Monday, April 30, 2012

Jurassic Trailer Park...Or How I Waste Time!

A Dinosaur ate my homework...
When you are in the process of doing something...some chore that has become tedious and you can't get out of you find yourself distracted by other projects that are more fun?  I am supposed to be writing a report on my great-great grandmother for the May meeting of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  But I am having trouble finding enough information about her to do her justice.  So I sit down at my computer...and play on Pinterest...or Blogger...or Facebook...anything but what I am supposed to be doing.  Yesterday I wrote about my old school.  Today I found an old story I wrote some years back when I was bored watching my daughter's softball game.  Grandma Sarah will have to wait a few more I want to take you on a trip to...

Jurassic Trailer Park...
The open hovercraft carrying the two visiting scientists sped silently over the cracked and unused highway outside the city dome.  Neither spoke as they passed the skeletal remains of the old "Tomahawk Drive-in" and "Joe's Junk Yard," where sand drifted through the rusting carcasses of old Buicks.  A pyramid of discarded tires had been smoldering for over a hundred years and would probably do so for a hundred more. The oily black smoke stung their eyes.

"I can't believe these places still exist," said Ellie at last.  She was a trim blonde woman who specialized in American Landfills.

"They were discovered at the end of the Five Year Sandstorm," Sam informed her.  "I hear they are close to unearthing a 7-11 that still has its original Slurpee Machine."

Sam, who had a Doctorate in Late 20th Century Pop Culture...Coke, Sprite, etc...leaned forward in anticipation.  He had prepared for this moment his entire adult life.  It was the proof that validated his years of research.  He wiped his sweat-streaked face with the bandanna he always wore.  A few more hot dusty miles to go.

No pictures are available of Sam and Ellie
But they probably looked like these two people.

Are we there yet?...
It seemed to Ellie that she only blinked and the gate appeared before them.  She was puzzled by the height of the heavy electrified fence surrounding the compound.  But it was the sign over the gate that made her heart beat fast within her rib cage.  In garish flashing neon the sign read:


They were met at the gate by a white-haired gentleman who dressed like Colonel Sanders.  His smile was pleasant as he greeted them.

"Welcome to Jurassic Trailer Park!  I really don't think your inspection is necessary, but the investors insisted.  I'm already behind schedule.  If you pass us off, we could be open to the public by Memorial Day.  My name is Hammond.  Shall we begin the tour?

"Let's pop in first at the Manager's Office.  We find it to be typical of the sites we have uncovered across the former United States."
They entered through a torn screen door into a dim stuffy room.  An ancient electic fan strove valiantly to create a no avail.  Sam took a few steps and stopped, looking at his feet.

"I don't believe it!" he exclaimed.  "This is the largest intact specimen of linoleum I've ever come across."

"Yes.  We're very proud of it.  There was enough to do the entire Manager's Office and part of the men's restroom.  It's been dated 20 years B.C...Before Congoleum!" Hammond bragged.

A wood-grained plastic box with a moving picture screen buzzed fitfully in one corner.  On the screen, a red-headed woman was whining to a Latino man wearing a Toreador costume.

"Please, Ricky!  Please let me be in the show!" she cried, clinging desperately to his pant leg while he tried to make a break for the door.

"That's a recorded broadcast, of course.  We were able to piece together an entire working television from various sites throughout the dig.  But without the primitive signals..."  Hammond sighed, "You know how it is.  This is an example of the sophisticated programming enjoyed by this culture."

They left the office and began walking through the avenues of portable housing units the Old Ones called "Mobile Homes."  The variety of dwellings was amazing.  They ranged from little pink and cream breadboxes...common in the magnificent Double Wides, complete with decks and hot tubs.  They all sat proudly on their postage stamp-sized lots, roofs bristling with TV antennas.

No matter the size of the home, each seemed to have the requisite allotment of pink plastic flamingos, gnomes and hanging pots of artificial flowers.

"We think the flamingos were required by law," Hammond informed them.  They explored inside some of the restored models.

The interiors were typified by green or orange shag carpeting and "harvest gold" Frigidaires covered with magnets shaped like pigs, fruit, and cartoon characters.  Many homes sported velvet paintings of a long dead "King."

"How they must have loved him," Ellie whispered reverently.  Also popular were framed antique prints of dogs playing poker...copies available for sale in the Gift Shoppe...Hammond reminded them.

"The male members of this ancient society used to sit in reclining chairs and observe warfare carried out on 100 yard battlefields...between redskins and pirates," Hammond began his lecture.  "In between skirmishes, the female would bring him intoxicating beverages and crisp vegetable chips fried in hot oil.  Let's move on, shall we?"

"Mr. Hammond," Sam interupted.  "I've been meaning to ask you about the electrified fence.  Are you trying to keep something out...or something in?"

"Why, keep something in, of course" Hammond said cryptically. 

"The Disney Millennium Park doesn't use electric fencing." Ellie added.

"Well," Hammond replied. "When the Pirates of the Caribbean Galaxy breaks down...the pirates don't bore the tourists.  I don't want the little dickens to escape without visiting the Park Museum and Gift Shoppe.  Why, we have a genuine push lawn mower on display...the only one of its kind on the planet.

"The kiddies will enjoy the Jurassic Trailer Park souvenirs.  We have whoopi cushions, squirt guns, slinkys and those x-ray specs that see through women's clothing.  Sam...Ellie...let me give you one of these t-shirts to take home.  It says 'My parents went to Jurassic Trailer Park and all I got was this  lousy t-shirt'."

Sam and Ellie exchanged looks.  "Run!" she cried.  They ran for the gate, leaving a puzzled old man choking on their dust.

Ignoring his pleas to stay and finish the tour, they took one last look back at Jurassic Trailer Park.  As they watched, the neon letters J, I, and C went dark.

One more afternoon wasted!

To gnome me is to love me!


Dorothy said...

I think you are a cross between Stephen King and Erma Bomback! Too funny! and where did you find those pictures? Love the one of the little trailer park. You are very entertaining, Shirley!

Tammy's in Love said...

Oh my you made me laugh out loud umpteen times! I think you do well when you are stalling! You and Dear Helen Hartman ought to get together for an afternoon of procrastination commiseration! Great post!


vintage grey said...

What a great post!! So fun!! Love these stories!! ;) xo Heather

LBP said...

Oh Shirley you have me laughing like a hyena! And I'm at work..!!
You really need to have some of these stories published! I don't know why the sentence "Deep fried vegetable chips" makes me go off into gales of laughter.. I sure needed this today!

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Shirley, You are just way too funny! I love it! There are so many snippets in here that I just adore. I don't think this was a waste of time at all! I do know that sometimes, we need to distract ourselves from the things we should be doing. As long as you don't put it off too long, you are fine. Thanks again for sharing such a great tale!

Carolynn at "Chenille Cottage" said...

What a clever post, sweet friend! Yes, I understand the procrastination monster...He lurks at my house, too!! I can live with dirty windows easily...until I have an unpleasant task....and, then, all of a sudden the urgency of washing windows hits me!!!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Shirley!
Carolynn. :)

Linda Ruthie said...

Now that was fun! Not a complete waste of time when you can entertain us.
Good luck with your report. It must be very frustrating when there's so little information.
Your apron should arrive in your mailbox early this week.