Pages

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poking the Bear

Snapshots of a whirlwind family trip, Day One

Scene: Tour of the U.S. Capital
Characters: Mom, Dad, Brother (henceforth referred to as Tom), Me, Most Uptight Tour Guide of All Time (henceforth referred to as MUTGOAT)

We're standing in a statuary hall. MUTGOAT is guiding our tour group along. "Let's go, people. Let's go!" He flicks his hand impatiently.  I moo softly to myself as we are herded to the appropriate standing point.

"This is the hall of statues," MUTGOAT barks. "People complain that there are only men in here but there are three women on this statue right here." He dismissively gestures at a marble bust. "These women helped bring the vote to women. Who are they? Anybody? Anybody! C'mon now? Anybody!"

He is a peculiar mix of the Drill Sargent from Full Metal Jacket and Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I'm not sure if he's going to say "Aloha," or ask me about my major malfunction.

I strongly suspect he is a former high school history teacher, lean and impatient from years of cracking adolescent skulls. He is angry--very angry---about the pathetic knowledge base of this, his schulmpy, panty-waisted tour group.

Forever a teacher's pet, I squeak, "Stanton?"

"What DID YOU SAY?" he yells, as the crowd parts. I believe somebody even points my direction, perhaps to deflect his wrath.

"Stanton?" I repeat, searching for a rogue asteroid to rescue me from this interregation.

MUTGOAT sighs, "Yes, Stanton. Everybody knows that one," The you assholes is implied, but present nevertheless. "Who are the other two? Anybody? C'mon."

Somebody mumbles, "Cady," and receives an eye roll as a reward. After a terrifying silence he finally says, "Lucretia Mott's the third one. It's kinda like the Three Tenors. People only name one, and it's usually the wrong one. Moving on. Let's GO, people!"

With that fuckyouverymuch, we head off to the Old Senate Chamber. He has us walk in by ourselves. A woman guarding the ancient antiquities says, alarmed, "Where's your guide?"

Tom replies, "He told us to go in ourselves."

The woman clenches her jaw and says, "You are supposed to be with a guide. You must have MUTGOAT." She relaxes her tightened fists and says, "He doesn't like to go into this room because there are too many ghosts in here." Warming to the idea, she adds,  "When you see him, ask him why he's afraid of ghosts."

A man standing next to us shudders and states, "I'M not asking him."

My brother just smiles.

As MUTGOAT herds us into yet another hall of statuary he says, "You can ask questions when I'm done talking, but not before." After shaming us for not knowing the year of Marbury vs. Madison, he says, "Any questions?"

Tom says, "Sir, are you afraid of ghosts?"

The crowd gasps. MUTGOAT sneers. The silence feels like an ice pick to the eardrum. He says nothing, contempt oozing over the group like lava.

Tom, undaunted, presses, "The woman in there said you were afraid of ghosts?"

Now it's MUTGOAT's turn to clench his jaw. He tries to think of something clever to say, but finally, all he can do is mumble, "Baaaaaaaaaaah." He swallows a bit, clears his throat and says, "Moving on, people!"

As we continue our tour, I mumble to Tom, "You just had to poke the bear, didn't you."

Tom smiles and says, "Always."

19 comments:

Eternal Lizdom said...

Oh how I love this story!!! Tom sounds like my kinda guy!! I might have been a bit more passive agressive or downright dramatic about the whole thing- maybe making it seem like a ghost was following us on the tour... or maybe my body would be invaded by a ghost at question time. Whooooooo!

DUTA said...

I think your suspicion was right. The guide was probably a bitter , impatient and angry former high school teacher.

The way you describe the tour makes it a funny post. Thank you for the smile!

Coby said...

ROFLMAO! What a terrible guide, but great fodder for blogging. MUTGOAT is a perfect name!

Sounds like you and Tom picked up right where you left off from the last time you saw one another. Not that I would know, just sounds like you have that kind of relationship, which is always wonderful.

Mrsblogalot said...

LOL!! I really need to get us out on more family outings!!

Robin said...

The way this reads ..I swear I felt like I was there every step of the way....you are very talented Dear...and c'mon..was Mutgoat, HOT...in a weird sort of angry asshole way..Im dyin to know...I love Tom...how courageous..he da man..!

LB said...

LOL! Sounds like fun!

Erin said...

what a great story! Wish I could've been there. Tom is brave. I couldn't have been the one to do that...but so funny!

Ms. Moon said...

That's MISTER MutGoat, right?

clearness said...

Now that's all kinds of funny. How much did you pay for this guided tour. I would have complained. At least it's good fun for your blog.

Eyegirl said...

Sounds like an interesting tour. I hope you enjoyed the Capital more than the guide!

Bekah said...

Good tour guides are hard to find and worth their weight in gold!

When did I become my Mom said...

LMBO! Oh your brother is FUN! Can I come on the next trip! ;-)

Daffy said...

I love it! Way to go Tom!

I laughed out loud when you said you mooooooed quietly to yourself. I have done that SO many times!!! I mean not just randomly or anything. I'm not THAT weird. It was while with some masses moving in the same general direction...

michelle said...

You are a VERY funny lady.

MUTGOAT. Brilliant

Julie said...

Nice stuff ... re my imasges and riffling off them ... I do that already ... it does not come as naturally to me as it does to you, but I would be honoured if you would take a look here ... http://riffuponanimage.blogspot.com/

Life with Kaishon said...

You wrote about this so well. I felt as if I was there. I fear Mutgoat! : )

Unknown Mami said...

Tom is awesome! This was great.

Cat said...

Tom sounds like fun! The tour guide on the other hand...

Corrie Howe said...

I would be tempted to do so too. But I like having fun which doesn't hurt anyone...too badly.