Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grand Entrance by Michael A. Kechula

by Michael A. Kechula

“Congratulations Dora! The other members of the team and I have decided that you should have the magnificent honor of being the first person to enter King Gazanga’s tomb.”

“No way! Just because I’m the only women on this team, doesn’t mean I’m gonna do everything you ask. Hell, I’ve cooked all the meals in this miserable desert for you guys. And I’ve lost more than my share of sleep on night watches, making sure jackals and bandits didn’t attack while you guys snored. But here’s where I draw the line. Why don’t you do it? Or Harry? Or Nick? Or any of the other guys?”

“For goodness sakes! You make it sound like we’re trying to punish you. What do you think we are—a bunch of misogynists? This is a fantastic honor we’re bestowing on you as a reward for all your wonderful support. You’ll go down in history as the first woman ever to break the seal of an ancient Egyptian tomb and go inside. Oprah will break her neck to get you on her show. You’ll be the darling of CNN, Fox News, not to mention every woman’s organization around the world. The President will invite you to the White House. And that’s just for starters.”

“Hmm. Does sound pretty good,” Dora said.

“Your life will change forever. You’ll be a hero. Imagine what it’ll be like when Random House offers you two million to sign a book contract. Think of all the girls who’ll look up to you. Mothers will name their daughters after you. So will high schools. And maybe even a couple of freeways. You’ll be the toast of Washington, New York, Hollywood. So, take this sledge hammer, hit that door to break the seal, and march right into that tomb.”

“What about the nasty curse? It says he who breaks this seal will be attacked by giant preying mantises, after his head splits wide open from being struck by lightening. And the ground will open and swallow what’s left of him. And his miserable carcass will fall into the Pit of Fire. Then he will suffer excruciating pain from horrible burns for all eternity—not to mention the constant sting of worms nibbling away at his innards.”

“You can’t possibly believe that. When you translated the hieroglyphics on the door, didn’t you say it used the words he and his?”


“How can those words apply to you? You’re a her. It didn’t say her carcass would burn, or get munched by worms. So take this sledgehammer and whack that door.”

“Will you guys take lotsa pictures to prove I did it?”

“Of course. We’ll sell them to National Geographic for a bundle. Hey Nick, is the camcorder ready?”

“Yeah,” Nick hollered.

“What about the rest of you guys. Are your digital cameras ready?”

All replied positively.

“OK, Nick, start your camera the minute she picks up the sledgehammer.”

Dora grabbed the tool. “Damn, this is heavy.”

“Say something for the camera,” Nick said.

“What should I say?” she asked.

“Describe what this is all about and what you’re doing.”

“Hello everybody. I’m Dora Duncan. I’m a senior majoring in Archaeology at Santa Buffoona University in California. I’m carrying this sledgehammer, because I’ve been selected by Dr. Brown and his archaeological team to break the seal of King Gazanga’s tomb. Hi Mom! Hi Uncle Henry!”

“Speed up a bit,” Brown said. “I’d like to get inside that tomb before sunset.”

Walking faster, Dora added, “I want to thank some people, who in their own ways, made this day possible. The first is the guy at the candy store who told me to stay in school when I got preggers at fourteen and almost quit. Then there’s the guys at Joe’s Bar for teaching me what life was really all about, and—”

“Please save that for another time.” Brown said. “How about describing what you see as you approach the entrance.”

“It’s sandy around here,” Dora said. “This is, after all, the Sahara Desert. And the Sahara is known to be pretty sandy. And even though this is a desert, there’s lotsa Egyptian Desert Pigeons. Ooops. One of them just dropped something on my head. Nick, can you get a close up of my hair so people can see how different their gunk is from American pigeons?”

“Don’t lose track of what you’re doing,” Brown said. “Keep focused on the tomb.”

“The tomb’s just a few feet away,” Dora said. “It has a wooden door. Imagine a bunch of Egyptian carpenters from 75,000 years ago using their ancient tools, trying to make an ornate door. They musta suffered terribly in this horrible heat while they…”

Breaking into song, she warbled, “Tote that barge…lift that bale…get a little drunk and you lands in jail.” Then she added in her normal voice, “Makes me wonder how their union let them put up with such intolerable working conditions. The bosses could’ve had this door made in Cairo where it’s a lot cooler. Just goes to show how management exploits labor every chance it gets.”

She stopped three feet from the door.

“Well here it is. And here I am. And here’s the sledgehammer. So now, I’m gonna raise this ugly old thing and hit that door. I’ve always wondered why tools always have to be so ugly? Why don’t they paint them pink once in a while? Or lavender?”

“Hit the damn door, already,” Brown said.

Dora swung with all her might. The door gave way, breaking the seal.

The entire team applauded and cheered wildly.

Lightening and giant praying mantises prevented Dora from hearing their accolades.

Author bio:

No comments: