Monday, August 19, 2019

"What Did You Do On Youe Trip?"

A sensitive question when you essentially did nothing.  Although “doing nothing” was our purported intention, it sounds uncomfortably lazy when you say it out loud.

“What did you do?”



I shall, however, reveal an alternate perspective next time.

“Didn’t you promise that last time?”

This time I mean it.

“So you lied to us last time?”

Retroactively, yes.  But not when I said it.

“So the ‘truth’ you told last time evolved into a lie you told then this time?”

May we move on?

“Please.  Because that idea made my brain bleed, ‘brain bleed’ being difficult to say. Especially with a hemorrhaging brain.”

Gratefully exiting this sanguinous intrusion…

Prior to our departure, I was informed that if you are 75 and over, you do not have to remove shoes at the airport.  (Till they recruit geriatric terrorists, and then you will.) 

I am currently pushing seventy-four-and-a half.  The question is:  “Do I take off my shoes?  Or do I deceitfully lie my age up?   And, if I opt for the latter, how does a 74 year-old man behave persuasively 75?

Being the congenital “Good Boy”, I dutifully took off my shoes.  And my hat, and my belt, and my windbreaker.

I can’t wait till next year!

Anyway, a lot of the… wait.  First, this. 

As previously mentioned, though we go to Michiana to relax, there is this driving “outside world” impulse – by which I do not mean Mars, I mean beyond Michiana – inexorably forcing us to “do things.”  While retaining our desired mandate to do nothing. 

We do plenty of nothing. 

Just not all the time.

On some visits, it’s easy.  Our chosen vacation spot has, on various occasions, been the exciting venue for a thrilling “Tall Ships” visit (the local paper printed a picture of me chatting with the captain on the top deck), a substantial civil war reenactment (where a bearded man in a “Union” uniform proclaimed “I am Benjamin Harrison!”), a simulated encampment of French courreurs du bois (fur-trading “runners of the woods”), a scheduled book signing by a local mystery writer using the nearby Indiana Dunes as the designated “crime scene”, and an outdoor concert featuring “The Platters”, or whoever replaced the “Platters” who died.  (Which, I believe, is now all of them.)

Over the years, we enjoyed some remarkable events, leaving time to do oodles of nothing.  Although on some trips the available activities subsided and the “oodles of nothing” increased.

This time, though stuff around there was happening, our visiting timing was strategically “off.”

The final performance of the Dunes Summer Theatre’s production of South Pacific occurred the night before our arrival.  The one-man “Mark Twain – In Person” show would appear four days after we left.  And, perhaps saddest of all, as reported in the Michigan City News-Dispatch:

“Michiana Clowns Celebrate International Clown Week.”

Unfortunately, that was the following week.

Can you believe it?

I missed the damn clowns!

Summing up:

“What did you do on your trip?”

“We almost saw South Pacific, ‘Mark Twain – In Person’ (likely a facsimile), and a madcap bevy of celebrating clowns.”

“So you did nothing?”

“We saw a country singer who opened for Clint Black, and another singer who opened for him.”

“And that’s it?”

(DEFENSIVELY) “No.  We went to the Outlet Mall… but we didn’t buy much.  And we visited the Michigan City Zoo… but most of the animals were asleep.”

It is an interesting phenomenon.  You go to a place to relax and feel embarrassed because all you did was relax.  Making it virtually impossible to come clean.

“We didn’t do anything.”

“Wasn’t that the plan?”

“Yeah, but still.”

You just can’t say that.  By prevailing standards, our slothful behavior appears crazy.  We flew two thousand miles for a pair of reduced-price khakis and a dozing giraffe?

Our minds are conditioned to believe that being alive requires constantly doing things.  Flowing organically into tomorrow’s post, whose challenging premise is:

Maybe it doesn’t.

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