Every year, Odyssey holds a slam at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Nashua, New Hampshire. Odyssey students stand up in the coffee shop part of the store and read a story no longer than five minutes in length.
So off we went. Five of us in Charley Horse's car. For some reason we had hand-written directions on a piece of paper instead of using one of the smartphones along in the car. We didn't get lost, really, we just weren't sure of where we were...
Barbecue Man whipped out his phone. Tap, tap, tap. Turn here. Go here. After a while, it dawned on us that we were in a holding pattern. Round and round we went. Which wasn't that strange, we realised. Barbecue Man is a retired air traffic controller. Holding patterns is what he does.
This lovely exchange took place.
Dundee: We're going the right way. I remember trees.
Barbecue Man: Yeah. There was also an oxygen nitrate atmosphere.
But we arrived in time. We had time for lunch before the slam, and ate at a micro brewery pub in Nashua. I had a killer lobster stuffed haddock with scallops. Nom nom nom.
Then off to the bookstore. Walked around in the store for a while. Bought some stuff. And then did the slam. There were some former Odyssey graduates there, and some people that had actually come to listen. Wow. So we read our stories. Commodore (formerly known as Assistant Teacher) and Evil Overlord (formerly known as Teacher) also read a text each, which was cool. We haven't heard anything from them before.
I suck at writing flash fiction. So I was in awe of some of the stories that were read. In awe. There are some hideously creative people here. A source of endless inspiration and angst.
Afterwards we learned that the slam had been broadcast on the store PA. So everyone heard our texts. Even in the bathrooms appearantly. Commodore tried the innocent act, but we all know she knew. Curse her and her puppet dragon!
And then the quote of the day.
Charley: They don't celebrate birthdays in Sweden.
Sarah Palin: That's because they all come out of rocks.
Thanks, Sarah. Really.