Saturday, April 18, 2009

Miscellaneous Meanderings of the Mind...

We took a trip to the aquarium today and I noticed a few things.

I noticed I get almost as much entertainment value from watching the other people there as I do from looking at the exhibits. Sometimes it's fun to just hang out on the periphery and watch the visitors wander by. You really start to notice the diversity of people. Their races. How they dress. How some of them feel the need to act like complete idiots to impress their friends. How still others carry themselves with such dignity it just makes you want to go up and shake their hand.

I also noticed that there are some real idiots in the crowd. One guy in particular really got to a few folks. We were in a darkened area with back-lit seahorse exhibits, and numerous signs with a black outline of a camera and flash and a red circle and slash, accompanied by the words "Do not flash the seahorses" in English and Spanish.

This moron took not one, not two, but four FLASH pictures of one of the exhibits. I would bet money all he got were pictures of his own flash. I was standing directly left of this moron, and the lady to his right kindly pointed to the signs and said "They really don't want you to use your flash. It disturbs the seahorses." I mean in the nicest, most grandmotherly tone she could muster. The nit-wit photographer rudely replied, almost yelling at this poor woman "Well, I don't know how to turn it off!"

I suggested matter-of-factly "How about you use the POWER button?"

He didn't like that and left in a huff. The rest of us were left to enjoy the seahorses once they came out of their flash induced hiding places.

Also in the seahorse exhibit, there is a game set up for the kids. There are three control stands in front of a big plasma screen. Each control stand controls a seahorse. On each stand there are three dials. One for texture (this one controls how long the spiny protrusions on the seahorse will be), one for color, and one for the size of the seahorse. The idea is to match the size, color and texture of your particular seahorse to its coral background before the hungry fish goes past.

If you're successful in camouflaging your seahorse, the big fish will swim right by it. If not, the fish snaps it up and eats it. Pretty cool idea, so I thought. As Moose was running through the game a few times a woman standing behind me said to her friend "Wow. That's kind of a violent game don't you think?"

Dude, really?

A fish eating a seahorse is VIOLENT? The fish did not ROB the seahorse. The fish did not CARPET BOMB the seahorse. The fish did not REEF JACK the seahorse. The fish did not do a SWIM BY SHOOTING on the seahorse. The fish did what fish do. It ATE THE DAMNED SEAHORSE! You know, survival of the fittest? Natural selection? All that scientific crap?

Come on lady. If the food chain is violent, then I suppose yes, that game is violent. She is probably one of those who refer to a polar bear "savagely attacking" a woman who was stupid enough to place her body parts into the cage of a wild animal.

Finally, as the day neared an end and my recently wrenched back got sore enough that I needed to sit down, I went downstairs and found a bench to sit on near the information desk. It was an out of the way bench where I could sit and just watch the people go by. As I sat, I reflected on how I used to go to the mall, or the zoo, or the aquarium and see old guys sitting on the benches watching the people pass.

Old guys? "But I'm not old" I protested. Although with the sore back I certainly FELT old.

So I looked to my left along the length of the bench and saw a bunch of other tired looking guys of all ages, sitting.... and watching. There was a dad of about 20 years old sitting with his kid and playing with a stuffed toy the boy had just acquired.

There was a grandpa who looked to be about 70 sitting with his eyes closed. He looked at peace with the world. I thought how nice it will be someday to be like that. Maybe in another 40 years or so, since I really am NOT old.

Then there was another guy about my age. He was just sitting, like me. Watching people pass, like me.

Then the Mrs. walked up, tapped my shoulder and said "Boo!" and it was time to go.

All in all a very good day out with Mrs. Smith and Moose and Moose's friend...


Roanoke Cop said...

Oh yes, I meet those people all the time. The ones who the rules don't apply to. The universe revolves around them and we should all just be glad to be a part of it.

Front Porch Society said...

People watching is fun. I do it at the airport and the mall. Some make me laugh and others make me just shake my head in bewilderment.

The Bus Driver said...

i love people watching.. i do it all the time at sporting events. Its like some people have no self respect!

*Goddess* said...

At least you didn't find yourself sitting there holding your wife's!

Officer "Smith" said...

Yeah, well. I would have if she asked. I'm not afraid that my "manliness" will be somehow inhibited by her purse sitting on the bench next to me.

Anonymous said...

Imagine living in a tank with people watching you all the time. And then imagine that those people point objects at you that FLASH!

People like that think they are more important than the rules. The don't think about the fact that if everyone flouted the rules all day every day ... chaos.

Anonymous said...

PS I'd never ask my husband to hold my purse. But it's nice you are secure enough to do it if need be.

Beat And Release said...

Heck, back in the day when I cut school I would head to the mall, buy an Orange Julius (do they still have those?) and sit on a bench, people-watching. My preferred spot was front of one of the women's shops - nicer looking people to watch there :)

Officer "Smith" said...

Been there, done that.

And yes, they do still have Orange Julius.

*Goddess* said...

You know, maybe when that guy read, "Do not flash the seahorses", he was thinking they meant something else:)

Officer "Smith" said...

Well, I'm glad he didn't do THAT!

I'm sure the experience would have left me scarred. Scarred for life.