Sadly, I was unable to capture the aforementioned event on film, due to extenuating circumstances such as not feeling like getting up. Thus have I taken it upon myself to prepare the following artistic rendering of the occasion*:
Lest you labor under the misapprehension that my sojourns to the Deep North are all “fun and games”, I will have you know my foremost objective, besides consuming half my weight in yams, was to keep my nose to the grindstone and finish my academic assignments. This I accomplished admirably, especially if you define “my nose” as “my entire body,” “the grindstone” as “the couch,” and “finish my academic assignments” as “watch videos of guys figure skating”. This is the sort of bullet one must take in the name of academia.
Nor was I idle on the observational front. You loyal Snark-followers will no doubt recall my propensity for a) noticing the immaterial and b) mentioning it. On that note, you’ll be glad to know** that I noted the following
FIVE THINGS ABOUT MAINE THAT ARE HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS
1. Maine claims to contain a location by the name of “Poland,” whereas according to my sources***, “Poland” is in fact located in an entirely different country (Poland). This would appear to be highly suspicious.
2. According to my friend Christopher, the state soil is a guy named “Cecil”. This would also appear to be highly suspicious.
3. It is late in Maine. Like, really late. This came as a major shock to my system. I’d gotten lulled by the circadian rhythms of Plantar, where it tends to be some reasonable time such as “four P.M.”; whereas in Maine, it tends to be approximately next Tuesday. Also, it is pitch-black, except of course during Daylight Hours (8:28 – 8:29 A.M.). I blame “Cecil”.
4. There is no 4.
5. The generic Rice Krispies (alias: Crispy Rice) of the local supermarket, Stop and Shop, feature on their box a story about two anthropomorphized foxes who – Stop and Shop (if that IS their name) claims – were pivotal figures in the creation of Crispy Rice. At least, I think this is the upshot of the story. I only read part.
I also had the opportunity to revisit my childhood, which began a long time ago and ended when, in a cinematic twist worthy of any “coming-of-age” film, I received a letter to the effect that my tax forms were Invalid As Submitted. The revisitation occurred when my sister, who has a hobby of excavating the obscure – defined as “stuff deathly uninteresting to everyone but our immediate selves” – found a clip online from the TV show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? This was a huge event for me, seeing as that show defined my tenderest years, alongside precocious verbal skills and eating a dog nummy. My most vivid memory is of the show’s band, Rockapella, singing the theme song. This stayed with me for 15 years on account of the particularly immortal phrase:
Of course this seemed perfectly acceptable to me as a little kid. Little kids accept everything, including Disney and adults. As the years wore on, though, I began to question (usually during timed tests) my interpretation of the phrase. I was sure after 15 years I would discern the real text. So my sister played me the clip, and this is what I heard:
Needless to say, this turned me into a raving madwoman. You never want to think fifteen years have been for naught.
ME: What is that?! WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SAYING!?!!
MY SISTER: When?
ME: “Nin-em-BUH-de-lee”. It sounded like “nin-em-BUH-de-lee” fifteen YEARS ago and it sounds like “nin-em-BUH-de-lee” NOW.
MY SISTER: They’re saying, “From Berlin down to Belize.”
MY SISTER: Listen.
And finally, I have been informed, via a series of conduits beginning with the esteemed Pib Press**** and leading to my father by way of Uruguay*****, West Virginia, and IHOP, that somebody, somewhere, enjoys my snarkular pourings-forth but wishes I would get over my “asterisk fetish”. Fetish. Such a strong word. The kind of word that forces you to stand outside yourself and take careful, objective stock of who you are. In moments of such sober self-realization as this, one can only say: ****************************************
*Reprinted with permission of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
**Disclaimer: You May Not Actually Be Glad To Know.
***This one, that one, and also that other source over there.
****Lest you think I have “sold out,” I will refrain from mentioning that their address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I certainly will not point out that if you do not buy a book right now, the angels will kill you.
*****Or, as it is sometimes known, “Poland”.
©2007, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending