Theme Park

I was visiting a theme park this week.
It is called “London.”
There is a similar one closer to home.
It’s called “New York.”

Both parks have workers called “natives.”
They are paid to ignore visitors in the park.
Some are apparently paid to be rude to visitors.
Don’t be offended.
It’s just their job.

Both are role-playing parks.
You are called a “tourist.”
Just dress like you would at home.
There’s no set tourist uniform.

Some tourists do like matching t-shirts.
Some wear funny hats.
Avoid these people.
They are über-tourists.
They are dorks.

Both parks have hidden places to buy supplies.
If you buy supplies at stores for tourists,
You can get over-charged. A lot.

For example, water can cost $2 per bottle.
This is a rip-off, of course.
However, tourist water can be three times that.
It has a flag or map printed on the label.
The label makes it cost more.

So, you have to follow natives and see where they go.
This is challenging, because they are ignoring you.
(Again, some are being rude.)
Places natives go have slightly less outrageous prices.
Most of the time.

Finding natives means finding people that don’t look lost.
People that do look lost are other tourists and you avoid them.
You lose points with natives if you are seen with other tourists.

Both parks have one main thrill ride.
In New York, it’s the “Subway.”
In London, it’s the “Tube.”
(It’s the same basic ride.)

On both, you try to avoid annoying any natives.
On the longer version of the ride, you avoid getting robbed.
(Look out for guns and knives on the New York ride.)

You must dodge tourists who are dragging luggage around.
Some tourists have children with them.
Some have both. These are the worst.
Don’t run into them.
If they hit you, you lose points.
Or limbs.
Luggage is heavy.

The goal of the ride is to get where you’re going.
You just can’t look anyone in the eye.
Eye contact is a way to lose.

Asking directions loses you points with natives.
Giving other tourists wrong directions is a foul.
Unless they are funny, like sending them to the wrong stop.
This will amuse the natives, if they know you are lying.
If you are lost, too, they will be rude to you.

For experienced tourists, find the shortest route to win.
In the beginner’s game, just get back alive.
This ride can take all day.
Prepare accordingly.

If you get tired of the Tube ride game,
London also has a bonus game.
It is called “Find a Drink with Ice.”
This is for advanced tourists only.
Natives can not help with this one.

Enjoy your time in the park!

Preservation

At home, it seems that
We move our old things to museums.
Then, we can reuse the space for malls.
You can never have enough malls.

In some places (like England),
They move ancient things to museums, but
Their old things are just used.
They are preserved, not for history,
But because they still work.

Castles, for instance.
Cathedrals, where the religion may change,
But the church still stands.
Pubs, too.

Manifest Destiny caused Planned Obsolescence.
If you’re going to go West (young man) anyway,
Your stuff doesn’t have to last quite as long.

It’s sad that we build things we know won’t last.
Everything would be higher quality if we expected
Generations of descendants to use them, as well.

Next time you build a house, try this.
Think “My great-grandchildren will live here.”
Think “People will visit here in 300 years.”
(Thinking “I need a wall to keep the French out” is optional.)

New House

I have a house in Dallas,
A roof above my head,
But after time in Europe,
I’d like a castle, please, instead.

My neighbors all Drive Friendly,
I drive by, they wave to me,
I still think I’d like to have a moat,
For a little privacy.

I should buy a ranch in Texas,
200 acres of empty land.
Then, I could have formal gardens
Of cactus, mesquite and sand.

I don’t need knights in shining armor,
Servants, damsels or a Yule log.
Just a castle on the prairie,
With a room for every dog.

Actually, servants would be nice.

British Food

This pie has meat.
Savory, not sweet.
Pie with meat that’s not quiche.

This pudding is almost cake.
You don’t cook it, you bake.
And Yorkshire pudding
Requires brown gravy and onions.

The beer is warm (and it’s really ale.)
Other drinks have little ice without fail.
So, sadly, no iced tea, except in bottles.

I guess since ice brought the Titanic down,
They don’t gather too much ice around.
Like in a glass.

Fries are really chips,
And chips are really crisps.
Other than that,
It’s just like home.

