Monday, October 08, 2007


As the principal spoke to me seriously about my steady record of underachievement, about how many times I'd been caught breaking the rules, and about how this was pret-ty near the last straw, I was fascinated by the number of pterodactyls, those flying dinosaurs, I saw circling in his head.

They were riding the thermals there. I'd seen pterodactyls before, of course; my social studies teacher, Mr. Golem, had a couple, and I'd even seen a Tyrannosaurus Rex way inside Miss Grendel, my homeroom teacher, but I'd never seen so many pterodactyls all at once, and in only one grown-up. I guess that's why he was principal.

Pterodactyls couldn't really fly, though, like the true birds that came later; they could only glide and were extremely clumsy on the ground. So they had to live near sheer cliffs, like in the principal's mind, in order to launch themselves into the air. Then they'd just soar, for millions of years in the Jurassic skies, turning their long heads slowly from side to side, the great bony knob at the back of their skulls serving as counterweight to the unwieldy toothed beak as they searched for prey, which they'd snatch from the ground without ever touching down.

Ultimately, it was their inability to truly fly, and the environmental limitations this imposed, that did them in evolutionally. They'd been extinct for about 25 million years by the time I got to high school; yet there they were, whole flocks of them, way back in the principal's head, still circling in the Jurassic sunset, as if nothing had ever happened.

I mentioned the fact to him in all frankness, and that was when I got kicked out of high school.

Been busy writing my ramble for the upcoming issue of Kyoto Journal,
so I thought I'd post this from among my old rambles there,
some still accessible (thanks to Ken Rodgers)
on the KJ Rambles page.


Anonymous said...

Ha! It's great to be strange, isn't it? Life is so much more interesting. Carmen

Bob Brady said...

Eccentricity gives the best views of reality!