Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Suffering for Art

Scott and I went to the Desert Botanical Gardens yesterday to see the Chihuly exhibit. It was exceptional in many ways.

1. The Chihuly glass was mixed in with the zillion kinds of cacti and other desert plants to create the feeling of being in a fantasy world where any minute there could be a gaggle of leprechauns doing a little jig right into heatstroke. Or perhaps the landing of a glittery spaceship out of which these skinny blue creatures would elegantly hop.

2. Scott and I carried almost our own weight in water bottles, and drank the bulk of it as soon as we got out of the car. It was 105 degrees here yesterday and no one who had even a teaspoonful of brains was going to the Chihuly exhibit, since most of the glass was melting into fancy misshapen dinner plates.

3. You know that scene in Animal House when Belushi is in the front yard in the dark, doing Ninja moves and darting back and forth? That was Scott and me, scurrying from one tiny bit of shade to another, refilling our 45 water bottles at the many drinking fountains in the garden. The shade was minimal. Like two needles of a cactus stuck together. We fought over it. Lots of pushing and shoving.

4. Fifteen minutes into our walk around the garden, I got sick from the heat. That panicky, I-need-to-puke-or-faint feeling. We aborted the art-walk and hurried/stumbled to the gift shop where I was promptly led to the back office to have my head covered with wet paper towels. It was the Back Office of Shame for a midwest girl who can stand all levels of humidity, but had her head blasted off by desert heat. EVEN THOUGH I carried an umbrella to shield me from the sun. I was Michael Jackson. But with darker skin and a nose and without the little blond children in burkas.

5. Determined to redeem myself, I got my land legs back and rehydrated and off we went into the fantasy garden again. I had adjusted somewhat to walking on the surface of the sun, and continued on, guzzling water and pointing to things while Scott took frantic photos. He'd start running to the next site before the shutter had even closed. Our conversation was like this:

Scott: [Click] Yeahthat'scoolreallycoollet'sgetouttahere.
Me: Gulpguzzlegulp [sound of umbrella flapping as I ran]

6. Victorious, we walked to the car, me with my wet paper towels still dangling around my neck like mummy remnants, and my cheesy blue umbrella above my head like a sign pointing downward:

Wussieville, Population: Candy.


  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Scott P said…

    Your version was much better than mine.

  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Gail said…

    I went to a huge Chihuly exhibit once in Oklahoma City. It was great. We stayed a long time. It was IN A MUSEUM, not in a cactus field.

  • At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Jake said…

    Coming from another oven on Earth I gotta say it. "... but it's DRY heat.."

  • At 9:41 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Gail, you mean you can see Chihuly stuff INDOORS???


  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Jake, here we like to say "But it's a DRY hell."

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous futuresis said…

    Candy, You nailed it! I never felt as though my attempts to describe walking around in the Phoenix heat ever came close to REALLY capturing the essence. But you did it! I remember that I'm-going-to-puke-or-faint feeling. I remember that I would do something like crying, except that the tears would evaporate before they could actually run down my cheeks. My eyeballs would just steam, instead.

    Well, it was nice being here in Candyland for a minute. The children have found me, so I must go. Maybe I'll be able to come back sometime. I miss it.


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