Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Journeys in My Own Backyard: Dowackers that Play Giant Cds and Ed the Scorpion

Staying on course to travel this summer has been tough. My student and I would much rather play than get this house together. We’ve been spending our time going through boxes in the basement, mainly to stay out of the midwest humidity, but also so we have a place to stow our kayaks. There aren’t many boxes left to survey, but there were 2 two that were fun. They were simply labeled “33LPs - Good Stuff”.

It was the first time my student ever saw an “album”. Man were there some classics: The Who, Stones, Aerosmith, Heart, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Cat Stevens, Marshall Tucker, Almann Brothers. I had some classic Jazz and Blues too and always the Jimmy Buffett albums, only on these covers Jimmy was skinnier and had more hair. My student wanted to know what the device was called that we played “albums” on. “Oh!” I said.
“The dowacker that plays those giant CDs is called a turntable.”
“That’s dumb. Ebay mom” he said and moved on to another box with dead bugs in it and asked if I remembered Ed the scorpion.

Now Ed was an interesting creature, may he rest in peace. Ed was the brown scorpion that stowed away in our duffle from when we stayed in the High country in Guatemala ,
in the Atitlian region. Scorpions are hardy little beasts. After 2 weeks of the total darkness of the duffle, Ed screamed “sanctuary” from the bottom of the empty bag on my bedroom floor. There I was with a scorpion in my luggage and my then seven year old wide-eyed watching to see what I’d do. Instinct dictated that I swat the tar out of the scorpion with my shoe and scoop him up in the dust-bin, but the terror in my student’s eyes demanded that I take another approach. I scooped the animal up in a jar and called the Zoo. We named the scorpion Ed and drove him to the Zoo where for several years my student believed he lived with the other insects in the insect house. Needless to say, I think Ed ended up at the end of one of the pins in the display cases in the insect house. Poor thing.

Maybe one of these days I will put my albums up for sale at Ebay, but for now these boxes are stowed next to the one box labeled "chuck this in the hole with me when I die".