The stories that the "Mythbusters" TV show investigates are all-too-vivid reminders of the deaths of my own friends and family members. "Killer Tissue Box," "Exploding Breast Implant," "Jeans of Fire"--these and countless other tragedies have deleted loved ones from my life. (Confession: I never wear jeans.)
As I sip a cappuccino and gaze hazily upon Düsseldorf's Altstadt exactly two weeks before Eurovision, I find myself in a pensive mood.
I replay the last moments of my father's life. He is coked-up and having the time of his life as he barrels down the ski run. He playfully moons other skiers as he passes them by. And there's the arctic fox, frightened out of her den, streaking white on white across the landscape, impossible to see or avoid. A surprised yelp from both parties.
Contact. Chaos. Catastrophe.
My father sailing off a cliff, his pants around his ankles, and the terrified fox wrapped around his head like a living ushanka, their separate screams blending into one.
My server mops off my table. I seem to have knocked over my cappuccino during the flashback. "Is OK, is ok," the server grunts for the third time this morning. He is an old Polish man who no doubt came to Düsseldorf seeking a better life. Aren't we all looking for something?
I consider leaving him a tip for his trouble, but think better of that when I remember the cost of my hotel room. How do the Eurovision delegations from less well-off countries (and considering Germany is the EU financial leader these days, that would be everyone) manage to cover their boarding costs? I think a good journalist should investigate that. Then I remember that I am supposed to be a journalist. Then I sigh with relief, remembering that I am writing only for a blog, and I can leave the tough stuff (read: boring) for the professionals.
Cheered by my newly-realized lack of responsibility, I stride out into perfect weather: sunny skies and temperatures at a perfect 20°C, enough to distract me from the receding yells of my angry server. I remind myself that my father is disco dancing in heaven with Marie-France Pisier. An arctic fox frolics at their feet.
Dance, little fox, dance! :'-)