Monday, August 13, 2007

Not so long ago, at an intersection not so far away ...

For a brief few moments tonight ... I believed.

Debbie and I had been out all day and after we got home from the mall, a funeral home, a gas station, and a restaurant ... she asked me to go to the store. (Selah) There really is no point in debating whether or not to go because sleeping in "The Big Bed" is high on my list of priorities. The evening had cooled a bit and I opted for Ron-duh the Hon-duh instead of a car. I slapped the helmet on my head and roared off to Walgreens. After procuring the requested item I re-mounted Ron-duh, pulled out of the parking lot and stopped at the traffic light on the busy corner. The light was red and it just seemed like the right thing to do. There were not many cars out and I had the intersection to myself for a few moments.

Then I felt it. The hair on the back of my neck would have stood up if I had any. All I can say for sure is that I KNEW it was there. Above me. It is a clear but moonless night. I raised the clear face shield of my helmet and slowly looked up.

It was indeed there.

Do you remember the opening scene of the original Star Wars movie? I think it was the Millennium Falcon that was flying slowly over or under you as you sat in awe struck wonder. The sheer size of the massive space ship was an incredible start to the entire Star Wars series.

And that is pretty much what I saw. Hovering over me ... moving slowly from the northwest to the southeast was a ginormous gray ... something. It was not moving fast enough to be an airplane. No typical airplane could stay airborn at such a slow speed. In addition there were flashing lights, one on its left and one on its right. They flashed in sequence. I am telling you, the thing covered the entire sky. At least that is how it appeared from my perch on Ron-duhs leather seat.

I do not scare easily. I've been in nasty slums face to face with bad men who out numbered me. They threatened me with a tomahawk in my "little white forehead." No, I'm not kidding. Atlanta, late 1980's. I worked on the streets of the south side of Chicago during hot summers and frigid winters in my college days. But this ... this caused my mouth to drop open and my brain to shift into high gear.

Speaking of shifting, that is exactly what I did with Ron-duh. I kicked it into all 5 gears within 2 blocks until I was able to pull into the parking lot of Ace Hardware where I killed the engine, tore off my helmet and looked up to see ... the Met-Life blimp.

Drat. I had my camera with me and was SURE that the last shot of my life was going to be the one to get me on the cover of National Geographic and maybe even Scientific Quarterly. I had, after all, hard proof of intelligent life beyond planet earth. And in the end it was really the least intelligent life ON planet earth ... an insurance company.

Sometimes life does not produce what it promises. Sometimes it sets you up only to smack you down. Tonight I got smacked down. I did get my pictures. The first one turned out ... funky. I tried to take the picture of the IFO (Identified Flying Object) at 40mph by just pointing and clicking without even glancing at the viewfinder. Hey, it wasn't a picture worth dying for. I'm not sure how the weird lights came out like they did. I think I caught the reflection of the blimp off of a chain link fence around the adjoining airport. But the other picture was one I stopped and clicked-off with a little more planning.

Ok, it is not the Millennium Falcon. It isn't even a Cessna. But for one brief moment in time .... I sang "So Long and Thanks For All The Fish" and meant it. (If you have not watched "A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" you won't get that so don't bother....)


Zookeeper said...

That's a good story. A blimp is almost as cool as the Millennium Falcon, but not quite. OK, it’s not even in the same ballpark. By the way, the ship in the opening sequence of Star Wars was an Imperial Star Destroyer, and you don’t get much bigger or scarier than that. I know...I'm a bit of a Star Wars nerd.

Daniel said...

I was going to correct you on the Star Wars reference but I see that zookeeper already did. But since I really enjoy beating a dead horse, it was an Imperial Star Destroyer. If you had actually seen the movie you would have realized that the Millenium Falcon didn't show up until the middle of the movie!