Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Frenchy Fry Land and Jurassic Park

Tonight we had a message about Lando Calrissian.  How many other children's churches can say that? It's just funny the extent that we've taken the Star Wars thing.  But the kids are so much into these Star Wars services. Some kids know far more than we do about characters and movies, reading into the books far more than even Daddy does.  Which is pretty unnerving!

It was a great service tonight, a really good one.  We had the Professor's invention telling us what Star Wars character we might be most like, and then a conversation (with pictures) about animals with lightsabers.  Thank you, internet.  The message was called, "I have a bad feeling about this," which featured a video clip showing all the characters that say that very phrase in the movies.  But the message itself compared the traitor turned hero Lando, and from the Bible, the traitor turned hero Peter. It went pretty well.

Today is Madison's free day.  She has ballet and piano the other days of the week, so this is a good day to get caught up on piano practice sheets and homework.

We've been caught up in unraveling the mystery of a local artist, who has put signs up along some of our roads here.  They've been periodically appearing on telephone poles and other posts around this immediate area.  Searching the internet for the phrase "Frenchy Fry Land," Daddy was able to find the website of a guy who has some great material - he's the one who has been putting these signs up, and he apparently lives nearby.  It's what you think of when you hear "folk art," but the artist himself considers it more like "street folk art."  Regardless of whatever category you put it in, we like his works.  He has some fantastic murals and other works as well.  Anyway, it's neat to see as we pass by the pieces on the way to and from the church.  There are at least two that we know of between here and the church.  And there is one on the way to and from the school.  Sadly, Frenchy Fry Land may be a place only found in our imagination.

Speaking of which, here's a photo of the Jurassic Park vehicle we spotted at the Quinlan Arts Center.  It wasn't at Frenchy Fry Land.  No, it was on its way to Jurassic World.

So we asked if we could come along for the journey.  The driver said yes, why not!  So the three of us hopped in the vehicle, and soon were off to the land of dinosaurs and no worries at all, of course.  I mean, how likely was it that any of these creatures could escape?

Well, it turns out that there was a problem there.  We were pulling up to this swampy area, and Madison had asked what dinosaur was next.  Up until that point, we'd seen the Pterodactyl Aviary, the scary raptor pens, and the vast stomping grounds for the sauropods (that was Daddy's favorite).

Anyway, you'd think they'd have this figured out by now.  As we were pulling up to a large fence, there was a sign that said, "SPINOSAURUS."

And there it was, right out of its holding area.  Our driver screamed in terror, and a few of the other drivers nearby slammed on their brakes, skidding to a stop.  We were right there to see it all.  Forgive me for not grabbing a cell phone to take a picture of it, but at the time we were sort of in a panic.  Madison was like, "Go, go, go, go!"  And the driver didn't need to be told twice - he turned the vehicle around as fast as he could.  We and a few of those other touring jeeps were bolting out of that area as fast as we could.  But the large, plodding footsteps were right behind us, and a few jeeps got kicked aside and turned over by the creature's tremendous limbs.

We didn't escape either.  With a tremendous jolt, the Spinosaurus turned ours jeep over, and sent it rolling.  I was grateful we all had our seatbelts on.  But that was that for the jeep.  I knew that dinosaur was still out there, so I told Madison to stay in the jeep, as quiet as possible.  She looked at me and her expression seemed to say, "Duh?"  Fortunately, there were other jeeps out there still distracting the huge creature, so he lumbered off in pursuit of those as well.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  He was gone.

Those of us who were now stranded, we climbed out of our jeeps a little worse for wear.  The drivers knew the park the best, and decided the best strategy was to move through the park back towards the entrance in between some of the vegetarian dinosaurs.  By this point, the Asset Containment Unit had been notified, and I guess they were on their way to deal with the loose Spinosaurus before any more damage could be done.

We found ourselves wandering through vast open spaces of green pasture, although I would have preferred to stay closer to the wooded areas, hidden there.  But there were plenty of dinosaurs we got to see up close now, including an ankylosaurus and some stegosaurus.  I told Madison not to get too close, because both of them had tails you didn't want to mess with.  She already knew this though, and as always was diligent to tell people to be careful.

