Wackiness timeline

7 07 2007

So today was pretty wacky, man. Let’s go over the timeline here:

08:30 — awaken from slumber in the morning. As in por la manyana. Something ain’t right about this. Proceed to dink around on the Internet and read Canadian advice columns. That they are Canadian is merely coincidental, but it does hold my attention a bit longer.

09:30 — discover fairly large and apparently dead frog on steps to apartment. This is not a typical thing to see. I’m not sure if it was a pet or something that lives in one of the trees or what. We do have a lot of cats roaming around and they might have found some prey. It was a pretty sad sight, actually. As I’m looking at it, a maintenance man drives by and says, “It’s dead. We just found it there. It looks like a frog.” I can see that everyone else who walks by it is stopping to examine the body. I wasn’t sure whether I should call the frog police or what. I just left it there. It’s gone now.

12:30 — finally start doing laundry. Proceed to drop various items of clothing at inopportune times.

5:30 — finish laundry. Attempt to head downtown to complete errands. This proves futile.

17:00 — Mud pie at Dairy Queen and then a smoothie from Orange Julius. Odd conversation with the Julius guy, who announces to me and two other guys near me, “It’s getting hot in here! So buy a smoothie!” And I’m like, huh? And he’s like, “You know Nelly, who sings ‘It’s getting hot in here?’ You know that song? He wasn’t singing about girls, he was singing about smoothies!” And then he proceeds to sing the song. Meanwhile, there is a convention for the blind going on, and there are blind people EVERYWHERE. I almost trip over their guide polls, they almost trip over each other and the guide dogs make new friends. Look, I don’t want to make light of blind people and disability, but it was getting a little chaotic in there. So then I see this guy walk straight into a bench, which shifts position like two feet, and then he grabs his knee in pain. I thought it was a blind guy at first, but he was actually sighted, and I started to chuckle, but I quickly switched to an uber-fake cough. And he’s like, “You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?” And I’m like, “No, I’m not *giggle* I’m not laughing you *giggle*” And then I tried to pretend like I wasn’t laughing some more and finally I looked away and pretended to be laughing at something else, like the, uh, blind people over there… umm…. never mind.

18:30 — attempt to head down Ponce de Leon to a museum exhibit. Fail miserably and end up visiting some nice parks and bike paths and thinking to myself, “That would be a great place to stash a body.” Hitch a bus eastward to Avondale station (in/near Decatur, an eastern suburb) and ride the train westbound back into Atlanta proper.

21:00 — I am on a train and I see a clown. He is scary because he is only half of a clown really. He evokes the “uncanny valley” effect by being mostly human, but also being slightly “off.” (FYI for those who are not familiar: The uncanny valley is a theory that objects have certain thresholds for humanness in which they are more and less positively perceived. The chart shows neutral or even more positive reception when dealing with healthy humans and robots like R2-D2 that are obviously not human, but have positive human traits. Most negatively perceived are corpses and other things that are kind of human, but not quite. This “valley” of perception ratings is the “uncanny valley” if you draw it out as a line chart. Well sort of. You get the idea. Those faceless people in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and the zombies from “Silent Hill” video games come to mind…) So this clown has a greasy ponytail, smeared pink (grease?) makeup all over his face (it’s hard to take off such makeup without a concerted effort not to smear it into a mess, as I recall from my limited experience as a mime), white/red striped overalls and a plain T-shirt. He looks like a normal human dressed up in messed-up clown’s clothes. People were visibly creeped out on the train.

Sometime later in the evening: I’m on the train and a father is teasing his kids by making them guess what MARTA stands for. Winner gets a dollar. I want to yell out METROPOLITAN ATLANTA REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY, but alas, he warns the kids not to ask me or they’ll be disqualified. I start to laugh mainly out of tension and frustration. The kids were really struggling. “Main area!” “Is this Spanish?” “Main Atlanta!” And so on, so forth. They’re going to be in the funny farm by the end of the weeklong trip. They’re too young to figure this out without asking someone. My guess is they’ll find a way to ask somebody. They were trying the newspaper, which is a good start, what with MARTA being in the news for accidentally marking July as having 30 days instead of 31 (for monthly passes) — of course, it should be noted that cards will work for the 31st day anyway. But the bottom line is, even I almost was going insane, and I knew the answer. Maybe it’s because I knew the answer. One of the kids was like, “I’m going to go nuts if I don’t get the answer!” And then, while he was walking out of the train, the dad whispered to me, “I think my dollar is safe!”




4 responses

7 07 2007
Matt Adams

Look, I don’t want to make light of blind people…

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh…I get it. ^_^

If you keep traveling west once you hit Avondale, you’ll reach Goodyear in no time flat.

8 07 2007

Wow, I didn’t even think about that. You’re quite bright.

Oddly enough, there’s a city called “Scottdale” in that general area, although it doesn’t quite compare to Scottsdale in relative geographical terms.

8 07 2007

Sounds like you had an interesting day.

8 07 2007
Matt Adams

What’s with all of these “dales,” anyway? It’s like I should expect to roll into town and there’s a big tourney going on. Here I am, just trying to get somewhere, and then this big dude in black plate mail comes up and calls me a fizzle!

Sheesh! I’ll need levels of paladin both to visit Atlanta and to return home!

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