Saturday, November 11, 2006

What Would Sinbad Do?

While I was in Chicago, Beth was kind enough to take me to the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago to see the Mesopotamian exhibit. I've read countless books on Sumeria and Mesopotamia and I'm absolutely fascinated by the ancient civilizations. (Don't be too impressed. I think it has something to do with Mesopotamia being a huge influence on Robert E. Howard's Conan stories.)
The big centerpiece of the Mesopotamian wing is a 15 foot tall man-headed bull that used to sit outside the throne room of King Sargon of Akkad. Staring at this 40 thousand pound stone statue I had one of those strange moments of connection to the past. Sargon used to see this thing every day, and here I am looking at it a couple of thousand years later.
Something I didn't know though, was that the institute also has an Egyptian Wing. I have done much reading and studying about the Egyptians as well over the years so I was thrilled to get to see the collection of artifacts. As you enter the Egyptian wing you come face to face with a 17 foot tall stone statue of King Tut. Pretty darned impressive.
When I told my pal Chris about these two monoliths the other night at dinner, he said, “If you had been in a Ray Harryhausen movie, the statues would have fought.” Well of course they would. Anyone who has seen The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, or any of the other amazing films made by veteran stop motion animator Ray Harryhausen knows that the statues must eventually fight to the death. Duh.
Immediately my brain begins to create a plot. Beth and I are in the museum seeking the Eye of Osiris, a powerful mystic talisman that was secreted within the one Sarcophagus in the Institute that has never been opened. The Eye is the only thing that can stop the evil Egyptian sorcerer Kasdiel from conquering the world with his army of undead warriors. That'll work.
We break into the Sarcophagus, (leaving a note saying we're sorry and will return the eye) and start to leave the Egyptian wing. Unfortunately the baleful radiation emanating from the Eye of Osiris has animated the statue of King Tut and he is not happy to see us desecrating said sarcophagus. With much creaking and groaning of tortured stone, Tut tears free of his pedestal and begins to lurch across the floor. He is about to deal us a messy death, when with a roar, the man-headed bull, also awakened by the Eye, comes stomping into the Egyptian wing spoiling for a fight.
A pitched battle ensues. Since the Egyptians are the bad guys in this movie, Tut wins, and returns to his initial idea of killing Beth and me. Looking about for any sort of weapon, I think what would Sinbad do? I break the glass on the fire hose that is mounted on one wall and quickly wrap the hose around the lumbering statue's ankles. He topples, and weakened by his tussle with the bull, smashes into many fragments. Beth and I charge out of the museum to face Kasdiel in the thrilling finale.


Beth said...

Dude, no way could I have charged anywhere. Or even run away. My feet hurt too much.

Lanny said...

I can hear Chris in my head posing the Harryhausen scenario.

Hey...not a bad name for a story:

"The Harryhausen Scenario"