From Marty Leipzig: Humorous anecdote time: During my last sojourn overseas, I had some ac
From Marty Leipzig:
Humorous anecdote time: During my last sojourn overseas, I had
some accumulated R&R (much R&R&R&R&R) time coming. Being the
rather bizarre type as I am wence, I decided to go to Turkey.
Eastern Turkey. Agra Dagi in fact (those not in the know call
it Mt. Ararat). Just for grins as I had become rather
disenchanted with Russian vodka and decided that Uzo and Kamish
was more to my liking (scotch is STILL awful stuff), I wanted
to see what all the brouhaha was about in that general
vicinity. Armed to the teeth with Berlitz phrase books
(and a cheeseburger in my pocket) (another story altogether),
I wandered up to the Beryozka and ordered up a round trip
flight to that legendary country.
I was told that virtually anything oriental was available. Silk.
Damask. Other stuff (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
As I deplaned the Aeroflot Ilushin IL-76, I was already loaded
(ahem) down with other worldly trinkets, and wanted not of the wares
they had to market. I was on a mission, to find what the hell was so
intoxicating to the hoards of "Arkeologists" who traversed afar to
search for the legendary "Noah's Ark". I was not soon disappointed.
"See here ! Bits of the genuine ark!" crowed one hawker.
"Yessir, Mr. Large American. We take you to resting place of
the most holy ark!" I felt as if I had stepped into a Monty
Python film. "Wood from the ark and pieces of the true cross"
yelled one adventurous businessman, obviously confusing one
myth with another. Tawdry bits and pieces, obviously meant for
the hoi polloi, not wearied, weathered travelers like myself.
"No, nein, nyet. Where's the real stuff?" I asked. Out of the
shadows emerged a small, yet sulky, man. "I have what you want" he
intoned, "Follow me". Always being one for adventure, I did just
that. Through the bazaar, down dark, dank passageways, completely
losing whatever I had previously held as points of reference. But
no matter, I was on a quest .
Off we went, further and further, into the gloom (yet it was near
noon in the outside world). Still we went, further into the
unknown. At this time, my sixth or seventh sense of danger was
ringing like a smoke alarm in Dr. Goldberg's office just after he
lit up an Uppmann's. Just where was I being led? Remembering that
this was a true story, I pushed on. Finally, after navigating
numerous dark passageways and ill-lit alleys, I found myself, quite
alone, in a foreign country in a foreign place led by a foreign
individual. "Here is what you seek...", he notes...as he pulls
back a finely crafted and psychopathically embroidered damask
curtain to reveal...
...A large ships wheel (much like that seen in "Star Trek 5. The
Search for more money") and a crudely lettered plaque reading
"S.S. Noah" . Not knowing what to think, I just
stood there and marveled on how soundly I had just been had.
Casting a glance over to my guide, I couldn't help but note that he
was barely able to contain himself. He exploded (No. Keep reading.
This isn't a Steven King short story.) into a series of guffaws and
belly-laughs. "Sir. The look on your face. You do not believe
Amed?" Through the laughter and his suddenly improved English,
Amed told me how he would lure the unknowing down through what I
had just been through to view his masterwork. I asked him what the
others thought of his little display. "Most see it as a grand
jape", he said, belying his obvious British education, "but those
bent on finding the true ark..." "Go on, please" I implored him.
"They want me to stand next to it so they can take pictures."
In the bar, over toasts of Kamish and Vodka, we roared like the
Lion of Judah over that last line.
It WAS a good trip.
... To walk on water, you have to know where the rocks are.
--- Blue Wave/Max v2.12
* Origin: A Little Corner in Time BBS (1:106/113.0)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank