Assuming the world is still here, I’m set to run the Bali Marathon in a week.
I purposefully booked a long layover for my flights to Bali for two key reasons: 1) it was cheaper (duh) and 2) it would enable me to avail myself of the fee-free visa in China to get out of the airport and see a bit of Guangzhou. I toyed with the idea of booking one of the viator/orbitz/tourist company’s packages from the airport but they wanted $250 for a six hour tour. I don’t know if that’s because I was a solo traveler or if it was indicative of something else. The tour basically was a foodie’s stroll through the area market and when I priced a cab from the airport at USD$7, I thought it seemed a bit excessive. Even if they took me to the most magical spots in the food district, it still seemed a bit steep to me.
I priced out a few other tours only to get rejected with this error message:
I don’t generally mind traveling alone, although I also enjoy seeing the sights with friends and family. But to be denied because I’m alone? That’s just society’s way of exercising its thought control, utilizing power games to insist that if you’re single there’s something wrong with you. And as if I weren’t already feeling bad enough about my bloat, my slowing down, and my general concern over the fate of the world due to geopolitical machinations and crazed moves above my pay grade, well… thanks, tour companies. Thanks, society. You really know how to cheer a guy.
All of this for some reason triggered in my mind a scene from the millennial Bruce Willis movie, “Disney’s The Kid” (2000). Supposedly it had to be called “Disney’s The Kid” so as to avoid confusion with the Charlie Chaplin picture, “The Kid”(1921). Trust me, no one was going to mistake Bruce Willis for Charlie Chaplin.
Anyway, there’s actually two versions of what I’m about to post. There’s the clip from the trailer, which goes big and broad as it’s a “punch” moment to sell audiences on the movie. But the same scene played in context of the movie, features a quiet, melancholy take designed to sell the emotions of the story. Let me forewarn you that the only clip I could find on YouTube of the latter is weirdly slowed down and apparently filmed off a TV screen (the ol’ telecine trick of the golden age of television) and I assume the guy did that to avoid the copyright AI that would’ve flagged it and denied its publication to the world.
The alternate takes between trailer and film happen sometimes for marketing purposes but for me it’s always underscored the talents of “the kid,” Mr. Spencer Breslin. Unlike his sister, the no-talent, hacky robotic “actress” Abigail, Spencer brings pathos and comedy to his work, striking notes and beats. Plus, I hated “Little Miss Sunshine” with a passion. Hashtag: Team Spencer.
But I digress. Here then are two takes on how society apparently judges me and image consultant Russ “Rusty” Duritz:
Turns out I’m more Bruce Willis pre-2000 than I realized. Yippie Ki-Yay, indeed.
And so, unlike Bob and Bing, I’ll go solo on the Road to Bali and beyond. Sadly there will be no Dorothy Lamour for me at the airport. Still I’ve got to prove I’m no loser. After all, if yesterday’s plane pull proved anything it’s that if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
All this, again, is assuming that the world is still spinning in seven days, post eclipse and various apocalypse harbingers.
This is a lousy post for the day… but I’m feeling just off in general. I tried for the first time in an age to work in some sit-ups and it was a reminder that I’m very soft in the middle and the years have taken their toll. I’m 40, I’m not married, and I can’t do situps?
I grow up to be… well, me.