Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mount Rushmore

Gonga quivered with excitement as he stood in line at the Mt Rushmore tourist center ticket booth. All his life he had heard about the stone faced men who lived in South Dakota. Now it was time to see them in person.

Taking his ticket, he followed the herd of other tourists down the walkway out the back of the building.

Would the men speak to him? Would they even acknowledge his presence? What did they think of gorillas? Surely they would be kind to him. Only a few people seemed to hold particular grudges against Gorillas. And most of those people were individuals whom Gonga had knocked down or frightened away in the middle of one of their dastardly deeds. So beyond failing to ingratiated himself with the more dangerous segment of the population, Gonga had few enemies.

But you never knew when you met someone new.

“I can’t wait to see George Washington!” a girl in ponytails skipped ahead of Gonga, clapping her hands and tugging on her mother’s jeans. “Will he look just like the history books?”

Gonga squinted his eyes. He remembered one of the books The Textbook Game had sold the previous year. It had a beautiful picture of Mt. Rushmore on the front, with word bubbles floating out of the mouth of each individual. He tried to remember what they said, but it escaped him.

Through the pine trees ahead of him, Gonga caught a glimpse of granite. The gray stood in stark contrast to the evergreens.

Gonga continued his pilgrimage, listening to the kids around him whine or groan of squeal in proportion to their interest in historical stone figures.

More and more stone appeared between the trees until suddenly Gonga came out into a clearing. He gasped. The others seemed overwhelmed by the sheer size of the heads carved above them, but Gonga’s attention was fixed in the far right figure. It was a gorilla! In fact, it looked exactly like Gonga’s great-great-great grandfather who had been instrumental in one of the WWII expeditions the U.S. had made in Africa.

Gonga chuckled. He laughed. Then he kicked up his feet and spun around. His very own three times great grandfather! Up on Mount Rushmore.

His trip was complete.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Black Mountains

Gonga rolled the window down. “One McChicken,” he grunted, “and one chocolate sundae.”

The electronic voice crackled back at him, muttering something unintelligible and his order flashed up on the screen in front of him. He assumed they were asking if it was right, so he said, “Yes, that’s all,” and pulled forward.

It was a hot muggy day. Typical for Missouri weather. Even after driving north half the day, Gonga had not quite made it out of the state, and the temperature had only continued to climb.

Black mountains. The phrase echoed around his mind.

They sounded so mysterious, so ominous. Which was precisely why Gonga had decided to drive out to see them.

He rolled his window up after receiving the food from the drive-through window and proceeded to work the wrapping off his McChicken sandwich. Oh how he loved the peppery tang of those chicken sandwiches.

With the icecream melting rapidly in the cupholder beside him, Gonga pulled out onto the highway once more. He needed to make better time. No more stopping to tour each rest area which presented itself, no more darting down side roads just to see where they went, and definitely no more stopping for food every hour. It was time to get serious. The Black Mounatins were waiting.