Monday, July 27, 2015

One Hump Or Two?

One Hump Or Two?

I had this dream last night that I was travelling around on a camel, one of those double hump models.

I've never ridden a camel. I hear that they smell a little musky and that they have a habit of spitting at you when you least expectorate it. Personally, I find spitting offensive. I never do it. But if a camel spit at me, I might spit back. I'm an eye-for-an-eye, spit-for-spit kind of guy.

I suspect camels spit as a kind of early warning measure telling you not to mess with them. I mean they live in incredibly hot climates where water is scarce, and on a hot summer's day, who wants some lug climbing on your back, kicking at your flanks, and telling you to "giddy-up." OK, you probably don't say "giddy-up" when riding a camel, but what do I know? I've never ridden a camel.

It's no wonder that camels have a hump or two. Simply a result of evolution, I guess. Somewhere back along the dippity-do DNA trail to the tadpole, camels grew humps for a reason. Oh, I know, all you brainy folk will think it's like a gas tank for extra water. Really. How silly. Camels simply evolved a hump to try to keep people off their backs. Apparently, the plan didn't work out, because people ride camels every day. So much for the theory of evolution.

I don't suspect that Darwin realised this camel-riding thing was going on. He was probably too busy walking around the Galapagos Islands and studying turtles. Now there's a creature you could ride quite handily. A nice cushion strapped to that firm shell seems much preferable to sitting on a hump. The problem is that turtles are slow, and people are always in such a dang hurry. We hurry here, we hurry there, we hurry everywhere. We seem obsessed with getting somewhere, some place, preferably by yesterday. We say things like, "I'm going to the store," but we wish we were already at the store. We want to get from A to B as quickly as we can, to hell with the journey. We loathe the journey, hate the traffic, curse the crowds who slow us down, damn those who dawdle. Rush, rush rush.

Maybe that's why we buy fast cars, which really are a bit senseless when you consider that we live in a world of speed limits. I mean we drive cars that will top out at 200 mph, and yet we're told not to exceed 55 mph or, heaven forbid, 35 mph. Jell-O. It's like someone decided we should have to drive in a world of Jell-O. All that power and yet all that resistance. Maddening. If the highest speed we are allowed to drive is 55 mph, then why not build cars that will only go 55 mph. What's all the extra speed for? Drunk drivers? Husbands who are too stupid to deliver their own babies? Men in full blown mid-life crisis looking for a Viagra fix? A test of free will?

Which brings me back to my dream about riding a camel. You see, I ended up riding my double-hump dromedary into the local Exxon Self-Serve gas station, and I pulled my spitting friend up alongside a slick, red Lamborghini, possibly one of the fastest cars ever made. A tall, blonde ex-beauty queen was filling it up for her race to the hairdresser or the podiatrist — who can say for sure?

When she saw me pull up on my camel, with its mottled dreadlocks and musky smell, she tittered and said, "Oooo, I love your humps."

I thanked her politely, then proceeded to stick the gas nozzle in the camel's rear portal and began to pump in the high octane stuff. Oddly enough, the camel didn't seem to mind. Meanwhile, the tall, blonde ex-beauty queen was becoming more and more coquettish — her three-inch eyelashes fluttering like butterfly wings.

"I would love to ride your camel," she crooned in a misty, fog-rolling-in voice.

"Then, you shall," I replied in my best late-night-FM-radio voice

At that point, the dream skipped a scene, like a bad DVD a friend has insisted you borrow, and the last I remember is watching the tall, blonde ex-beauty queen bouncing up and down on my camel's humps while she squealed with delight. I followed her along Portobello Avenue in her slick, red Lamborghini at, ironically, 10 mph. And suddenly, the whole camel thing made sense to me.

The next thing I knew I was awake, and my mind immediately raced back to something Joey Bucyk, a tough kid I met in juvie when I was just 13, said to me all those years ago. "Listen, Kennedy," Joey confided in me late one sultry summer night, "every woman, young or old, rich or poor, fat or thin ... every woman loves a good hump."



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