Posted by: commonpoorwill | April 23, 2011

Birds of the Ice Age

Lately, while maintaining the quality of the blog, several IT Diggers (who are more just IT people really than actual Diggers, but, we let them have their fun) have pointed out the popularity of searches made by you at home that revolve (or evolve?) around the movie franchise ‘Ice Age’. I’d never even heard about these films, and naturally my inquisitive spirit was aroused. After a quick dash to the local Blockbuster – where the friendly clerk was kind enough to update and inform on the series further. Good kid – I returned to Digby Central with a worn-but-willing copy of ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’ (being Easter I assume neighbourhood families had completely rented out the first episode in the series for a good time with their kids, probably. Please help me.). Something still seemed lacking in my approach to viewing the film; while I had repeatedly been assured of its quality, I wanted a truly immersive experience to introduce myself to the saga. With no chill cake in the freezer at the moment (thanks to a certain American lard-arse whose name starts with an ‘S’ and ends with ‘yther-Marie’) I eagerly decided to toss out the bags of frozen peas and secrete myself away in my own private ‘fortress of solichilled’ with my portable DVD player. This was basically going to be great.

Pulling the door to, a deep, close blackness descended that I can only assume was a perfect simulation of an ice age night (cheers). With the icy walls dimly lit by the DVD menu, I hit play with the vigour of a blacksmith forging a great sword for his lord; a sword he knows will be his finest work, and will inspire fear and awe in the hearts of the bravest man. Unfortunately, this vigour would quickly become a liability in the sealed environment I had created; my excitement caused me to hyperventilate, and I passed into unconsciousness before the opening credits had even finished, my own little ice age suddenly becoming a lonely tomb, in my kitchen.

In my mental fugue, I found myself lounging on the tip of a mighty glacier overlooking a sea of icebergs alive with nesting albatrosses, and yet I felt strangely alone. In my hands I found a pad and 2B-guage pacer – perfect for sketching. My hands took on a life of their own and darted across the paper, blurring like the rapidly beating wings of a hummingbird, and I found myself looking at a strange bird, seemingly of my own creation. Serenity gave way to blind panic and despair at the sight of the cryptid, and I considered throwing myself from the glacier to be shredded on the beaks of emperor penguins watching from below. Suddenly, as I was seconds away from ending my life, I felt a warm reassuring weight on my shoulder. Turning, I found a hand there, with the arm stretching off ahead of me into the night. I found myself slumped in the seat of my red corvette on a lonely highway along the wings of a giant eagle, the arm pulling me along at speed towards a neon Blockbuster sign in the distance. Gaining some composure, I took control of the vehicle and, looking in the rearview discovered myself to be weeping tears of blood, which was fine. I pulled up outside of the Blockbuster and was lead inside by the arm, lead to the counter where the warm, welcoming face of the clerk from before greeted me. She pulled me in and kissed me on the forehead. I took out my pad and showed her the distressing drawing, weeping harder than ever. ‘It’s fine,’ she told me in a voice like sand and glue, and leaning close she whispered the name of the creature into my blushing ear. We cried in each-others’ arms, and then I returned the DVD.

I came to in the lap of one of my IT Diggers, screaming my name. I pulled myself up and grumpily pushed him over, but quickly regained myself and helped him up with an apologetic nod and blackened hands. He explained that he had been searching for a frozen pizza and, seeing the frozen peas strewn across the linoleum, had investigated the freezer, from which I had tumbled into his arms like a newborn. I thanked him and made him an honorary Digger then and there (but regretted it later on; it was impetuous and over-emotional and I’ll probably have a word with him about it tomorrow), then went to bed feeling loose and relaxed.

Two weeks later, I realised that it had actually been a dream, and that ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’ was probably still in my freezer, and pretty overdue. When I pulled the mangled portably DVD player out from under the recently-purchased frozen pizzas, the corrupted screen held a surprise for me: a pixelated image uncannily reminiscent of the bizarre bird I had sketched in my dream. Wow. I leapt into my corvette and got to Blockbuster, DVD in hand and apology in mouth, only to find the girl standing behind the counter that had held me in my comatose state in the freezer. I explained what had happened to her, and how the DVD was probably ruined, and she was pretty mad and made me pay the fine anyway, but that was “fine”. As I left the store feeling somewhat crestfallen, I glanced back. My eyes met hers over the Snickers bars, and in that moment something passed between us, and I knew that we were okay.

A Weird Bird - screenshot from my portable DVD player 2 weeks after the dream.

Cheers,

Your pal,

Digby xoxo

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