Here we are, coming up on the last weekend of August. Next Monday, most elementary, middle, and high schools open up across Texas, along with a significant number of universities. A couple of days of orientation, a few days of interim assignments, and then back to the linen mines until December. For those of us out of school, it’s even worse: streets blocked by helicopter parents terrified that their precious snowflakes might be snatched off the sidewalk by a pterodactyl, so they’re all jockeying to make sure that they’re right in front of the school door. More blockages due to kids who have to be driven to school, because there’s nothing more shameful and horrifying than having to take a bus or (gasp) walk. (I can say with absolute honesty that I walked nearly five miles to school every day while in high school. That, though, was because school policy was that students couldn’t leave the campus once they’d set foot on it, so walking was means toward stopping by the grocery store and digging through the latest issue of OMNI to bolster myself for a day of algebra.) I won’t even start with the road rage parents getting tagged by police for blasting through school zones, screaming “Do you KNOW who I AM? I have to get my CHILD to SCHOOL!” Yeah, it’s going to be fun.
Now, you have three options this weekend. You can stay in bed, listening to the clock ticking away like a potential suicide listening for an oncoming train. You can do more of the same, filling your days with television and work and sleep until you go to bed on Sunday night and realize that you’ve just lost that summer forever. Or, or, you can make plans this weekend to do something so blasted interesting that you immediately have something to talk about on Monday morning. As a high school chemistry teacher of mine was fond of joking, having all ten of your fingers and no interesting scars means that you didn’t live.
With that in mind, you have two serious options in the Dallas area. Both aren’t safe. Both aren’t orthodox. However, both will give you plenty of conversation material when you’re in the cafeteria, realizing that you’re going to get really, really bored with tuna fish sandwiches and canned pudding by the beginning of October.
The first, the latest Shadow Society event at the Crown & Harp on Greenville Avenue, sadly is one to which the Triffid Ranch won’t be a participant. Don’t let that stop you from heading out for its Nineties flashback show to dress up, catch music, and peruse the offerings of the various vendors in the back. If the Czarina and I didn’t already have commitments on Saturday, oh HELLS yes we’d be out there.
And speaking of commitments, as mentioned a while back, the North American Reptile Breeders Conference in Arlington is trying a little experiment. Traditionally, the Arlington NARBC show is held in February, but this year, we get an additional show in August. This weekend, in fact. Again, the Triffid Ranch won’t be out there in an official capacity, but the idea is to do one more dry run before becoming a vendor at next year’s August show. I also have a very determined niece who wants to look at poison dart frogs, two friends who plan to shop for rat snakes (well, one who wants to buy one, and her adoring husband who needs help in keeping her from filling the house with reptiles), and two equally dear friends who are using this as the opportunity to bring their own kids to their first reptile show. The Czarina and I will be out there on Sunday, between noon and 2 p.m., so look for the white hair and listen for the nonstop commentary. Like the Shadow Society, you’ll kick yourself on Monday morning if you don’t come out and you realize that your whole summer, to quote the late Van Garrett, was spent eating Ding Dongs and watching Thundercats.