Saturday, March 15, 2008

Coffee puddles in London

We stared in awe at dinosaur skeletons, while visiting the Natural History Museum on Monday afternoon. 
Then Lefty spoke up, "They can’t really know what these dinosaurs looked like. They are just guessing. There were no cameras to take pictures of what they really looked like."
Thank you for injecting that bit of reality, Lefty. 
Fortunately, all of the boys had macintoshes; the rain poured during our short  trip to London. We spent Monday afternoon at the museum, and then had a picnic tea in our hotel room on the evening. Tuesday morning we woke up very early (I am sure Righty was up before six), and ate breakfast at the hotel. We sat at the largest table in the room surrounded by continental Europeans who were all eating cheese and ham on bread for breakfast. Lefty and Mr J each put away two bowls of cornflakes while Righty managed three. They are accustomed to far more substantial breakfasts! 
We waited in the security line at the embassy for the usual twenty minutes. This was not easy; Lefty and Righty do not do queueing. They spied a full cup of Starbuck’s coffee which had been left rather carelessly on the side of the pavement. I warned them away from it, but one of them just had to kick it, and soon the entire queue was shuffling to avoid a rapidly spreading coffee puddle. I lined Lefty and Righty out, and tried to comfort Mr J, who thought we were going to the hospital, not the embassy, and kept crying; "No hospital. No hospital today for my shock." (He had stuck his finger into a socket at the hotel and shocked himself earlier, and I'm guessing it was rather sore.) 
The queue rounded a corner, and we felt mild relief to be moving on, albeit slowly. I was somewhat dismayed to see yet another full cup of coffee abandoned on the pavement again, this time a McDonald’s one. (Understandably left, at least) 

"Don’t even think about it," I told Lefty sternly, when I saw him inching towards it. 

Five minutes passed; we still had not moved, and the policeman who had been occupying the boys’ attention had walked on. Behind me, I heard a soft splooshing sound, and Lefty said quietly, "Mum, Righty did it." 

I turned to see a dark, fragrant puddle trickling towards me. "Boys!" 

Once again the line of people shuffled out of the way of the growing puddle.
We finally made it inside, and sorted out the passports. Upon leaving the embassy, Lefty engaged a policeman in conversation by asking how many guns he had.

"Two," the policeman replied. "The one I’m holding, and the one in my pocket, called a Taser gun. It’s a bit like the ones on Star Wars; it just makes people fall on the ground and shiver."

Lefty was intrigued. "Your gun is like the ones on Star Wars?"

The policeman nodded, and made a mistake, "It is, and I’m really Darth Vader. Darth Vader, that’s me!"

Lefty was totally nonplussed. "Why do you have a Star Wars gun?"

"Because I’m really Darth Vader!"

"But why do you have one like Star Wars?"
I am not actually sure how they ended this stalemate, because people were trying to get past; we walked on and waited at the end of the queue for Lefty and the policeman to finish their conversation. Lefty finally came striding over to us, after solemnly shaking the police officer’s hand. "That’s the world’s greatest Star Wars fan you have there!" the policeman called back to us.
I might have to beg to differ on that one. Lefty just likes to have ALL the information he feels it is possible to have, about whatever it is he is interested in. If he wants to know about something, he asks all the questions he can think of until he is satisfied with his little mental inventory. His brain is amazing; it’s like a filing cabinet! Sometimes I envy him his inexhaustible brain cells.

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