30 July, 2009

So, you've probably noticed...

Yesterday I copped out, posted a video, and called it a day. Well, two videos each in a separate post because I couldn't exactly draw a coherent line between the TRON: Legacy trailer and How To Get A Leg Up In Porn, but you get me. Today is going to be no different, in terms of copping out. I wanted to go with a "Can We All Agree On Something" or a "Some Things In Life, You Just Can't Explain", but those formats are limiting and I have to supply the appropriate context for this situation.

It was a pretty extreme angle, though.
I was sitting in the office at the hostel last night, when this little Asian cat that from a certain angle kind of looks like Ando from Heroes comes into the office and asks if he can ask me a question. It's not like I'm going to say, "No," but I hear the breaks in his English and the tiny xenophobe inside me has a feeling that this could go one of two ways: We'll either come to the conclusion that we can't communicate with each other, or I'll give him directions to the Mall of America.
Because everybody wants to go to the fucking Mall of America. Whether they're from Toledo, OH or Toledo, Spain; Paris, TX or Paris, France; they all want to see the Mall of America. Even if they've seen the Louvre and the marvels of humankind's artistic development contained therein; even if they've made pilgrimages to the Vatican or the Wailing Wall; even if they have swam with dolphins or sharks, even if they're on a goddamned waiting list to be a space tourist, they want to see the Fucking Mall of Fucking America.
Turns out that we're not going to be able to communicate with each other. His question, of course, is, "How do I get to Denver?" He asks this as he puts a map with driving directions from Minneapolis to Denver in front of me, thus establishing that he's already found the answer. That the printed out map is folded up into quadrants and dog-eared at the corners indicates to me that this answer has lived in his pocket for quite a while.
Of course, since I never looked up this information, I tell him I don't know.
"You don't know?"
I don't know.
"I'm trying to get to Denver."
Yeah, but I don't know how to get there. I'd follow the map.
[Pointing at the map.] "Do I go this way?"
Looks like it.
"So I go this way?"
Probably. It's about a thousand miles away [wrong] and I've never been to Denver so I don't know.*
"Right. So do I just go this way?"
Yeah, that's about [reconsidering] eight hundred miles away [wrong] and I've never been there. [The actual distance is nine hundred twelve miles.] I'd say Mapquest it or Google Map it.**
"I don't know."
You don't know?
"I don't know."
Well, I don't know either.
"Oh. OK."
Then he turned around and left. I went back to playing Tetris.

* I wanted to find a way to throw out the idea that, you know, the U.S. is a big place. It's not just an hour drive. Like when people think that my being from Bowling Green means I know so-and-so from Toledo which means I know so-and-so from Cleveland or Columbus; I tell them, you know, Ohio's a whole state. We're kind of a big state. We don't all know each other.
** Which you would think would be unnecessary, since he has a Yahoo! Map print out. Mapquest is to web maps as Kleenex is to tissues. How my saying "Mapquest" to you means to strictly use Mapquest is as ridiculous as if I suggested that I would blow my nose in only Kleenex brand tissue.

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