Monday, August 6, 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure: You Find A Skeleton In The Woods

Today, in the spirit of not smoking, I went for a walk. Although I refuse, as a matter of principle, to call my walks anything other than walks, this was a walk that could maybe have merited a more grandiose terminology. Maybe it rose to the level of a hike. The scratches on my arm and my stomach, and the poison oak that will emerge in a week, certainly suggest as much.

Anyway, somewhere in the middle of this walk, before I found myself dangling from a tree branch and screaming like a small child (I was maybe a foot and a half away from the bottom at that point, lest you imagine me in actual physical danger) I found a skeleton. A vertebrae. I actually found myself trying to pick it up, at which point the bottom half fell off. It was only a little bit later (after the dangling from the branch) that I found myself contemplating the hygiene implications of picking up the skeleton (it had to have died of something, right?).

I have no idea what kind of skeleton it was. Probably not human. (I didn't find the whole thing, only the vertebrae.) Anyway, I don't know what the protocol is for skeletons found in the woods. Are you supposed to report them? What if it was human? Etc.

This happens to me a lot -- I never know how interventionist to be. By nature, I'm pretty anti-interventionist. If I'm crying on the bus, I want to be left alone, etc. So when I hear shrieking coming from a neighboring apartment building I assume it's kids playing or something similarly innocuous. But then you read the stories about the woman killed in full view of her neighbors and editorialists writing about how come nobody did anything and then you worry that maybe you should become one of those people who asks people if they're all right and calls the police and steps into conversations. I don't know.


Charlie said...

The skeleton most likely died of poison oak.

Noko Marie said...

Awesome title. I could never get into those Choose Your Own Adventure books. If I wanted to choose my own adventure, I figured, I wouldn't be reading a novel.

Anyway next week you should go back and find the skeleton and, like, bring it to the police station so we can find out what happens if you take the alternate path.

"If you pick up the skeleton, turn to page 34!"

Captain Colossal said...

You know they make them for adults now? I always liked them, although mostly I liked trying to figure out how you got to the good ending, or at least the most interesting ending. It was often harder than you might imagine.

The Secretary said...

My life is like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but one of the sucky ones where it goes on too long and you begin to get bored and try to make bad choices but it just keeps going and the illustrations become more half-assed and the dialogue starts to seem like it was designed to be a cruel joke at the reader's expense and I begin to realize that I made the wrong choice at the annual book fair: I should've just bought Garfield Weighs In: His Fourth Book. (I actually loved all of the original Choose Your Own Adventure books.)

Captain Colossal said...

My life, I think, is more like an Encyclopedia Brown book: full of small mysteries that could be solved with a modicum of thoughtfulness. Or you could just flip the page upside down and mindlessly absorb what the author is telling you.