Did you think I was gone again? I know, I have disappeared for years at a time in the past, and you wondered Where did he go, this gentle superman? Was he ever here at all--was he in fact just a fever dream I had one day because I ate something unspeakable from the back of the fridge?
But not this time. I return to you after mere weeks away, with tales of adventure.
What happened was I went to London for about ten days. This involves flying on airplanes. And, excitingly, I flew into London on the day of a crazy windstorm, so our plane got to circle Heathrow several times, dipping and rising sickeningly as the winds whipped about us. Very close to reaching-for-the-bag. (and on the return trip, the flight attendant confirmed that there was much barfing on that particular flight.)
Most of my time in London was spent visiting relatives, which was mighty fine. I am of the first generation in my family to be born in America, so pretty much all the family is in England, and I see them only rarely when I can make it over.
And because I traveled only with my two sisters, who returned to California before I did, I got a rare few days of walking around London alone. Well, alone if you don't count the thousands of tourists also walking around. And because I was alone, I could pick anywhere I liked.
I went to Highgate Cemetery, where (among many others) Douglas Adams, Karl Marx, and Malcolm MacLaren are buried. I went to Shepherd's Bush kind of by accident and failed to find Mick Jones's old squat (and got into a QPR-supporters-only pub where I managed not to get beat up.) I went and saw T2 Trainspotting in Leicester Square and told drunken British types to shut up during the film.
Also while I was in England, I managed to get on British radio. I listen to a podcast called Mystery Hour, in which delightfully English people call in with random questions and other delightfully British people call in with answers. And the delightfully British host calls people "prunes" when he feels like disparaging the quality of their questions. My seven year old daughter finds this hilarious.
So I called in with a somewhat dull question (about Scrabble)--but this was only a pretext to get the host to call me a prune, so my daughter could hear the podcast. And to my surprise, not only did I get on the program, but the host did indeed call me a prune.
I played the podcast for my daughter when I returned, and while she agreed I was a prune of the highest order, she also said I was "the best dad" for doing it, and moments like that are pretty good.
If you are interested in hearing my terrible voice, you can get the podcast for free here. It's the March 2nd episode.
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