.

Shrinky said...

Yikes, proof positive I was right all along - I KNEW my tin-foil hat was protecting me from alien abduction/being spied on by white maggoty thingies from up high in the sky/those annoying invading voices that sound like a little bit like George Bush with laryngitus, only in a slightly higher key - ha, so who's laughing now then, huh, huh?

You do realise those Halloween bugs were taping everything you said, up there? I know everything, George Bush is still squeaking it to me, as I type..

Susan said...

Lovely photos! I felt warmer just looking at them.

As for the watch list, I get the feeling I should be concerned but I'm kind of an open book sort of gal so I'm having trouble mustering up any real objection. In fact, we happened to be outside the day the Google Earth car came by taking pictures for those street views... we all waved and smiled.