Phantasmic Links 10.12.09

Phew. What a weekend! My parents celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary, which was nice, and I played a relatively short Columbus Day parade on Saturday. It's one I've done in Queens every year for probably more than a decade, and this year there was no delay or hesitation and I actually had a good chunk of my day left when it was over.

On Sunday, I headed up to the Bronx to play two parades. I was originally supposed to play one on Long Island but that band leader canceled our involvement while he recovered from some minor surgery. The band playing in the Bronx is as close to a regular band as I'm in, and had been the one I played with on Saturday. Neither the father nor son who run that particular band know how to drive, having spent most of their lives in Brooklyn, so their directions are notoriously bad. “Yeah...just over the....Washington...bridge...and it's right dere.” What would I do without Google Maps?

After a bit of traffic getting on to the Throgs Neck, we finally found our way to the beginning of the parade. Parking was a nightmare, and my semi-retired father who wasn't even playing that day grew more anxious than I was, ultimately convincing me to jump out while he found a parking spot. He joined me a few moments later, giving me only the street number where he'd left the car and not an intersection, something that would prove crucial later on.

We were near the end of the parade, and it was another hour and a half before we started moving. As usual, and as I suspected, there was no need to rush or panic. I saw my dad on the sidewalk and he made a “right here” gesture, which I took to mean that he wasn't going to walk with us for the two-plus miles and would wait for me at that intersection. So when it was all over, the band leader's son convinced a local politician with a minivan to bring myself and anyone else driving a car back to the beginning of the parade. By this time the roads were clear and the festivities were over, and my dad was nowhere in sight. One of the other players saw me wandering and gave me a lift, and we drove up the street my dad was supposed to be on. There was no sign of his car, and when we reached the Zoo entrance I knew we'd gone too far. I thought perhaps my dad had decided to drive up to meet us at the end of the parade, so we drove along the same route looking for him. Back at the end, the band leader was anxious to get to the next parade, allegedly 15 minutes away. I decided to remain behind until I found my dad, and began retracing my steps. If he was driving along the parade route, I'd be easier to spot on foot wearing a bright green shirt and carrying a brass instrument. I walked all the way back to the beginning, and even beyond to the street he said he had parked on. Nothing.

I called the band leader's son a few times to see if my dad had met up with them. He had not, and they were still en route. It seems the second job was much further away, and even they ended up being late for it. I never made it. After giving up on finding my dad by wandering or walking to the other parade, I opted to remain at the original intersection. I'd be easier to find if I were stationary. Once I got bored and walked to that numbered street where his car was supposed to be. There was no sign of him, but there was a subway station. If the sun went down and I still didn't find my father, I could at least get out of there.

During this time I left several messages at home for my mom. I had wanted to leave my cell phone with my dad so I could call him from one of the other musician's phones, but he declined. “I don't know how to use that thing!” My imagination was running wild. Had he a heart attack? Was the car towed? Did he get car jacked? Did he get in an accident? Was he driving upstate after making some wrong turns? For two hours I alternately stood on the same corner or wandered those streets, a lost soul in the Bronx. Finally, my mom got home from visiting my uncle in the nursing home, and answered the phone. My dad had left her a message similar to the ones I'd left, albeit more vague: “Where are you? Pick up! Okay, I'm in the Bronx and I don't know where [MCF] is. I don't know what time I'll be home.”

Shortly after I spoke with my mom and told her which intersection I would wait at, my dad called her and gave her his location. It was only a few blocks from where I was, and I had walked down there several times. This time, I spotted him across the street, and I have no idea how I kept missing him. It must have been like one of those Scooby-Doo hallway chase scenes. He had never budged from where he said he was, but he was South on a road that I thought was only on the North side. And there were some long buses parked there that may have obscured our view of each other. I was just glad I didn't have to ID him in a morgue or start checking local hospitals at random.

I think in the future, at the very least he needs to have a piece of paper with my cell number on it, so he can call me directly. He probably kept the pay phone there well fed as he kept trying to reach my mom. I called the band leader's son to let him know my dad was okay, and that I was no longer stranded(which for some reason he never expressed concern about). It seems they arrived at the other parade late and only got in a song or two, so I didn't miss that much. All I know is that I'm glad to be home, glad my dad is fine, and I fear what improbable mishaps my stupidity will get me into next. I probably should have just stayed home, clicking around for PHANTASMIC LINKS:

(1) She is one angry pussy cat, all right. The subtitles kill me; good stuff.

(2) Daredevil may be real, and may be a young British blind boy.
Hat Tip: J-No.

(3) Take control of the Miami Shark as you devour people, dolphins and, perhaps most awesome of all, various aircraft.

(4) Check out this video of 1 million FPS bullet impacts.

(5) You're a small insect caught in a spider's web. Now what? I'm glad only the photography is macro...

(6) Marge Simpson to appear in Playboy? I think that's a first...

(7) Looking for a new kitchen? Have you tried General Zod?

(8) What might your favorite superheroes have to say in the realm of social networking? The one about the sunglasses is, of course, genius.

(9) The Venom movie finds both a writer and a possible director. Maybe they'll get it right, I typed with unwarranted optimism...

(10) Michelin Man gets a superhero makeover. That guy always reminded me of Stay Puft, just in case you were wondering what innocent mascot I might mentally manifest as the harbinger of our destruction...

Have a link to a game, movie, article, or anything else you think might be “phantasmic”? E-mail me and it just might appear in an upcoming PHANTASMIC LINKS!



Blogger cube said...

Loved the two cats. It would've been funny even without the subtitles.

10/12/2009 2:33 PM  
Blogger cube said...

Wait. I hit publish too soon. You need to get your dad a cell phone and show him how easy they are to use.

10/12/2009 2:34 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

Buttons are too small, and at 79 he seems to have drawn a line as to how much technological knowledge he plans to have. The man was one of the greatest automobile mechanics around but is vexed by a VCR remote. Even my mom, who's a little bit younger and more open, won't even leave her cell phone on because she wants to "save" the battery.

I think what I need are subcutaneous tracking chips for them both.

10/12/2009 4:40 PM  
Blogger Jacob R Parker said...

Hi there,

According to your "About Me" page you're a Narnia fan! That's awesome because, on my blog, I'm giving away three free copies of a new book that I think us Narnia fans are going to love. It's called Curse of the Spider King, by best-selling author Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper. If you're interested, Click here to check it out!

-Jacob Parker

10/12/2009 5:27 PM  

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