Carolyn’s Online Magazine
DOESN’T ANYONE WATCH
EVEN IN THIS RESTAURANT?
My husband Monte and I were dining at a Ponderosa buffet in Butler, Pennsylvania, a spot chosen because it had WiFi. We wanted to check our email and other online activities while we were away from home and without access to Internet connections.
Fortunately, Monte was at the buffet for a second time when I read the WordPress prompt for the day, July 5, 2015: Pause whatever you’re doing and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking. Write a post based on it.
I looked around. The person closest to me was a small child sitting in a booth with her mother.
Because of the nature of society today I approached the child cautiously and, after asking her mother if I could ask the child a question, I said: What are you thinking about right now?
The cutie pie slunk down in the corner of the booth, shy and perhaps a bit wary.
“Ask your mom if it’s OK to talk to me,” I suggested.
The child’s mother, Rachel, encouraged her to tell me what she was thinking by asking her child “What were you talking to me about? What did you ask me?”
Rachel told me her daughter’s name was Amelia, and she was 6 years old, before sharing that Amelia had just told her an original brontosaurus joke.
“What is a brontosaurus?” I asked Amelia.
“Doesn’t anyone watch Jurassic Park, even in this restaurant?” Amelia asked. “Brontosaurus is a dinosaurus.”
“My daughter used to love dinosaurs,” I said. “When she was 3 she told me someday I too would know all about dinosaurs.”
Rachel encouraged Amelia to tell me the joke. But Amelia, whispering in Rachel’s ear, tried to get her mother to tell the joke. She said loud enough for me to hear “Really, Mom, I did forget it.”
Finally the joke was told:
- What do you call a blind dinosaur? A blindosaurus.
Rachel said Amelia had made up another joke.
- Why did the farmer talk to his corn? Amelia asked me. Because it had ears.
Amelia was now talking. “Once a goose attacked my grandma and chased her up a tree,” she announced.
Monte was enjoying his meal by this time, so I asked Amelia if she’d like to sign my “reverse guest book”—a book of signatures of people whom I speak with on my journey through life.
After Amelia printed her name Rachel wrote “Thanks for an interesting afternoon.”
I’ll end with some Michael Chrichton quotes from Jurassic Park:
- “Living systems are never in equilibrium. They are inherently unstable. They may seem stable, but they’re not. Everything is moving and changing. In a sense, everything is on the edge of collapse.”
- “The planet has survived everything, in its time. It will certainly survive us.”
- “In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.”
- “God created dinosaurs. God destroyed dinosaurs. God created Man. Man destroyed God. Man created dinosaurs.”
- “Let’s be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven’t got the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.”
- “Discovery is always rape of the natural world. Always.”
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