More on the title in a bit…
First, I was glancing at Plinky’s prompt for the day. Very interesting.
Have you ever looked up a long-lost childhood friend and wished you didn’t?
Well… Actually, since the advent of social networking, even before then since I first got on the internet in 1996 (yes, I’m ancient), I have been using the web to locate and reconnect with tons of people from my youth. You see, I am the kind of person who likes to stay in touch. I feel that more people would stay in touch if they would only make the effort. Sometimes it is an unusual undertaking in that I might find that long-lost “friend” and realize that our “friendship” died out because there wasn’t much there. More often than not, though, I have been able to re-establish a relationship that has become even more meaningful than it first was. Take for example, my friends Mario. He and I were very close when we were kids. Then we went to different high schools (I was home-schooled), different colleges, and lost touch. Thanks to Facebook it’s like we’re brothers.
Then there’s my friend Hezekiah (not her real name, not even a girl’s name). We first met in the nursery of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, NJ when I was just seven hours old. She invited me and my twin sister to a rave when we “busted out” of there. Unable to write or even speak I lost her digits and we never spoke again. This morning I found her on Twitter. Turns out I should have been looking on Twatter (the equivalent site for British imbeciles). She’s one of those people who just never matured. No, seriously, she has something called Turner’s Syndrome. Look, I’m all for assigning blame where it’s actually due. But come on, Hezzie. Stop blaming Bush for everything (or Turner). It’s not my fault you still look like you’re 8. The rest of us have moved on. Adolescence. Check into it. And don’t try guilting me into remembering the “good old days”. It’s 2012. Accept it.
Anyway, today my wife and I took the kids (our own two and my teenage niece) out to a place called Glen Rose (TX) to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. After being greeted by two very large fiberglass dinosaurs we set off along the trail and found a parking lot near observation area number 3. Based on the words “observation area” I was actually thinking that maybe we’d be able to see some real dinos. Then I checked back into the realm of reality. This place contains some well preserved dinosaur tracks and that was what we would be observing. My niece is a lover of all things dinosaur so this was a treat for her. My kids really liked being able to walk down the rocks and into the mostly dry creek bed to examine the tracks. There was, of course, a section of the creek bed a few yards away that was not at all dry and just teeming with shirtless Texans. Granted, it was over 100 degrees but you couldn’t have paid me to go into that water. What if there were still dinosaurs lurking beneath the surface? Sorry, back to reality.
After ascending from the creek we sat down on a park bunch on a bluff overlooking the site to drink our water. There was a young couple sitting on the adjacent bench. After a few minutes they stood up. The man looked at my wife. “Excuse me, but is your name Mrs. Harvey?” he asked. She replied in the affirmative. “Do you recognize me?” he said, removing his shades. Turns out this was someone with whom she had gone to college. I know people reconnect in some strange ways (evidence Hezzie the twat (in the British sense)) but my wife went to a school with fewer than three hundred students almost two thousand miles away. And here we were, literally in the middle of nowhere Texas on Labor Day looking at dinosaur tracks with our kids. Small world.
Finally, after visiting the gift shop, we headed out for an early dinner. We drove on to the town of Granbury — a delightfully charming old Texas town with a nifty little Main Street — and stopped at the legendary Babe’s. Babe’s is known for its chicken fried steak. Actually they serve six main dishes. Customers order their entree (the aforementioned steak, fried chicken, catfish, etc.) and then all the sides are served family style. The kids behaved remarkably well considering it was getting late. And then it happened. “It” was the music of the most abominable piece of wedding reception music ever recorded. “It” was the Hokey-Pokey. “Wonder why they’re playing that?” I asked my wife. But the answer became clear right away when twelve waitresses took to the center of the room and starting “doing” the Hokey-Pokey. Gee, at O’Flahertty’s in Mid-town Manhattan they just get you drunk and let you make a fool of yourself. And for some reason my boy, not at all shy, decided he NEEDED to be in on this. He jumped up, ran over to the end of this chorus line and started putting his left arm in.
To recap: we reconnected with old friends, saw some dinosaur tracks I’m not at all convinced weren’t plaster molds, ate some really awesome chicken fried steak, and watched my son steal a show we didn’t know was taking place.
And that’s what it’s all about!