Stupid is as Stupid Does


Last weekend Vesta and I drove to Medford, took us six hours. We picked up Devon and hit the road to Portland, which took us another six hours, to spend the weekend with Tiffany. A normal driver can cut an hour off each leg of the trip, but we stop at every reststop, every Micky D's and any other place that looks interesting along the way. It's helpful, because I drink an awful lot of coffee when we're on the road, so not being in a hurry is a good thing.

When we got to Portland, Devon wanted to go to OMSI, Oregon's Museum of Science and Industry, because Tiffany works there. This is usually a pretty fun thing to do, as they've got lots of stuff for kids to do, but sadly it seems Devon has outgrown most of it and the few things he hasn't outgrown, he's so familiar with, that it's not very exciting for him anymore. Growing up, it's a bitch.

However, they had this new space exhibit that he'd never seen, so we spent some time there. And in this exhibit they had this whirly thingy. You know, you've seen astronauts in training in the movies spin around in 'em, pulling Gs in these kind of contraptions. Devon wanted to ride it and I bellied right on up to ride with him.

This girl who was running the thing strapped Devon in, then asked me if I thought I'd get dizzy.

"What? Me? I used to live on a boat, never, ever got seasick. I sure as heck won't get dizzy." I thought for a second, looked over at Devon laid out in the machine. "How come you didn't ask him?"

"It's usually only the old people who have a problem."

"I'm not old. How old do I look?"

"Just letting you know," she said. Then, "If you do get dizzy, focus on the light fixture above your head, it'll help." Did she think she was dealing with a novice here? I must've told hundreds of people during my years on the boat, to focus on the horizon if they got seasick. Did she think I was some old guy who just wandered in off the street?

"I'll be fine."


She stepped away, turned the machine on and Devon shouted out a "Whee" or some such nonsense. He was really enjoying the ride.

Jujuwalkin' 011But me, I wasn't having so much fun. I swear she sped that machine up because she thought I was some sort of smart ass, because the lights on the ceiling were going round and round to beat the band. Two times around and I wanted to vomit. But I held it in. I looked over at Devon and he had this stupid smile on his face. He was liking it.

Me, I was pulling Gs. I felt like my face was being pulled off, getting sucked into the earth.

Jujuwalkin' 012Three times around and the upchuck was coming up. Heaven help me, I was gonna blow chow all over myself while spinning around at twice the speed of sound.

Four times around and I was still holding it in. I tried focusing on the fixture above my head, got no joy. I could see the lights on the ceiling out of the side of my eyes. It was horrible.

Five times around and I closed my eyes. I didn't just close 'em, I clamped 'em shut, clamped my jaw shut, too. No way was I gonna project my breakfast all over myself. I couldn't get Jimi and Janis and Mama Cass outta my head.

Then, it slowed down. Thankfully I had my sunglasses on, nobody would know I had my eyes closed like a chicken little looking out for the falling sky. I unstrapped myself, stood and it took everything I had to keep from passing out. I felt like a rummy drunk.

"Are you okay?" Vesta wanted to know.

I looked to the sound of her voice, saw a blur that vaguely looked like her.

Jujuwalkin' 013"I think I need to sit down."

She gave me her arm and I followed her lead out of the exhibit, where we found a chair and I sat for a bit. I was queazy dizzy, sicker than a dog at sea and I stayed that way for a couple hours. It let up a bit when we got back to Tiffany's, where I took an old man's nap. I don't take naps, but I did that day.

I guess Forest Gump's mother was right, "Stupid is as Stupid does," and I was pretty doggone stupid. Guess I would have flunked out of Astronaut school.

Ken Douglas Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529