Turn your speakers WAAAY up…and immerse yourself in ancient Egypt with Bigfoot’s totally cool slideshow, above.
So what did we do when the Texas Teresa Meek and her husband Chester came to town?
We went to see King Tut, of course.
It was a beautiful clear, sunny summer day in Seattle, a place where sunny days are rare even at this time of year, a prime day for ascending the Space Needle, strolling the outdoor market at Pike Place, or visiting our green and blooming parks. Instead, we spent it inside the dark exhibition halls of the Pacific Science Center, looking at the contents of tombs. Plus an unwrapped mummy at the end of the show.
Who would want to spend a precious Northwestern sunny day doing such a thing?
Meeks would. All of us, plus my friend Janet.
Bigfoot and I had already arranged to go, at my insistence, and I had invited Janet, who takes an interest in all things cultural. There was no way I was going to miss this one-of-a-kind show a second time in my life, and Seattle was its last stop.
The first time I missed it I was living in the other Washington–D.C. This is some 30 years ago. The exhibit of treasures–a solid gold funeral mask was one of the highlights–from the tomb of Tutankhamun, the “boy king” who died at 19, was such a hit that people stood in lines eight blocks long in some places just to see it. It inspired Steve Martin’s hilarious Saturday Night Live parody featuring King Tut and the Toot Uncommons.
I loved Steve Martin. I loved things Egyptian. I wanted to go. But I didn’t want to stand in an eight-block-long line, and I didn’t want be one of the sardines packed into the museum once I got in.
Being young and stupid, I decided I’d play it smart. Waited for the crowds to go down. Waited, waited, and waited. The crowds continued to pack the National Gallery. When the entire population of the city and its surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland had attended, visitors were still pouring in from out of town. I waited some more. And I missed the exhibit. Damn!
I wasn’t about to let that happen again. So when the exhibit returned to the United States this year for a second and final tour, with Seattle as its very last stop before the treasures were returned to Egypt for good, I snapped up tickets. They happened to be for the day when the Texas Meeks were scheduled to arrive, but I figured we could meet them afterwards, or possibly the next day. Still, when Teresa called to announce their arrival, I invited them along. Why not?
And being Meeks, they thought it was a terrific idea.
We Meeks think alike, it turns out. Appreciate the simple things in life. Enjoy being outdoors. Have respect for tradition. Take an interest in history. Of course they wanted to go.
We arrived too late for the entrance time we were shooting for (They stagger the entry times now so you’re less likely to feel like a sardine, though it was still surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday afternoon), so we hung out for a couple of hours at Starbucks to shoot the breeze and get to know one another a little better. Turned out we got along great.
But that’s not all.
There’s something about Chester. Something that reminds me of Bigfoot.
On the surface, they couldn’t be more different. Chester, born and bred in Texas with roots in Oklahoma. Bigfoot, born and bred in Washington with roots in Michigan and Oklahoma, but not on the Meek side. Chester, a hunter. Bigfoot, a former vegetarian.
But they both have a wry, sarcastic mouth. Coming out of guys who seem polite and shy, coming out of nowhere.
They both have a big heart. Bigfoot is always helping people.
Chester once picked up a down-and-out hitchhiker, gave him money for meal, and dropped him off at a place where he could get shelter.
It turned out to be Willie Nelson. True story! But the point is, he could have been an axe murderer, but Chester saw he needed help and helped. The kind of thing Bigfoot would do.
Could it be? Could they be related?
Here they are, side by side. What do you think?
Still not convinved? Let’s take a closer look:
The same pale but rosy complexion, the same eyes that curve down in the corners, the same kind of teeth, the same kind of smile.
We’re calling ’em cousins.
The Texas Meeks are strangers no more. They’re kin to us, or near enough.
Family in Texas. Who’d a thunk?
Now when I think of King Tut, it is no longer Steve Martin’s ditty that pops into my head, but Bigfoot’s images and music, and the Meeks. All of us.
It’s a definite improvement.