Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why I'll never be Indiana Jones

When I was ten I decided that I was going to live the rest of my life exploring. My job was going to be finding whole new islands no one had discovered and I, armed with a faithful side kick and maybe a comic relief pet or two, would wander these untamed lands and have adventures that people would later beg me to tell over and over again. Who knows. I was pretty awesome. Maybe there'd be a movie deal. I even knew exactly where I needed to start.

This is legit.

History be damned. I'd watched the Discovery Channel. I knew what was going on over there. It was obvious there was a very small part of that strange world across the ocean colonized by people with funny accents, and the rest had been left to grow wild because there was no one cool enough to tame it. That's where I came in.

Shut up. I'm adorable.

I was going to be a hero.

All heroes need to learn somewhere, however, so most of my time was spent exploring a large field in my grandmother's back yard. I roamed in the relative safety of the early 90's, marching through weeds and Texas cactus where my greatest foes were the rarely seen snake and terrified rabbits. I slayed bushes, making the part before me dramatically with my trusty stick, and each day I made it my business to sneak just a bit farther from the house. I probably never would have made it more than a half block away at that age were it not for the help of my father.

On a drive home from the store my Dad slowed as we passed a wide field, split by a valley, and pointed out the window. In that moment, he told me something you should never tell a kid who grew up watching Indiana Jones over and over in an effort to learn everything about exploring they could.

That's a Native, not a redneck. Just so you know.

I was entranced. Instantly. Suddenly, my adventures no longer needed a trip across the ocean or even a driver's license to get to. I had been ignorant to the treasure in the back of my very own home. How had I been so blind? So closed minded?

Look, if you owned a hat that awesome you'd never take it off either.

There was gold out there! The early settlers in this common Texas town had to have missed most of it. They weren't as clever as I happened to be in my ten years of intelligence. There was gold and I was going to dig it up. I figured it could be used to fund later adventures, and if there was enough I could  use the left over to buy my family something nice. I could see it all now.

I blew the entire blog budget on this to add color.

Why don't children consider how fat they'd look as a balloon?

I swear. He's native. Ignore the hippy vibe.

I didn't see these ideas as being unrealistic at all. If anything, I was being reasonable or maybe even underestimating the wealth. So, after we'd gone home and had a simple family dinner, watched TV, and I spent the night laying in bed and plotting my new outing that was going to take me at least a whole mile (A MILE!) from home, I walked out my front door the next morning with purpose.

First off was supplies, which I gathered easily enough.

Anyone else think of Boondocks?

And then I was off. I marched bravely down the dirt road from the house and began my quest to find gold. Once I'd found it, I could probably carry a good bit back in my bag and maybe make another trip tomorrow or that day after. We'd have all we needed then. This plan was fool proof.

After what was probably a half hour of walking I was tired and convinced I'd covered twice as much land as the car my Dad was driving had. I'd probably made better time too. The only problem was I couldn't quite remember where exactly the gorge was.

Master of the cow-eyed stare.

To be honest, I couldn't readily remember the way I'd come from either.

Nothing over here.

Or the direction I needed to be going.

Nothing over there.

And then the real world sank in.

I hope you can understand the drama of this moment. A WHOLE MILE.

I had done it now. I'd wandered to far from home and now I was never going to find my way back. I was going to die. It was the end of everything. The promises of gold were forgotten as I began to run, crazed, back the way I thought I had come as fast as possible while doing my best not to cry.

That's right, I fell, got up, ran into a fence, rolled down a hill and ended up the the ground with a tumble weed.  Don't hate.
I sat there for a long time wondering just where I was. It wasn't long before I realized that I'd fallen into some sort of dried out river bed. I staggered around down there several long moments, dragging wire behind me as I walked. My fear of being lost was gone, replaced by wonder in the short term horror only a true ADHD gift child can muster. I was in a new place. A magical place. My TV based knowledge told me that this was the part of the story where something amazing happened (I'd seen the Goonies dammit) so I began to walk.

And walked more.

And walked more still.

And then, the metaphorical clouds parted and I found what I'd come for. Waiting for me at the far end of the gorge, right before I rock slide that could lead me up and out was the most amazing thing. It /had/ to be what I'd been meant to find. What could be better that what lay before me? In the span of those few seconds I fell in love with my discovery. I had been given a treasure. Something I'd always wanted, just never known I'd been missing until that moment.

This is a goat. No. Legit.

