The local community center sometimes shows second-run movies at discount price on Tuesday evenings, so last night I finally saw this “Avatar” thing that made such a buzz. Or was it The Last Samurai? Or Dances with Wolves? (Or, I hate to admit, my own favorite movie, Last of the Mohicans?) Or any of the million other movies where some white guy goes and becomes “native” and does it better than they do. It’s too bad all the Noble Savages need a gringo to come save them. But anyway, I’ll spare you my ranting about clichés (btw, who wants to be “the hard-nosed fighter pilot with a chip on his/her shoulder who comes through with a heart of gold” next time?)
We were watching the movie, where the protagonist goes to another land, falls for a tall beautiful female and learns about her unfamiliar world, including the language, which he haltingly picks up.
Halfway through the movie they had an intermission (how cool is that? Pee-and-Tea break, everyone!) and I went to the bathroom where I tried to pick out words I knew from the flittering conversations, and observed the others to learn how things are done here. Then I went back to my tall beautiful female and tried not to drown in the déjà vu.
(Okay, so the bathrooms aren’t that different, but I did opt to wait in line to use the motion-activated cloth-towel-loop-recycler thing to confirm how to use it.)
Ooh, and can I tell you a little bit more about the bathroom? I know you want to hear more about the bathroom. I remember hearing years ago about a (in my memory he was Danish) train station employee who was tasked with figuring out a way to reduce the amount men were peeing on the floor. His brilliantly simple solution was to paint a little fly on the porcelain of the urinals. Men, as we all know, are just oversized little boys, and given the chance to pee on something, will.
So all the guys started peeing on this little fly, and lo and behold, the floors stayed dry. (If you want to use that sentence in your next song, you can.) In the community center bathroom in Heist-op-den-Berg I finally got to pee on the fly! I hope the guys next to me weren’t too weirded out by how entertained I was during my visit…
(And it bears mentioning, the bathroom was much cleaner than its counterpart in the States would have been, I reckon. No sticky floors, wet paper, or cigarette butts. Although that is generally true of all public bathrooms here.)
(To be fair, I don’t mean to say everything is magically better here; surprisingly, it is even harder to find a public bathroom than back yonder, where it borders on a human rights violation in my mind. Anyway. The point is: I got to pee on the little fly.)
(Although to be honest, the Spaniards have one-upped them already. There was a pisser back there somewhere with a little orange ball and soccer goal. Probably less effective at keeping the place clean, but way more fun.)
I'm sure you noticed Wes Studi, right?
Tim,Actually I believe that the Avatar story is stolen from a Frank Herbert novel called 'The Jesus Incident'. It is a story in which a group of people is delivered to a planet called Pandora where all the creatures there are deadly. It turns out the kelp is sentient. The politicians want to destroy it, the scientists want to study it. One poet learns to talk to it and is able to rally all the creatures of the planet to fight for life in the final battle. The kelp consciousness is called Avata. Sounding familiar? It is actually a very good book (and there's a lot more to it than I wrote here). So, since I was worried that the Avatar plot might suck and it would be all about the effects, I was at least a little pleased that they stole from a book I really liked.-David