308. Climbing Everest

So I was chatting with Andrea at the coffee shop the other day. She told me, “Have a lovely day”, to which I replied, “NO!!”  She was confused, which is nothing new in our interactions. We are in a year of self imposed détente, by the way.

“Why not?”

“I am going further or farther, my dear one. It depends on whether it’s a process or a measurable destination we are discussing. Either way, I’m going way, way past lovely.”

“And what would that destination be?

“The little village of Expialidocious. It’s an abandoned uranium mining town in the mountains of northwest New Mexico.”

“Oh, Burrito. You are so Special.”

“Thank you. I’ll add the liquid sincerity later to that freeze dried compliment.”

“What about exploring Supercalifragilistic. Don’t you need to go there first?”

“My child, did I ever tell you about the time I summited Everest?”

“No, I must have missed that episode.  Was that before or after you led the Redskins to the Super Bowl?”

“Before. I put conquests of nature before gladiatorial exploits.”

“As it should be, I’m sure. I know I am going to regret this, but tell me about summiting Everest.”

“Well, I was a younger man then, to be sure. Just out of Oxford and looking for a non academic challenge. Frankly I’d grown bored of smoking pot with Bill Clinton that summer after graduation.”


“Bless you.”

“I didn’t sneeze.”

“But I could swear you inhaled.”

“I’m too young and pure to get the meaning of your last comment.”

“Sad. Anyway, I put together a plan after watching The Sound of Music. I was inspired. I thought ‘If those Austrian kids could climb the Swiss Alps for their freedom without so much as a rucksack, then I could climb Everest without a plan.”

“So you’re gonna do a mash up of Mt Everest meets the Von Trapp Family?”

“Why not? You think it can’t be done?”

“No, I think it shouldn’t be done. There is no market for such a crass cross over pairing.”

“And that is why you are on that side of the coffee bar, shackled to an espresso machine, and I am out here in the Big Game World of Fantasy Adventures.”

“Oh no. I could be arrested as an accessory to reckless imaginings.”

“Unlikely. But humor me. The movie version opens with you falling out of a Soviet helicopter at base camp, around 9,000 feet. You can be Maria from, uh, Needmore, but we’ll have to change your name to Sharia. Okay?”

“So I’ll have all the big songs in this shameless copy of the story?”

“Yes, certainly, absolutely. This could launch your singing career.”

“Have you ever heard me sing?”

“Have you ever heard Rod Stewart sing?”

Image result for rod stewart pictures

“True, but he’s the exception.”

“And why can’t you be the second exception? Is there a quota on exceptions? Are we rationing exceptions now and no one told me? If you cut me, do I not bleed? Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria’s?”

“Okay, so I start with ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music’. But isn’t that copyright infringement?  Plus I’ll need some time to adjust to the thin air.”

“What are lawyers for, Debbie Downcast? We’ll give you a half hour to acclimate. Your lungs are small; it shouldn’t take long at all.”

“Can I have a word with you about your personnel management skills?”

“No time for all that mumbo jumbo, my girl. We need to get you to costuming for an apron fitting. And then hair and make up.”

“I haven’t agreed to anything yet, nor have I signed any contracts.”

“Contracts schmontracts!!  You have my word.”

“That’s the problem.”

“Moving on… instead of you being a refugee from a convent, we are going to go for the transgendered approach and make it relevant to today.”

“I’m lost. You’re making my character a man?”

“No, a tranny man. When you fall out of the helicopter, you will sing that ELO song chorus, ‘Don’t bring me down, Bruce’. The audience will get it. Trust me. I have done my market research.”

“And then I sing ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music’?”

“Yes, so far so good. Then we must launch into you being a tranny nanny so that you can baby sit the captain’s six kids at 9,000 feet while the Sherpas are rounding up the likely suspects.”

“So the whole Nazi thing is going to be Tibetan now?”

“Well, duh. Of course.”

“I am so confused. I need a break from this barnstorming brainstorming, Burrito.”

“No time, my dear. Production costs and all. We have to get to base camp 2 at 18,000 feet by the time your future stepdaughter sings ‘I am sixteen going on seventeen’ to the Nazi Sherpa mailman boy.”

“No, no! This is wrong. All wrong. I can’t go on with this ludicrous charade.”

“Good, cheeky, but good. This is where the Chief Buddhist Monk, played by the Dali Lama, calls you into his office and tells you that you must go back to the captain and his pile of kids, have confidence, think of your favorite things, and climb every mountain. Oh, it’s all coming together now, gloriously baby!”

“I’m afraid I cannot perpetrate this fraud on the public.”

“What the Do Re Mi are you talking about? You are going to do something good and you are going to like it, Edelweiss it’s all over.”

“You can’t use Edelweiss, a mountain flower, as if it were a coordinating conjunction just because it sort of sounds like other wise.”

“I’ll do what I want, little sister. This is my blog and my rules!”

“No, not for me. It’s so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, and good night.”

“No, don’t try to bewilder me at my own game. Adieu, adieu to you and you and you. We are at 24,000 feet above sea level. We must Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream. The freakin’ Nazi Sherpas are coming to arrest your husband. We must flee now. There is no time for prima donna antics, Andrea, I mean Maria, uh Sharia.”

(Suddenly a bolt of reality hits our heroine.)

“I can’t believe you nearly sucked me into this black hole of phantasmagoria.”



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