And that's when we heard the noise.  It sounded like distant thunder, but Madison and I knew exactly what it was when we heard it.  The ginormous Spinosaurus had doubled back, and was actually not far behind us.  We turned to see it's head clearing the trees, and it saw us as well, all of us.  It towered over the trees.

"Run!" one of the drivers screamed, and rather pointlessly I might add.

Madison had a brilliant idea here, and I wish I thought of it.  She actually grabbed my hand, and led me to the ankylosaurus, and we climbed on before the thing started to run.  Others saw what we were doing, and did the same thing.  I'm not sure how many were able to escape that way, but here we were, clinging on for all it's worth.  There are these armored plates on the back of an ankylosaurus, and all kinds of little horns.  So there were plenty of places to hold on to.  The thing was faster than it looked, a little tank on four legs.

Still, the thundering Spinosaurus was hot on our tail.  Literally, you see.  Because an ankylosaurus has a tail.  And there's something pretty awesome about that tail, as we were about to find out.  We reached the edge of the pasture, and there was no more room for the dinosaur to go to, as this area was actually fenced in to protect the tourists.  It was a large fence, tall and solid.  There was no way for us to go through it or over it - at least not quickly.  We scrambled off the top of our dinosaur, and made our way to the fence, but we were trapped.  Madison was worried about the ankylosaurus, and so was I.  We turned to see the Spinosaurus slow his approach.  We were all cornered, and I was pretty frightened, I have to admit.  The ankylosaurus faced the giant dinosaur.  Things were about to get ugly.  There was nowhere for us to go.

With a mighty lunge, the Spinosaurus lurched downward to attack the smaller ankylosaurus, but then something amazing happened.  The ankylosaurus pivoted, and swung that tail of his around.  What I haven't mentioned yet is at the end of the tail of an ankylosaurus is something like an oversized cannonball, a weighty piece of bone that he swings just like a wrecking ball.  And all that armored plating on top of his back was making it impossible for the Spinosaurus to take a bite.  There was a bit of a face-off here.  The Spinosaurus was eyeing us, his tasty prize.  But as he did so, one solid strike came, where the ankylosaurus' tail made a solid impact on the Spinosaurus' leg.  And that was it for the Spinosaurus. He toppled backwards and down, and then staggered to his feet with a tremendous roar.  He was hurting, and as the ankylosaurus took a threatening step forward, he realized this was a battle that probably wasn't worth it.

And again, he couldn't get to us, because that amazing ankylosaurus was in the way.  So he backed up, and let out a deafening roar of frustration.  And then he marched off somewhere else, presumably to terrify even more tourists.

The ankylosaurus turned to face us once more, and it was as if we communicated something.  Madison called out, "Thank you!" and the rest of us, as silly as it sounded, all started calling out the same thing to this incredibly dinosaur.  It had saved our lives!  We couldn't help ourselves.

And now that we weren't in such a panic, we were able to find a door in the fencing, not too far off from where we were cornered.  We were safe for now, and the drivers of the vehicles that were with us had been making calls to the park officials.  Apparently the ACU was now in the same pasture we had been in, and they were confronting the Spinosaurus with plenty of tranquilizing darts.  They were going to put it to sleep, and drag it back to the swampy area where it came from.

We heard its roar again, this time much more distant.  But it still gave us all the creeps.  It was time to leave, and we were extremely happy to see a few more of those Jurassic Park jeeps show up, this time to pick us up, and give us a ride to the exit.

About Jurassic Park, all I can say is this.  They say to bring sunscreen and water, and some extra cash for souvenirs.  But you should also add this:  get in shape, and do some exercise before going.  You should always be prepared to run for your life!

Yes, this was a story told before school one morning, while waiting in the car to get dropped off.  Yes, it takes that long in the drop-off line.  But the story was fun, and here it is just for posterity!  I imagine the next story might be even more adventurous... about the time all of us went to a place of mystery and thrills, a place called... Frenchy Fry Land!


  1. do you have contact info on the jurassic park car . is it for rent?

    1. We don't know about renting it. I believe you can find the owner of the vehicle by searching online for "The Magical Mr. McClure." In fact, you can see it on his Facebook page. Hope that helps!