In response to another email Phil G posted something that was a list of quotations and it reminded me of a McSweeney's List piece (one of the Scout Handbook pieces) so Es and I went to the site to check it out. While hunting round through the archives we went through a door to the server room, which turned out to be a basement somewhere and I was surprised. More sites should do that I thought. Going through another door we left the building, but it closed behind us and we couldn't get in. The door was metal with no handle, and painted with white paint now flaking off.
Outside was yellow and grey, a dusty ground with buildings that looked as though they should be much larger scattered around. "It's a wilderness," I said, but it wasn't. Or at least it was, but only in one direction. In another direction it was farmland, and in another a tourist attraction. But everywhere it appeared to be an abandoned metropolis transposed to a village of the great plains. It was then I realised we were at the edge of a reservation, and the last surviving Navajo Indians were eking out a living acting as tourist guides.
There were three, all outside the broken down entrance to some park or another (on my left, if facing forward was the wilderness, backward the farm, and right the McSweeney's server building). The first man held a billboard and was running up and down, continuously shouting his incomprehensible sales pitch. He wore the mask of a hawk, as large as his torso, made of wood and breaking up, painted crudely in patches. Closer to me were two children, also wearing masks. They stood by a gallows holding ropes which were strung over a pulley to become a noose holding up a body. They both wore black. Turning, staring at me, they jiggled the rope to mime the action of a squaw (the body) being hanged. They all wanted me to pay to go into the park. I didn't.
Es and I turned and left, at which point it emerged the Navajo village was just up the road from my mother's house in the New Forest (England). We walked down the country lane to her house where a giant party was in progress. Hedges, trees, the garage and the neighbour's house had been removed for the cars to park. People were everywhere, and this was the culmination of a week long party to celebrate the renovation of the house (my mother told me). I could hear the sounds of guests helping with DIY in the background.
On the grass after the cars but before the party I saw Rafiki run past, and Woody (the other dog) lying on the ground chewing a bone. He looked younger than when I last saw him, last weekend, three days ago.