Sunday, November 8, 2009

My guardian angels wear safety helmets

Yesterday I went to the National Zoo in DC. That place is Gitmo for cute animals: Those poor bastards have been locked up for years, and some of them may well be innocent. At first I was upset, but then I remembered that it's sort of educational for kids.

After the zoo, I decided to walk through Rock Creek Park to get back to the hotel. I met a couple of joggers near the entrance, but then I was alone in the woods. For over an hour. Then I realized I was lost. I was getting nervous - is this how it went down for Chandra Levy? Suddenly I spotted an overpass high above the trees in the distance. I started climbing up, up, up through the woods. Then I hit a narrow road. At the end of the road was a gate. And beyond the gate was civilization! Humans beings walking, talking, biking. A hippie sleeping on the grass. Can you imagine anything more beautiful?!

But the gate was locked, and a fence extended in both directions as far as the eye could see. Now I was the one in the cage! Through the bars of the gate, I watched people in the distance taking their freedom for granted. They were utterly oblivious to my plight (especially the hippie).

Then my prayers were answered: Two middle-aged Black women appeared on bicycles. One asked, "What in the bejeezus are you doing in there?" The other: "How did you get inside? That's the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Sanctuary. You're not supposed to be in there!"

I told them I was trapped, and they sprang into action. Dropping their bikes, they each grabbed one side of the gate and pulled in opposite directions. A four-inch gap appeared in the center. "You're skinny," the first one said. "What size pants do you wear? I bet you can squeeze through." "I'm not THAT skinny," I replied, gesturing at the tiny gap. "Don't be so negative," her friend advised. So I took off my coat to make myself smaller. I was ready to strip naked if necessary! I began squishing myself, one body part at a time, through the gap. "GO, GO, GO!!! You can do it!!!" the first one yelled. "She's through already," her friend said. "Why are you yelling?"

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