Last weekend, the Goldlust family decided to make a road trip to Luray Caverns and Skyline Drive. The day was beautiful and going along great, which for a mother of a young child equals out to no melt downs, blow outs or throw up in your hair.
During our drive down through Skyline we would see the occassional motorcycles riding together. Then we came upon this group (http://picasaweb.google.com/GoldlustE/LurayCavernsAndSkylineDrive/photo?authkey=K8lLFchxnvI#5225103626821422370). It was a larger crowd of motorcycles and more then I ever expected to see on a non memorial day weekend. A memory flashed back in my head of something more fearful and a bit dangerous when seeing this crowd from a distance.
I spent half my childhood growing up here and half of my younger years in North Carolina. The world is very different down there. There are both pros and cons of living in the south.
One day my mother gets a call from my sisters school. She had me at home for some reason that day. I guess I played hookey that day from Vienna Elementary (pronounce Vi-anna). They were announcing an early school closing to parents and they were shutting down the school within the hour. This closing was not for the usual reason of it was too hot (our schools didn't have A/C) or because there was water damage or a fire. It was something MUCH more different.
My Mom rushed me into the car after getting this phone call. We were picking my sister up. I think we high tailed it to the school going about 80 and probably resembling the General Lee on the Dukes of Hazard. We get to this school and I see a sight I have never seen before or ever will again (at least lets hope).
There were motorcycles everywhere, men with chains and bats, school buses and teachers putting children on buses and interesting enough...only a few parents picking up their kids. We got my sister, and my Mom high tailed it out of there.
Apparantly what was about to happen was the Hails Angels and the KKK had a beef with each other. Both decided to get together on a school field and have it out with one another.
I don't know what transpired after that day with the two groups, but few people can say they ever saw something quite like that. For me I am still and quite understandably fearful of both groups. The air at that school was stiff, full of anger and chaos.
I will note that after approaching the motorcycle crowd on Skyline Drive, they were just a group of motorcycles enjoying the nice day. I find it funny how certain things can trigger memories.
I too have a motorcycle story. Once upon a time there was a young Canadian girl travelling with her family to the big United States of America, via Sweetgrass,Montana, a small border town.
Tired and hungry after driving up through Montana, the family stopped at the border cafe to relieve their bladders and grab a bite to eat. Unfortunately for the small mother and her two young boys, the washrooms, as Canadians are apt to call restrooms, were on the bar side of the establishment.
But I digress. The young girl, for once, did not need to urinate, so sat in the restaurant with her father.
Minutes later, her mother returned with the little boys. As soon as they were seated the young girl noticed, with horror, a chap-clad moustached man coming from the bar over to her mother.
"Mom," she hissed, "theres a biker guy over there and he's coming to talk to you!"
The mother whipped around and exclaimed, "Tom!" Turns out, this sketchy looking character was the mother's cousin.
The girl wondered what other skeletons her mother might have lurking in her closet, or rather, in an American biker bar.
I win because I have a story AND a question for one of the other "participants".
Ok, my story is interesting but not true because I've been sitting here drawing a complete blank. So I decided to go with a fictional story called "The Saving of Tam Lin" that was one of my favorites growing up, and came from an old Childcraft Annual book of myths and legends:
The story is about a young Celtic woman who is in love with a man called Tam Lin. Tam wanders into the woods one day and stumbles across an evil Faerie queen who is disguised and tricks him into servitude for the rest of his life. The following night is Samhain (Halloween) and the queen tells the maiden that the only way to save her love is to manage to hold him close for the space of 24 heartbeats at midnight, and the end of Samhain. She agrees and they meet that night in the forest. The maiden embraces Tam, and he is immediately transformed into a horrible beast that claws her skin and tears at her face. She continues to hold him. Next the Faerie queen transforms him into a pillar of fire that sears her skin, and finally he is transformed into a pillar of ice that burns her skin worse than the flames and sticks to her already burned flesh. Through all of it she manages to hold him, and at the end of the 24th heartbeat the evil Faerie vanishes and Tam Lin is free of his enslavement.
I think that's one of the most haunting and beautiful love stories ever, although it's obviously told much better in its original form...
The question is for Phil: "Why have you dropped off the face of the earth and why are there no baby pictures?"
I don't talk to strangers. and it's not because of some archaic rule of my childhood. i'm shy. very very very shy. and socially awkward. but sometimes people get shy mistaken with stuck-up, so i went through a phase where i tried to be more outgoing - chatting in line at the grocery store or with neighbors. the first time i "chatted" with my neighbor the conversation was: e: that's a cute dog. stranger: my husband left me right after i had our baby because i was fat and i ended up with the dog too. what do you say there?
then in the grocery store i see the woman in front of me wearing a UVA hat... e: that's a great hat! did you go to UVA? stranger: no, my son did. until he died. again? i mean, you can say you're sorry, but did i need to know this?
and then today my office mate, who i suppose is not a stranger, but also not my best friend, told me he and his wife have not been intimate in three weeks. i DID NOT prompt this discussion.
I love all the stories. LOL Erin! I can't imagine you making the attempt in doing that and getting those sort of responses! YIKES!!!
Chompy the Ghost
The first time someone really told me something awkward was when I was working at a Toyota parts plant. I was to have my wisdom teeth out that day, and when I mentioned this to a co-worker she countered with her own story and, sparing no detail, compared it to the birth of her first child. The story was so graphic that I started to feel light-headed and mid-sentence I ran away from her to try to find a bathroom to honk. Unfortunately I passed out on the way and slammed face-first into the corner of a desk, effectively ripping off the side of my nose. When I came to, the ambulance was there and I was surrounded mainly by strangers in suits--apparently this was also the day the big-wigs were in from Japan AND I had blown the long streak of days without an accident at the plant.
#1: Anna - That was one of your favorite stories growing up? How are you not scarred for life? I'm actually a little nervous about going to sleep tonight since I think I'll have nightmares about it.
#2: Mike/Chompy: Your comments are consistently hysterical... i.e. I just finished laughing so hard that I cried.
Chompy the Ghost
My poor nose could have an autobiography on its own.
Katie: I'm glad I told that one instead of the back-up.
All these harrowing tales reminded me of a story my schoolteacher aunt told me: she had invited an anthropologist/explorer to speak of his adventures to her class of 3rd graders. He described a hazardous trip through the New Guinean jungle, with heat, insects, hostile natives, etc. and the children listened with wide eyes until he had finished. After a moment of silence, a little boy raised his hand and asked, "Did you live through it?"
Erin's encounters made me think that maybe she should introduce the dog woman to the office mate and they could fill each others needs.
This might be the best post idea I've ever had.
Back when I was a young whipper snapper I had applied at the local movie theatre for my first job ever. For whatever reason teenagers all saw movie theatre work as the must-have job of the summer and as such it was an extremely competitive and hard job to get. I was successful in getting the job. Was it because of my elite popcorning and nachoing skills? Perhaps. Or it may have had to do with the fact that the head manager only chose my name out of all the applicants because it is Michael Jackson. "Oh my god, this kid is Michael Jackson? We have to have him working for us!"
A couple years later I had applied at Toys R Us for work, having grown tired of shelling out overpriced buckets of grease. I filled out the application, waited about a week and heard nothing so I went to inquire about the status of application. Luckily, the first person I had spoke to about checking up on it was the hiring manager. She asked me my name, and I responded. Her eyes seemed to have widened up as she exclaimed "Are you serious? That was your application? I thought that was a joke." Yes, simply writing my name on the Toys R Us application was now considered a practical prank. Barbara the manager, had thought one of the other employees was merely goofing off and when she had seen my name on the paper she immediate crumpled the paper, threw it in the bin, and shrugged it off. Interesting. After explaining to her I was indeed real we shuffled off to her office and were actually able to find the balled up application. Needless to say I was awarded the job because of the hassle and worked there for several years afterwards.
So, for a bit of time there I could actually say "Hello, I am Michael Jackson. I have intimate knowledge in giving out sweets and snacks and soda pop. I work at Toys R Us and help out with the kids."
Yeah, all that's pretty true.
I too am rather shy, but was EXTREMELY shy as a child. Every summer I went to sleep-away camp for at least a week. One year (I was probably 11 or 12) we were on a hike in the woods when one of the other campers stepped on a wasp nest. Naturally, chaos ensued. Everyone was running around, screaming and flailing saying they'd been stung. I actually DID get stung, on my upper lip. Being super shy, I was too nervous to say anything about it, so I just quietly held the cuff of my sweatshirt up to my mouth for the rest of the hike. Not til a few hours later did one of the counselors approach me and ask me if I was okay, to which I calmly replied that I was fine, I had just gotten stung. I removed the sleeve from my face to reveal a hugely swollen lip and the counselor's face went pale. We immediately went to the nurse, but like I said, I was fine. I just didn't want to make a fuss.
Years later (2005), I badly sprained my ankle by missing a stair in front of two people (my future husband and a co-worker of his). Rather than reveal my immediate excruciating pain, I waited til they left, crawled to the bathroom and locked myself in there to deal with my pain privately. I guess old habits die hard. Makes me a little bit nervous about how my shyness may impact childbirth when that day comes...
I guess Brian never knew he had such a shy group of friends. I am shy...until the whiskey or other like drinks comes out once every blue moon.
I do have to say to Kathy, that all bets are off when childbirth comes along. You visit the doctor so many times before you give birth, the usual routine exam that usually embarasses the crap out of me, now is nothing. It doesn't mean I like going, but it's less embarassing. I will also like to point out that I am a stickler for having women OB/GYN. Nothing against males, but being shy...I'd rather have a female. When giving birth to my son, if I was in my usual state, I think I would of cared having a male Anesthesiologist see my backside/rear (especially when you look oh so attractive in the 10th month of pregnancy), but I didn't care or hardly noticed the fact that he was there. I just thanked him for the much needed pain meds. I bet Anna or Erin will agree with me when I say, everyone else in the delivery room during is obsolete...your only focus is to get that baby out. Girl power!
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