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Thursday, July 21, 2005

FINDING NEMO - On a train

We went to the big Berkley Heights annual firework show this weekend. It was an hour drive back into NJ, right next to where we work, so you can imagine driving that 55 mile route once again on a Saturday night just seems wrong. Hey, you do what you gotta do I guess, although I think my car was wondering why we can't ever go anywhere else.

These fireworks are known to be the best around. Plus, there's always a fair to go along with the show so hundreds of people come from miles around come to see. We've been going off and on for almost 10 years. This year, we had plans to stay with D and take the train into the show. And it should have been that simple... but of course, things always change. It used to cost money to get into the fair, but we were never interested to get into the fair. We just wanted to see the fireworks. So we'd pop a squat outside the fair and enjoy the show.

But this year no one was aloud to get down the street without paying $7 a person, and we weren't allowed to cross police barricades to get down the side streets. So we planted our asses on someone's lawn because I guess that's what the town prefers. The show was nice but only about 35 minutes long. Soon enough, they were over. I of course, wore the wrong boots to be walking around so much. Fashion, even in the dark, is apparently more important than comfort. We walked back to the train station to go back to D's house, waited about 15 minutes for the train to come, and found a couple seats up front. I guess it's the seating arrangement, but trains remind me of sitting on an airplane.

Anyway, as we started moving, D found a pencil and gave it to me. "Really? For keeps?" I asked him. He shook his head yes. Then Earl asked for the pencil and scribbled on the back of a receipt that the Spanish woman across from me was starring at me - er, more specifically, at my chest. He leaned over and whispered in my ear,

"She wants you."

"Well, who doesn't?" and left it at that. Still, to have some woman starring at your chest for 10 minutes on a train is a bit unnerving.

The train stopped and people exited, including my Spanish admirer. We stayed put for the next stop.

That's when Earl and I noticed Nemo.

He was so obviously lost again. Some little girl must have won him at the fair and left him behind. The poor fish just sat there on the train seat looking as dead as a fish can get. His little short fin was limp and his eyes starred blankly at the seat in front of him.
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"Ahhhh nooooo, poor Nemo", I said.

Earl leaned into my ear again, "Nimo's coming home with you, isn't he?"

"Well, how can I let him get lost again? He has no friends to help him this time. He can't possibly hop his way out of a train."

Earl nodded in agreement.

We both sat and starred at Nemo. The train waited another second for passengers to finish getting off. I was afraid if I reached over before the train started moving and grabbed him, people might think of me as a "child's toy snatcher", or something. But just then, the train jilted us all forward and we were on our way. And like a lightning bolt had just burned my bum, I jumped out of my seat, snatched that little fish right up and stuffed him in my purse. After all, I'm an animal person and it was all I could do to help a brother out. Nemo looked at me with those big unblinking eyes, and thanked me for not leaving him on that train.

Earl whispered one more time to me, "Some little girl is crying her head off right now because she left her Nemo on the train."

"Well you know, there's a very valuable lesson she has learned tonight."

"And that is?"

"Be responsible for your shit."

Earl couldn't argue with that one.

Nemo now sits on my bed next to my goldfish...
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And Nemo is happy. He told me so.