Oh. Except over here,
Spotted Dick needs ice cream,
And not penicillin.

JFK

I speak not of the President,
But of the airport of the same name.
We lost the President in 1963,
But he may be in better shape.

The airport is a dump.
I hope dumps are not offended.
It’s like some New Yorker
Visited Newark Airport,  and said,
“Liberty-Shiberty, we can beat this.”

I’ve often wondered if peoples
Landing here from everywhere,
Find themselves suddenly homesick.
For the Third World.

Seriously, people.
Gateways should make you say “Wow!”
The two I’ve seen make me say “Ick!”
(And I’m not a neatnik.)

Let’s clean up our gateways.
Let’s make a good first impression.
Let’s get them in the country
Before the first “Ick”.

Away From The Office

Away from the office,
A glorious place to be.
It doesn’t matter where you are,
It maters where you aren’t.

Voicemail and Email are updated,
So everyone knows your backups,
However,
I think everyone knows
It’s really just gloating.

So, don’t call me.
I’m jut letting the crises pile up.
This way I know I have something
To work on when I get back.

Russian E-Mail Bride

Editor’s Note: From 2002, but the emails just started again.

Twice a week or more
I get e-mail in my box
Gonna change my life
Meet me a Russian fox

Russian E-mail Bride
Now I can’t let go
She don’t know much English
So she can’t say ‘no’

My friends all tell me
That she’s the best.
She wrestles with the weak ones,
And out-drinks the rest.

Russian E-Mail Bride,
Won’t you please call home?
I have a fifth of vodka
But I’m all alone.

Cube Farm

A cube farm is a very productive place.
Not in terms of work, since there are meetings,
But in terms of raw crop production.

In many farms, there are two harvests,
Spring crops and others in the Fall.
Some farms only have one.
(Shine on, harvest moon.)

In a cube farm, there are four harvests.
Each one happens a week or so after quarterly reports.
The numbers come out from the headquarters,
Then, it’s “Hey, has anyone seen Bill?”

A cube farm is probably the only farm
That has going-away parties for its crops.
Other farms just load crops in the truck
And ship them off to market.

Jet Lag

I suffer from jet lag when I fly east or west.
North or south is not as bad.
Probably because the time doesn’t change.

Sometimes, even on short trips,
Where I may only be an hour off,
I can’t get used to the new time.
(I always miss the Seinfeld reruns, for example.)

I used to get really disoriented in California
But that may not be the time change.
It could be any number of other factors.
No offense, California.

Short trips are sometimes the worst,
Since you’re almost but not quite home.
Longer trips, there is no way you will think
You’re anywhere close to your home time.

Of course, on some really long trips,
You will have to sleep in the middle of the day.
Don’t ever calculate what time it is at home.
You may just fall asleep wherever you are.

I used to be able to sleep on the plane,
Which is the best way to combat jet lag,
Then I told people, “I always sleep on the plane”,
And after that, I couldn’t do it any more. 

I decided to practice for a long-haul trip this morning.
Every time I changed major roads driving to the office,
I moved my car’s clock ahead an hour.
Turn at a major intersection, change to the next time zone.

This was a really good simulation of jet lag.
I drove across five time zones from home to work.
Five hours difference in one drive.

Naturally, I was late for all of my morning meetings.
I didn’t even have time to have my coffee.
This would have been a major work-life issue,
However, it was time to go home at lunch.

Anticipation

When you are young,
Nothing comes slower than Christmas.
Assuming you are Christian,
And your parents buy you gifts.
(Santa may or may not be involved.)

When you are older,
Nothing comes slower than summer.
Assuming you go to school,
And your parents don’t make you work.

When you are a grown-up,
Nothing comes slower than vacation,
And you need a day off beforehand to plan,
And a couple of days off afterwards to relax.

So, when you book your vacation,
Make sure you have days on either side blocked.
Otherwise you end up with 5pm meetings,
Conference calls, and other stresses.

I am probably going to need vacation,
To recover from my vacation.
But I can’t afford to be away that long.
That is stressful in itself.

Vacations should not cause stress.
But they usually do.
I miss summer.
I miss Christmas.
I’m late for a meeting.