Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin

A trip of a book in which any resemblance to The Odyssey is purely coincidental. Homer didn't even know penguins existed.


The Fly, Pose 1

The Fly, Pose 1

Identical to the fly ashtray that's in Jarmusch's Mystery Train, down to the rough patina. I like to think Screamin' Jay Hawkins swatted it by association, except he didn't swat the fly in the movie, the bell hop did, but I always remember Hawkins as having swatted it.

We are quite fond of our fly and have held onto it all these years. We came upon it in a thrift shop not long after seeing the film in 1989 and lugged it around with us as a mascot on our own cross country "Great Penguin" trip, taking photos of it on midwest fence posts along miles of bread-basket crops, and on the windowsills of various motel rooms, which served as inspiration for it then appearing in the Memphis portion of Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World.

When we crossed over into Canada on our own trip (Faith and Chance never go near Canada), the guard with big, dark, aviator sunglasses decided ours was a car to search. Others were being waved through by laughing guards. Ours didn't laugh. From four car lengths away we could tell he believed he was a star in an action-packed thriller. With painstaking attention to detail, our vehicle and its contents were examined. I was carrying a couple of large loose-leaf binders filled with some writing I was working on at the time. There were several hundred pages total and they went through every single page. Perhaps she was playing good cop to the bad cop, but the female crossing guard seemed sincere in her apology when she said she didn't see why they were searching our car. When she came upon the fly she exclaimed and grinned oohed and aahed over it, taking the opportunity to add some levity to the ordeal. She thought it was great, she said. She wanted one like it.

Return to this book's main page for more information, FAQ, and the first chapter in PDF form.

Return to "Sightseeing" Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin.