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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

You’re Going… Where?

First on tap, in the world of Braves’ news over at Bugs & Cranks:

Venezuela Claims Another Victim — What dastardly (or not-so-dastardly) disaster is keeping Wilfredo Ledezma trapped in his home country?

And now, on with the show.

Next Friday, the missus and I are heading off on vacation. This year, we’re trying something a bit more adventurous than usual. It involves a long flight, and staying for a week in a foreign, non-primarily-English-speaking country. And I’m not talking about Texas.

“That’s how I like my interactions with old people — short, bland, and early in the prune juice cycle.”

What I am talking about is raising a few eyebrows, frankly. Or it isn’t, depending on how I choose to describe the destination. I’m finding that the reaction I get is completely dependent on what I call the place we’re going. Here’s how I might tell a stodgy, cranky old person — like, oh, say, me — about our upcoming plans:

Me: So, we’ll be on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Persnickety Coot: Oh? Where you going?

Me: The Netherlands. And we might spend some time in Belgium, if we have time.

Persnickety Coot: Well, that sounds nice. You kids have a safe flight. And watch out for those crazy Dutch. All clogs and tulips and windmills, they are.

Me: Will do, sir.

Persnickety Coot: All right, then. Hand me my prune juice, won’t you, sonny?

Not the most interesting conversations, maybe, but that’s just peachy with me. That’s how I like my interactions with old people — short, bland, and early in the prune juice cycle. And when it comes to this vacation, that goes for conversations with the boss, the relatives, casual acquaintances, and anyone who looks like the kind of person who’d harsh a vibe. Especially the ones who wouldn’t know what ‘harsh a vibe’ means — and still harsh vibes, anyway.

So that covers those people. But in truth, we’re not just going to ‘the Netherlands’; our destination is a bit more specific than that. And when I tell people exactly where we’re going, the conversation goes something more like this:

Me: So, we’ll be on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Non-Cooty Person: Oh? Where you going?

Me: Amsterdam.

Non-Cooty Person: Amsterdam?

Me: Yep.

Non-Cooty Person: Really? No shitting?

Me: Nope, we’re going to Amsterdam.

Non-Cooty Person: So… what’s first? Hash or hookers?

Me: Dude. My wife is going with me.

Non-Cooty Person: Ah, I gotcha. So… hash, then, is what you’re saying?

I have yet to say the word ‘Amsterdam‘ in regard to our vacation plans without people shooting me a knowing look, grinning like a horny felon, and offering advice on matters ranging from Red Light District etiquette to sneaking a bong through customs. Unsolicited advice, I might add. And I shudder to think what the old coots might tell me, if I let them in on the secret. Yow.

For the record, we didn’t choose Amsterdam for its relaxed attitudes on various controversial social issues. Our idea of the area is mostly like the old farts’ — tulips and windmills and wooden shoes, with some canal-strolling and museum-gazing and booze-tippling thrown in. And what my younger friends are telling me about Amsterdam isn’t changing my mind much, or scaring me away from wanting to go.

It’s scaring me away from talking to them, in a few cases. I had no idea some of my friends were so freaky. And most haven’t been to Amsterdam — so now they want to vicariously freak through me. If that doesn’t give a guy the shivering willies, I don’t know what will.

But I guess I’ll find out soon. Because, did I mention? I’m goin’ to Amsterdam.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “You’re Going… Where?”

  1. #Debi says:

    Hey, have a great time! A young friend of mine just came back from there. She implied that they conduct tours of the red light district these days, like you all have tours of the Old North Church and all… Could be interesting, from an anthropological sense of course. There’s also lovely gardens and museums–plenty of stuff to keep you busy…

  2. Lori says:

    Hope you enjoy – used to spend about a weekend a month there–the hookers in the window are great. Takes window shopping to an entirely new level. But, wait, you’re going for the hash.

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