Thursday, October 29, 2009

Banana phone!

I need a telephone that can call through time. How many people I could call! Walter Benjamin. My project would essentially be done after a series of interviews with my lovely architects: Shchusev, Zholtovsky, Alabian, etc., etc. Napoleon. Empress Maria Feodorovna. Dante. Lion-O.

But really, I’d only use it so I could call in to The Sandbox to participate in their phone queries. They’re always so funny!

Today, for example, I listened to the MEGAPHONE QUERY on public-service announcements. Most of the calls went something like this: “Nah, I don’t think PSA’s are ever worthwhile. But do you remember the one where—“ [insert story about Smokey Bear, the dog, the kid wearing a thousand t-shirts, the horribly graphic ones about texting while walking, etc.]

I would call and, à la all these people who didn’t actually answer the question, go on my own spiel. But instead of spielifying [Juicify Sarah! Juicify Sarah!] about a PSA, I’d take a jaunt to the cul-de-sac named Le boulevard de mémoire (formerly known as Memory Lane, but you know how stylish it is to give everything a French name these days: fois gras, l’histoire de longue durée, des lieux de mémoire, Julia Childs, etc.

I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but it was no later than fifth grade; likely earlier. Class field trip down to the Museum of Science in Boston. Let me backtrack – the chaperone to my group was none other than a narc officer for the DEA.

So. We’re with this guy (I remember thinking he was cool because I pictured his job to be something like James Bond on acid. Literally.) and have the run of the museum. He takes us in to the neurological section, near the panorama of the Big Dig (which was projected to end in 2000 or 2001. Heh heh. Hindsight makes corruption funny).

Cracked-up James Bond was standing near an image of two brains, and I went over to see what it was that had his attention. On the left was a picture with all sorts of fiery colors lighting up the brain every which way; on the right, a brain with some pale pinks and yellows in a couple of random places. The description: “Difference in CAT scan results between an individual who has never used [I forget which drug. Meth or LSD or something along those lines; one of the manufacture-miracle-cracks] and an individual who has been addicted for [x number of] years.” (I was a little kid, c’mon. I don’t have a photographic memory. If someone had said it, however…)
A girl in the bar: You have a really good memory!
Me: Only for hearing things; my friends say I have a telephonic memory.
Girl: Oh, that’s funny. I wish I had a photogenic memory!
Yes. That entertained me for days. And it still does today. Back to me being scared at the Museum of Science.

That, more than anything else, creeped me the very much out, and I decided I probably would stay away from whichever drug it was. I don’t know if I really would say that the display worked as a public-service announcement, however; the image has stuck in my brain, but not the name of the drug…so really, how will I know which one to look out for and which illicit drugs are safe to take?

And besides, the brain on the right had to be saving millions on their electricity bill. They switch to Geico and suddenly people are paying THEM. Genius.

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