Brain Freeze

New Today at the Institute

Blournal Entry - Week 9 Fantasy Football updates (Hyperion's not that happy)

Monkey Barn - Picture of the Day (Luke/Leia style!)

Monkey Barn - Daily Lynx (light sabers and creepy babies)

Monkey Barn - Bad Analogies (If these don't crack you up, I will be madder than someone who is less mad)

Just for the Heck of it - According to Wikipedia, here are all the flavors of Slurpee available in the world: Crème, Root Beerk, SnoBawls, Cherry Coke, Coca-Cola Classic, Vanilla Coke, Lemonade, Lemon-lime, Orange Pineapple Ice, Peach Mango, Raspberry Ice, Strawberry Kiwi, Strawberry Banana, Passionfruit, Berry Pomegranate, Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper Vanilla, Banana, Birch Beer, Blue Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Ginger Ale, Grape, Green Lemon Lime, Green Melon, Kiwi Strawberry, Orange, Orange Cream, Pineapple, Purple Berry Cherry, Mandarine Tangerine, Red Licorice, Super Sour Apple, Super Sour Cherry, Super Sour Watermelon, Vanilla, Watermelon, White Cherry, Wild Cherry, Frozen Fury, Blue Demon, Hawaiian Punch, Green Berry Rush, Bubble Yum, Bruisin Berry, Sour Green, Mello Yello, Blue Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Grape, Lemonade, Orange, Passionfruit Orange, Peach, Pineapple, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry, Mountain Dew, Code Red, Livewire (Orange), Pitch Black (grape), Kryptonite Ice (lime-ish), Blue Shock(Blue Raspberry), Game Fuel (Citrus-Cherry), Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Sierra Mist, Shrekalicious, Sprite Remix, Twizzler, Blue Raspberry Rush, Piña Colada, Grapermelon, Frawg, Honeycomb, Blue Meanie (Australia). Arctic Burst, Gully Washer, StrawberrWii Banana, Blue Woo-Hoo! Vanilla


[Yesterday's post reminded me of this column, written two years ago. Ten points for the first person to correctly figure out why. (Hint: the endnotes might help) -Hyperion]

The Hyperion Chronicles
“My coach always told me to find something you’re bad at and don’t do it”

#361 Galactic Slurpees

PROLOGUE: Down at the River
The story is told of an old church, way down South. This church would hold their baptisms down at the river on the edge of town. One Sunday afternoon the whole congregation is there. The first one up to feel those cleansing waters is Dennis, who just recently come to faith after years of wicked ways, on the wings of the prayers of the faithful.

Pastor plunges Dennis down into the river and brings him back up. “Brother,” the congregation shouts, “What did you see?”

“Oh, Glory.” Says Dennis. “I saw a chariot of gold ride out of the heavens. It was pulled but six white horses.”

“Amen.” Shouts the congregation.

“And this chariot of gold did ride down out of the clouds right to his very river and stopped on the water, but the chariot didn’t sink. The doors of that chariot, they did open and Gabriel leaned out with an arm to help be up. ‘Get in’ he said.”

“Amen.” Shouts the congregation, with wild applause.

Next up is Gladys, almost 60, though claiming 38. Never married; the church is her life. However, deathly afraid of water (which may explain the no marriage), Gladys has never been baptized.

But just this morning Pastor preached a right righteous sermon on being washed by those holy waters, and Gladys felt the Hold Spirit tugging her heart. In a fit, Gladys jumped up and said she wanted to be baptized too.

Now trembling, but still brave, Pastor lowers Gladys into the river. Quickly he brings her back up and the crowd shouts, “Sister; what did you see?”

“Praise the name!” Gladys exclaims. “I saw the Pearly Gates open wide and St. Peter himself did lead me in.”

“Amen!” Agrees the congregation, cheering.

“Not only were the streets paved with gold, but the air was shimmering silver. The heavenly host were there too, singing ‘Joy to the World’ as St. Peter led me to the throne.”

“Amen!” shouts the congregation. A few of the faithful are almost overcome.

Last up is Big Ron. Now, Big Ron, he’s a decent fellow, but a bit slow. A few folks tried to warn Big Ron that in this church it was customary to see “visions,’ but they should've tried a bit harder.

So anyway, it’s Big Ron’s turn and Pastor dips him down in the river and pulls him back up. “Brother.” The congregation shouts, “What did you see?”

Big Ron answers: “Uh…nothing.”

The crowd murmurs a moment, and then someone yells “Throw him back in!” This crowd did come to hear about the glory, and soon they all take up the chant. Pastor dunks Big Ron back in the river and pulls him back up again.

Even louder: “Brother: what did you see?”

“Uh…I still di’n see nothing.”

“One more time! One more time!” the congregation is in a frenzy.

Pastor takes up their call and pulls Big Ron back in the river for a third time. Pastor holds him there a good long while. Finally—when Big Ron starts to struggle for air—Pastor pulls him back up and the crowd shouts, “Brother, what did you see?”

“Uh…will a fish and a turtle do?”

TAKE US OUT: The search for that which is not Crayola
The first time it happened I was coming home from BATMAN. It was a few minutes before 4 in the morning. The sky was still dark, but over to the east dawn had started.

This area has had a tone of rain, and great pools are still on the ground, stagnant and thus far intractable. The sky sported clouds of menacing black and grey, just below these clouds on the far horizon: orange peeked through.

Those conditions let to this: the clouds and blue-black sky reflected on the pools of water. Added to that, the orange of sunrise, reflected off the clouds down to the water, not penetrating that far, but giving the other colors a metallic-glow. The result was a color unlike anything I have ever seen.

To describe the color as blue or black or grey; even a shinier version of that mélange would be wholly inaccurate. This was a new color, something impossible to duplicate on the Red-Blue-Green scale. (And trust me: I tried.)

I was on the highway speeding home, so I only saw these colors for a brief moment as I passed the pools. 30 seconds later, conditions had shifted just enough, that the color was gone. What remained was still beautiful, but part of Nature’s normally brilliant palette.

A few days later the same thing happened. Coming home from Denny’s after more long rain, again the triple witching hour1 of sky, clouds, rain, and not-yet sun, all made possible by the standing water. This time I was prepared, and slammed on the brakes to look out the window at that color. It was the same. It lasted only briefly; 10 seconds at most.

I felt privileged, honored, and humbled, and I’ve been looking for it again ever since.

BRING US HOME: Galactic Slurpees
So I’m talking to someone online, and she mentions Deep Impact. Actually, she wrote, “Are you going to watch Deep Impact?”

I assumed she meant the movie, so I demurred. No, she explained, NASA was going to set off an explosion into a comet, to see where life came from or something. (Personally I think NASA was trying to make Galactic Slurpees, but that’s another paranoid column.)

I wrote back, “I don’t think you can see it.” Well, she says, “I’m going to try.”

Hmmm, I thought. Watching the stars late at night. This romantic scenario writes itself. I’m willing to do it, but it’s my firm policy to not watch the stars alone. (Granted I just made that policy up, but I still felt very strongly about it.)

She’s watching with her brother. Hatred. Oh, well. I’m kind of interested now. I go upstairs and try to get my parents to go with me.

“You can’t see it with the naked eye.” My dad says.

“I have it on good authority, you can.” I tell him knowingly. He wasn’t impressed. My mother less so, and I didn’t even bother asking my sister. Fine, I thought. I’ll leave these interstellar troglodytes and see the comet myself.

[At some point—and this is as good as any—I should point out that what my on-line tormentor failed to point out was that her brother had a telescope. With that knowledge, enjoy the rest of my misery.]

She told me the comet would be in the South-Southwest at 11:52 pm. I head out just after11:30, with plenty of time. We live outside the city, so I’m confident that the ambient light won’t be too big a problem.

I head over to the park—away from street lights. Unfortunately, on the other side of the park is the highway, full of cars and trucks that keep flashing their headlights. Stupid cars.

The next problem is finding South. As every ex-girlfriend will attest, while I may have areas of staggering genius, a sense of direction is not one of them. To this day I’m convinced that a house I used to live in faces north instead of what others call “South.” (True, I also believe the sun rose in the west there, but in my defense, it’s a strange place.)

The highway runs north, so it should be a simple matter to align myself parallel. Except, sometimes the road veers around hills and what-not. So that may not work. I spend 10 minutes or so, debating where South is before it occurs to me that—far to the west—the sky is still light. Assuming that light is due-west (unless I’m in another of those backward houses), then South has to be 90 degrees to the left. Right?

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I have the general direction, so I start looking for comets. This begs the question I probably should have looked into earlier: What does a comet look like?

If it’s blinking red, then I’m totally on top of the game. However, comet-knowledge-limited though I am, I’m fairly sure comets don’t blink red. But what does? Perhaps Mars going in and out of existence?

Pretty soon there’s another blinking red light traveling in the same arc as the first, and then another, and eventually even I figure out this is a flight path from the airport.

Still no comet.

The appointed time has now come, so my new hope is that even if I can’t see the comet, I will see the explosion.


Perhaps it’s a slow explosion, or my watch is off, so I give it a few more minutes. Still nothing. Just in case, I peek behind me, but nothing there either. I don’t think this was meant to be.

I’m a little disappointed, but not overly so, as it is a beautiful night out and the park is quiet and mysterious. Not a bad place to be, searching the stars.

Honesty compels me to admit that my perspective changed at some point. And, I’m pretty sure that point was when one of the park-adjacent houses released their dog.

Now, as some of you know, I hold several World Records. However, none of them are in short-course racing. Add to that the very wet grass and me in sandals, and this was not meant to be an inspiring victory.

I gave it the old flunked-out-of-college try for a few feet, and quickly ascertained the only advantage to this decision might be that that do would laugh himself into a few broken ribs and not be able to chase me.

Not wanting to put my stock in a dog with a sense of humor, I spun around and instead came at the dog.

It was a very large dog. He was 200 pounds if he was an ounce, I tell you. However, finally I had entered an area where I’m an expert.

Dogs—like most animals—perceive threats by size. This is why experts say if you and a buddy are ever chased by a bear, have one get on the other’s shoulders, to appear as big as possible.

Luckily, this was not a problem for me. It was more-or-less a bluff—I prefer not to fight dogs—but my unknown attacker quickly did the math and concluded there was easier prey that night.

A bit winded, but flushed with victory, I headed home. I had not seen the comet explosion or had Galactic Slurpee rain on me, but I had bested a leviathan dog3 and that’s always cool.

I came up to the house, and could see my dad inside. I knew he thought my venture ill-conceived, but I had to face the music. I walked in…

“Did you see anything?” He asked.

‘Uh, will a fish and a turtle do?”

July 13, 2005

1 10 points for anyone who knows what this means without having to look it up
2 Galactic Slurpees would totally be a righteous name for a band.
3 Or Leviathan Dog

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too easy Hype!

Leviathan Dwarf / Leviathan Dog

Of course I must admit I spent half an hour trying to discover a metaphysical connection between the writer/writer and father/son dialogs!