Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beware of Cyclops

The greatest conversation I ever heard took place on a shuttle bus to the Griffith Park Observatory. A singular windy road leads up into the hills with a sharp drop off along one side. Behind me were two kids, ten and thirteen would be my guess – a boy and girl respectively. As we ascended, they became fascinated with the cliff and, in a macabre conversation that only children seem to have, began ruminating as to what type of creature it would take to lift our bus and toss it over the incline. The younger allowed that a large African Elephant might do the trick, but perhaps three elephants, all working in tandem, would be more likely. They discussed all of it scientifically and with intelligence. These were bored, smart kids allowing their imaginations to take them away and set them smack dab into a comic book world.

Finally they determined that there were perhaps two creatures they could agree on. The first, a nine hundred foot Cyclops with hooked fingers would have no problem picking us up like a toy and tossing over the cliff. After a slight pause, they also agreed that a Giant Cookie Man with an army of bears would be just as effective. Why he’d need the army of bears, I could not imagine, nor did she offer an explanation. A giant anything, it would seem, could chuck us over the side. But a Cookie Man it had to be. Thus ended the conversation and I fear they knew I was eavesdropping and became self-conscious. I knew that never again would I hear such a conversation told with such detail and knowledge. We rode the last few hundred yards in silence and as the doors of the bus opened, the younger one said, “Y’know, he wouldn’t have to be a Cyclops…”

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