Carry On, Son
Wichita is flat, cold, and treacherous. There was a thin and evil layer of ice on the sidewalks, and even if you stood absolutely still, you still slid slowly in one direction. I eventually developed a technique where I stood still and just thought a direction, and steadily slid that way. Yeah, it was fairly time consuming.
We only had a few short hours on the ground there, but I got out into the war just so I could make a report. Well, and to get some junk food. Seemed a simple enough mission. 25 blocks later, it no longer seemed simple. What do these people eat? Where do they eat? It was actually four blocks in that I discovered why there are no food places. The population of Wichita (and perhaps of Kansas) is constructed wholly of bronze.
Here's a guy reading a newspaper. I almost asked him where a Wendy's was before I noticed that a) he was barefoot in the snow, and b) metal. And he was not the only one. There were a few denizens on almost every street corner, standing politely in still life. Kids playing. Neighbors chatting. Just, nobody was moving. It was a bit disconcerting. Kinda like walking around in Teminator 2 in the ten seconds after the nuclear explosion and before the blast wave.
Here, sensically, is a soda fountain outside next to a building. I hung out for a while on one of the frozen stools, but the waitress seemed to be too busy standing still to take my order. Just as well... it probably would have been a bronze sundae.
Oh yeah, being a farm-type state, there were animals out too.
This pig is listening to some ducks.
This dog is in the Christmas spirit. Except, considering the soda fountain, it might be have been Christmas 1956.
Some dogs get a bird in Kansas.
Some just listen to music.
Fascinating as those bronze folk were, after 25 blocks, I was less fascinated and more becoming transparent from hunger. So, using reverse psychology against fate, I said aloud, "25 blocks and nothing! Well, guess I'll go home now!" One block later, there was a gas station. That's just how my life works, and to get anything done, I just have to know that. A Mr. Pibb and some Hot Fries later, I discovered that fate had brought me to a more cosmopolitan side of town. Here they had places where you could buy a Bu.
You could also get an Avi.
On the way home, I passed Newspaper Man without looking at him, and I discovered that while I had been looking at him the first time, I had not been looking at the intersection down the street that had that Wendy's I had been after, plus a McDonalds and a Burger King and a Subway and six other food places. Damn that guy.
Oh yeah... you know how sink manufacturers sometimes put their company name inside the sink? Well, the sinks in the hotel (and probably most of Kansas) are made by TOTO. Figure that, huh?
Kansas... and with it, the entire West... is now done. I've got North America on the run now.