27 May, 2011

The ‘travails’ (pronounced trae-vels) of Harmless Brown Man

In recent times I have been wont to take inspiration from other artistes, an honorable and time-tested ideal that acclaimed creative geniuses Anu Malik and Bappi Lahiri have oft leveraged, to super-hit results. (My non-indian friends: I’m sorry about the distinctly cultural reference. Goes with the job description, unfortunately. ) It is with due deference and courtesy to these great men that I start typing this script; in the process, I hope to attract both the fame and infamy that can only be associated with plagiarized art.

Anyway, my first source of inspiration is the venerated George Lucas; this article appears to you as the first part. These blog posts are intended to be the middle trilogy of an epic saga involving, not surprisingly, a harmless brown man. There will be a preview trilogy that will come out 10 years after this trilogy, which will be called (in no order of importance. All rights reserved)

Harmless Brown Man: The Beginning

Harmless Brown Man: Manhattanized Revolution

Harmless Brown Man: An Enterprise of all good things

And this chapter, which I grandiosely seek to call: (cue trumpets and inspirational soundtrack)

Harmless Brown Man (Rebirth): Cradle of Mankind

Once this script is produced, I’ll be starting on the sequel, which is tentatively titled “Black and White”

Anyway, that’s a lot of explanation about something that’s of no interest to you, the casual reader. You’re here to read my story. If you’re running out of patience, skip to the next paragraph. If you think you can put up with this a little while longer, follow me. The other plagiarized bit is the harmless brown man thingy. There’s this page on MySpace of the same name; they sell brown tees that say ”harmless brown man”. Highly recommended for all those that Michael Jackson omitted in his song. ICE at airports across the USA, you know what I mean. Peace out.

So, to the story then:

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time now. There have been nights where I wake up, sweating, because I think that I’ve missed the flight. Not nice at all. Anyway, I’ve done all the right things. Taken my shots. Been tested for diseases that, weirdly enough, I seem to be immune to. After 5 months of interminable sessions on Monday evenings, we’re finally going to Africa.

5/14/2011 11:30 AM – Ever since I’ve taken an operations class, I’ve been extremely critical of Queues. Today I’m waiting in one. Tapping my foot. Every minute I’m standing here, I’m risking missing my flight. The thing is, I might not have been so impatient if I didn’t know about queue-ing philosophy…

My turn. Finally. I feel like the conquistadors of old, buying colored trinkets. (bad parallel, I know.)

Rush to the Mini, where Sam’s waiting for me. Next up, we do an impressive rendition of ‘the Italian job’ in downtown Berkeley.

Next scene: Berkeley BART station. Tapping my foot again. A mere 13 minutes later, a train arrives. But this one doesn’t take me to the airport. Have to change trains somewhere in south SF. And then, with classic timing, I get a phone call. Its Chico. All hell is about to break loose.

Our original flight was to be SFO - Atlanta – lagos, Nigeria – Accra, Ghana. However, I’m now being told by an amazingly calm voice on the phone that I won’t be allowed to set foot in Nigeria without a visa. Now all of you are going to say, well genius, isn’t that obvious? Actually no, it isn’t. I didn’t know that I needed a Nigerian visa to stand in Lagos international airport. Arrghh!

Anyway, long story short. Fran’Chico’ has now booked us all onto a flight through Amsterdam. Super nice!. There’s just the small problem of this new flight being half an hour earlier. Mierde.

5/14/2011 12:55 PM - @Balboa St. More foot tapping. There’s no way we’re making it in time. Alternate plans include an impromptu party in the mission district. Oh BART, why have you failed me so!!!

5/14/2011 1:08 PM - @SFO international terminal. For those of you who have seen me running, you know it’s not a pretty sight. Coordinated body movements do not come naturally to me. Add a big suitcase, and a ludicrously heavy laptop bag to that mix, and you have a disaster waiting to happen. Sam agrees. We have no choice though. So, we run.

A few bruised toes and grimaces later, we’re at the check-in counter. I’m being told that there’s no place on the flight. Desperation to get on the flight means that both of us go into sweet talk overdrive. Amazingly enough, it works. We have seats on the flight. Phew.

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