I instantly named it “Rosie.”

I liberated the rope from my pack, mindless to how dark it was getting outside, and fashioned a nice collar for my new sidekick. The rope was looped around the goats neck with ease, and with new found determination to rescue my four legged friend I began to climb the land slide wall to exit the gorge. The climb was long, hard, and tricky (Thought the goat seemed to have no real problems) but as the sun was going down I managed to  make it out and began leading my pet toward my home. Or where I thought home was. In reality, I wandered down several side streets and back pastures dragging the oddly obedient goat along before I happened across my grandmother's house right about the point that she was setting dinner on the table.

I don't know where the rest of the kitchen furniture went. We were poor, dammit.

The goat...

My grandmother was in shock. Not only had I been gone all day, but I had stolen someone's livestock. That was still a hanging offense in backwater Texas. Sadly for the goat owner, I couldn't retrace my steps the next day to tell anyone where I'd gotten my pet from. So, instead, my grandmother placed the goat in the large chicken pen she kept at the back of her farm land. Over the years Rosie the goat eventually began to believe that she was a chicken herself and lived out a long and happy life as champion of the chicken pen.

That goat was a hero. Title stealing goat.

Rosie fended off skunks, snakes, stray house cats and wild dogs from her precious chickens, providing for a small profit for my grandmother as she was able to sell off the sudden surplus in birds. It ended up being the best bit of thievery I'd ever done even if we didn't become rich.  The best part was some of the extra cash went toward me getting one of the best presents of all time.

[insert Zelda 'received item' sound here]

But that's a story for another time.

Ronas out.


Once again, our art is thanks to the same wondrous lady as last time. It's amazing she puts up with my requests.

[Edit: Fixed spelling errors. Nothing like hardcore comments to make you realize you shouldn't post at midnight.]


Viraumus said...

This totally made my very early morning.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God....

This is the BEST story ever. Seriously. I think my eye ran out of tears mind laughing and began to spout blood. Please don't make me wait so long for the next one. Please?


Anonymous said...

have I mentioned how much I love you recently?


Anonymous said...

Hey Ember. Cool story bro


Anonymous said...

deconstructivist humour, while sometimes funny when done well, is intellectually lazy. it is a prime example of having your cake and eating it too, there's always another layer of irony to retreat to should someone not get the joke, or be offended by it. it is a method of inuring oneself to criticism: the criticism was anticipated and is part of the joke. the problem is that the nested insincerity of this form robs it of any real insight, it just becomes "i know how to annoy you". there's no social commentary because the nature of the medium prevents you from tipping your hand and expressing your beliefs beyond bland hatred. i think, ironically, the comedy arms race to be the most knowing blinds them to broader awareness, and indeed their self-awareness stops at the end of their noses.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly very copy and paste. I challenge you to define "Deconstructivist humor", however.

+10 if you can break out why it's lazy outside of the fact that your comment states it as such with no real supporting ideas.

-50 if you copied that from several sites because it was full of neat sounding words.

... Oh and +3 for effort.

Anonymous said...

i meant deconstructionist

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

it was because of the following things:

Anonymous said...

I think something happened to your examples. They're oddly missing and all. Though, as much as I hate to say this, the apparently English-challenged fellow above is right. This isn't really deconstructionist. It’s lacking several key points. I’ll take a guess you haven’t ever happened across the book Of Grammatology, I’ll just sat that it was a lot about Martin Heidegger and his quest to destroy ontological concepts. A lot of that circles around the idea of “Tradition”. He also touches on history, being, theory, death, mind, body, matter, logic…

“When tradition thus becomes master, it does so in such a way that what it 'transmits' is made so inaccessible, proximally and for the most part, that it rather becomes concealed. Tradition takes what has come down to us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial 'sources' from which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even understand.” (Being and Time, p. 43)

Really the book written by a man that is trying way to hard. But I guess I don’t have to tell you as you seem to have a grasp. I have to admit, your comment does makes me wonder how this, a story about stealing a goat (and unless our writer is Mexican I can hardly sense a tradition in that) to the concept of deconstructionist humor. Really, it’s just not that high brow. Now, if you find the humor “lazy” it would be my given right to put out from that I’d like to see you do better. Besides, this writer is obviously neurotic. You probably made her cry with your insult.

Anonymous said...


Harlequin said...

This is why we can't have nice things, Ember.

Exactly this.