A skeleton-zombie T Rex stalks an unsuspecting guy in a white t-shirt. Workman’s Comp rates for this place have to be high. You can click on it for embiggened goodness.
I work really hideous hours. I go to work when the folks on the East Coast are supposed to get there, and often leave about the time that people from Guam are supposed to go home. Do I intentionally work so hard? No. It’s because they beat me if I don’t work harder.
Weekends, though, belong to family, except for errant work-related phone calls that The Mrs. really, really loves
So, this Saturday we had planned to go to the Houston Highland Games and watch a bunch of sweaty Scots throw cabers (trees). Heck, I had halfway convinced myself that I should go and throw a caber myself. I like throwing trees. The Mrs. reminded me that I didn’t have a kilt, and wasn’t a Scot, was old, and that my back hurt when I got up from chairs. I told The Mrs. that she was being defeatist, and that I could rip a t-shirt and have a kilt, speak with a brogue for the day, and drink enough beer so that my back didn’t hurt when I threw trees.
Didn’t matter. Everybody in the Wilder household was pretty darn tired on Saturday morning, and The Boy and Pugsley were likewise lethargic after bolting through an entire box of those tiny Dolly Madison® chocolate-covered donuts (if we don’t buy those, Pugsley just eats the frosting off of real-size donuts and puts them back in the box. You can get used to the flavor of the de-frosted donuts if you don’t mind baby spit.
Anyhow, by the time we all were awake, it would have been long after all the cabers had been tossed. The Mrs. and I were debating what we wanted to do for the day when The Boy piped up. “Let’s go to the Museum of Natural History and look at all the stuff we didn’t get to see the last time we were there.” I nodded at The Boy’s uncharacteristic bout of sanity, since just before he had been jumping on a tiny trampoline and laughing like a loon at the adventures of an orange cartoon cat that loves lasagna. The Mrs. objected to this. “Ummm, remember you have two
boys we’re taking. Museums don’t tend to make toddlers very happy.”
“Oh, piffle, woman,” I replied, since I’d always wanted to say, “Oh, piffle, woman.”
We went. On the way, we stopped at Burger King® and I had to return home after a wardrobe malfunction with a Whopper© left me drenched in, as The Mrs. referred to it, “Meat Cologne.”
One change of wardrobe later, we arrived at the museum. On our previous visit, Pugsley had been in a stroller, now he was a free-range Pugsley. Since The Mrs. had objected to our destination based upon the crazed-weasel behavior of Pugsley, she noted that I was to make sure he didn’t singlehandedly destroy our records millions of years of Earth’s history in a crazed toddler-tantrum.
After watching a Foucault pendulum knock over a block of wood (higher tension than a Die Hard movie), we strolled first into the energy museum. The Boy and I were in hog-heaven.
If you look at what people in the energy business do, there is no real business that’s cooler. They take massive steel drills tipped with frigging diamonds
and bore into the Earth and pull out highly pressurized explosive, flammable stuff that they then boil
so you can drive to Target© and buy Cheezy-Puffs®.
That’s manly. We walked into a room where the focus was on seismic techniques to determine what the heck is below the ground (voodoo, I think it’s called, or maybe it was geophysics). There in the room they had a column of water with a nifty stainless-steel gizmo in it that periodically shot out bursts of compressed air into the water column. If you can imagine the huge, deep, “thwunk” that makes, well, you’ve probably been shot at with a 12 gauge while you were trying to swim away underwater from, umm, something you’d probably not like to talk about. It sounds just
Anyhow, The Boy, Pugsley, and I put our hands on the outside of the cylinder, awaiting the next thwunk. It came.
The Boy pulled his hand away, thrilled. Pugsley pulled his hand away, and then hesitated in the way that only toddlers can before they either laugh or cry. It was cry. Pugsley was scared out of his little shorts, and it took The Mrs. about five minutes to console him. Stupid geophysicists.
Anyway, we made our way next to an exhibit about chemistry and physics. I could sense a buildup of frustration from The Mrs. as The Boy and Pugsley went from exhibit to exhibit learning about phase transitions, immiscibility of certain fluids, and differential density of various planets.
“What’s the matter, The Mrs.?” I asked.
I could see by the look on her face that the sheer testosterone-fueled nerdish exuberance of all of us was getting to her.
Well, we come by it honestly, even if we didn’t get up early enough to watch the sweaty Scots throwing trees, which, I know, is really, really, what all women want.