Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Grab Bag Train-of-Thought Whiplash

My office building is one of multiple connected towers, and when the weather is unpleasant, I often enter at the ground floor of the northmost building and walk through the concourse to get to my elevator lobby. This involves traversing a fairly large food court, which has four televisions mounted on the walls connected to satellite feeds. For as long as I've been cutting through that food court, the tv's have always been tuned to the same channels: two of them to ESPN, and two of them to CNN. Which makes a certain amount of sense. This week, though, the two tv's formerly broadcasting CNN had been changed to Animal Planet. Of all things. Yeah, I don't even know where to go with that one.


But then by Thursday or so the tv's were back to CNN. Just in time for me to see the following banner across the bottom of the screen: SINGING FISH THRWARTS BURGLARY. The story was apparently about a home invader setting off the motion detector of a Big Mouth Billy Bass and getting spooked by the sound and bailing on the attempted skullduggery. I know what you're thinking (Who still has a Big Mouth Billy Bass hanging on the wall with working batteries no less???) but what I was thinking was more along the lines of ... "THRWARTS"? Seriously, CNN? "THRWARTS"?! I know "thwarts" is an uncommon (and sadly underused) word, but you're telling me the text editor you use for composing on-screen graphics doesn't have a spellchecker?


Of course I was saying that word in my head as "Thor-warts" which could bring to mind one of the awesomer comic book storylines in my lifetime, but also suggests some kind of YA series where Norse mythology is crossed with Harry Potter and little Asgardians go off to boarding school to learn how to be big Asgardians, or something. If something along those lines isn't actually in development right now, I'll eat my spangenhelm.


And speaking of unexpected fantasy mash-ups: Ice-T Records Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook. (Hilariously NSFW language in the article, just fyi.) In the years since I waxed contrarian about certain entertainment-delivery technologies I have softened my stance considerably on e-books, but audiobooks remain a medium in which I have little to no interest. But oh man, if ever there was a perfect peanut-butter-cup combo of voice and subject matter that would cause my resolve to crack and lure me into downloading something, ICE-T and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is pretty much it.


Finally, just a random little "kids say the darnedest" which is perhaps tangentially connected to the idea of adventurers fighting monsters in subterranean recesses: yesterday I drove to work instead of taking the train (my illness on Thursday netted me a ride home in my wife's car, since she very conveniently was at a conference nearby that day, and thus my car stayed at the train station overnight as I recuperated, and the following morning we tag-teamed getting the kids ready and putting the little guy on the school bus, and then she drove me across town to get my car, which was after the trains had stopped running for the morning. Hence.) and before I left the house, the little guy had a few questions for me about how I was able to drive to work. He asked if there was a parking lot at my office, and I assured him that indeed there was. And in fact, not only that, but it was underground, directly beneath the great big building containing my office. The little guy rolled that concept of an underground parking garage around in his mind a bit and then asked, with a mixture of fascination and terror, "Is it ... full of bugs?" I can only assume because he knows ants and beetles and various other creepy-crawlers live underground, and he was just picturing a great big hollowed-out cavern or somesuch.

Of course I had to laugh, and informed him that it wasn't just a hole in the dirt but actually made of concrete and virtually bug-free.

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