austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

That fateful night the car was stalled

My parents reported having a fine time at the King Tut exhibit, and enjoyed things overall, and when they got back one of the college friends and her son were there for a while, partly to recover before going on to the northeast, partly so the college friend and my mother could buy supplies for their next expeditionary trip. (They're going to the Grand Canyon, and picked up things like ``river sandals'', whatever they are, and the sort of wide-brimmed hat appropriate for going off to dig the Panama Canal.) While my mother and her friend were off shopping I was left chatting and determining that my father's insistence that the cousin really wanted to see The Book Garden actually amounted to ``he likes used books, and my father mentioned The Book Garden, which he found moderately interesting.'' It's important to know how to translate my father into English.

My cousin (or however you want to describe the relationship) mentioned that he had a friend who's starring in some new safety videos. This came up in the context of he's planning to take a defensive driving course, and is afraid of the gore-and-horror safety videos he expects will be shown. I don't remember ever encountering gore-and-horror videos in school, even in the driving courses, myself, but other people claim to have seen them. She hopes to make it to Broadway, but for now she's eager enough to work she doesn't mind being in two-bit operations from tiny companies doing things like showing how to properly greet your town's lovable deacon of death or the grim highway sheriff warning how driver's licenses will result in death.

He mentioned that she's working right now in a series of remakes of British gore-and-horror safety videos. Until that moment I had never considered the trail of remakes and Americanizations of safety videos, and I can only assume the American remake will just not get the real point of the originals. He mentioned one of them was to show the hazards of the ``train Olympics'' which he never heard of either. From the context I imagine it has to involve doing foolish stunts on train tracks, but then I had imagined ``zebra crossings'' were Douglas Adams whimsy until I got to Singapore and learned the sad truth. He was confident the ``train Olympics'' safety videos have gone on to torment and warp British minds for years, and now can go on to -- if the company she's working for doesn't collapse of its own low-budget company causes too soon -- torment and warp the United States, and I'd imagine be a minor hit on YouTube.

Trivia: The fifth month of the Babylonian calendar was Abu. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs, Dr Joe Schwarcz.


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