Monday, October 15, 2012
I'm a geek. Not a useful geek, the kind that's a whizz with computers and gadgets - in that arena I am more neanderthal. No I'm a geek about 'things' I want to know the inner workings. I want to see behind the scenes.
I think I inherited this trait from my Dad. His crowning achievement was when he took apart a pair of my mum's shoes to see how shoes are made. The sad part (for Imeldas around the world) is that he took apart a brand new pair. Only a man would think that just because a new pair had been purchased, the older - nay vintage - pair were finished with. Only a man would confuse the supposed done with pair for a brand new shoe. The phrase "let this be a lesson to us all" rings in my ears but my pursuit of inside knowledge is unstoppable.
To that end, we went to The Museum of Flight in Seattle. If you ever find yourself nearby - do go. It's entirely fabulous. It is geek nirvana (as Seattle also provides Nirvana nirvana there is pun intended,) but also caters to the mildly curious and the completely uninterested.
I sat inside a stealth bomber and enjoyed a Mach something or other experience. I wandered down the hallowed halls of Concorde - a plane that had intrigued me ever since I saw it fly into Edinburgh airport more than thirty years ago. Yes it's really teeny and one can only imagine they had to hire especially teeny flight crew - the aisle was about six inches wide. I tried to guess which seat was Elton's favorite and I marveled at the ultra tininess of the cockpit - who flew this thing Lilliputians? I found myself humming the Top Gun theme song as we surveyed the MiG's and I cried at the tragic stories of war planes and hero's and space pioneers.
Then, we went to see Air Force One. Since my hot date with Barack earlier this year I have been feeling the Presidential connection so it was with great excitement I climbed the stairs. This was a JFK era plane. JFK. The president of all presidents and I Geekout McGeekerson was going on his plane.
It was everything I could have dreamed off. I got to see where they hung his jacket, stored the briefcase, where he sat, his private lounge (anyone else thinking Marilyn?) Where they made his food and coffee and even his bathroom. My little geek cup runneth over at that kind of access and detail. It was fantastic. Until, I see my four year crawling under the plastic barrier to retrieve something appealing. Then I spot the security cameras. The something appealing was glued down but as we all know that's not a deterrent to any child, so as she set about making it hers I pictured myself in Gitmo.
I have a tone of voice reserved just for this very type of occasion - I deployed it. Somethings skip a generation, thankfully somethings skip altogether. The four year old does not have her Grandfather's wrecking skill and the "item" is still safely glued down in Air Force One.
Next time I will satisfy myself with the inner workings of a park swing or slide.