So my friend Brownie and I went to the Freer on Saturday as part of our monthly "Day of FUN!!!" (Three exclamation points, mandatory.) We visited both the Freer and the Sackler museum gift shops (Rabbit Trail Story-- see below), to which I'm addicted-- any museum gift shop, not just those two... I'm not picky; tried (and failed-- well, not really "failed"... more like "gave up") to get into a kids/parents only class about Hokusai; and walked around most of the Asian exhibits. (Brownie has been to China, and I study karate--Okinawan Kenpo Kobujitsu Karate-- and have a brother who runs a Japanese owned/operated travel agency, so we're firmly steeped--OK, "firmly" might not be entirely accurate-- in Asian culture.) After a while, we started (and by "we" I mean "I") "interpreting" the art. (Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a terrible influence.) We found some things we really liked after that. We saw some great big, fat guys on these screens (that I really wanted to take home and hang up), some really irritated men who thought that, "next time we have guys' night out, we're not bringing our wives" while their wives were having a fine old time gossiping. We saw gods whose belly buttons were dragons (I'd really like to get a dragon-head navel ring) and who were standing on some very bored-/annoyed-looking demons. We saw pots with vestigial nubs where handles should have been (how can you grasp a gallon-sized jug by a little 1/2" nub?). But the best part of all was in the last place we looked (trying not to have a Jeff Foxworthy Moment here... see below). There was, and I wrote this down, so I know it's correct, "Shiva Nataraja (lord of the dance) posed upon the Dwarf of Ignorance..."
I'm sure some obscure prophecy by Swindon's own St. Zvlkx would have read, "where the lord of the dance poses on the dwarf of ignorance, great merriment will be found in satin and brownie," to which his scribe replied, "That doesn't even make sense. I'm not writing that down. Are you drunk again??? I'm taking you to Alcoholics Anonymous, just as soon as someone invents it." (That's for all the Fforde fans out there...)
Here's a fun game for all to play-- next time you get bored at work, try to identify as many "Dwarves of Ignorance" as you can. A word of caution, however, DO NOT IDENTIFY THEM AS SUCH TO THEIR FACES. If it works out, maybe you can stand on one when you become the lord of the dance. Hahaha!
*** RABBIT TRAIL STORY***
While we were in the Freer gift shop, I picked up this martial arts book and was flipping through it. The book was "Dojo Wisdom: 100 Simple Ways to Become a Stronger, Calmer, More Courageous Person". I happened to come to rest on the page that gives you info about the author, and I saw the words "Lawrence, KS", so I looked at the name and, shock of all shocks, it was Jennifer Lawler. She co-wrote a book with a former kickboxing instructor of mine, Debz Buller, called "Kickboxing For Women", which was published right around the time when I was studying under Debz. I actually demonstrated kickboxing techniques at the Barnes & Noble at Town Center Plaza in Leawood, KS to sell the book! Isn't it funny how you can go 1300 miles and have the strangest little familiarities pop up??
***Jeff Foxworthy Moment***
"Why is it when you ask someone if they found something they lost, they always say, 'Yeah, it was in the LAST place I looked!' I sure HOPE so! 'Bill did you find your wallet?' 'Yeah, but I'm still lookin' for it-- just in case we're in an alternate reality or something...'"
FYI-- Brownie tells me she wrote about the dwarves of ignorance on her blog, so I'm off to read that, now.