Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dinosaurs (Me and Some Others)


What did you do on your Halloween morning? I put on a suit and ran around a park with dinosaurs in pursuit of a new Facebook profile/SuperHuman Times publicity pic.

Okay, some particulars: the shots were taken in Dinosaur Land, a nifty little park 2 hours out of Baltimore in Virginia’s gorgeous Shenandoah Valley. (I used to travel through the area when appearing at Rovacon with the Boogie Knights, but that was long ago and far away. Thankfully, it’s still much prettier in the fall than I am year-round.) This is a small park with only one key attraction: more than 40 life-sized (more or less) papier-mâché dinosaurs and a few monsters (giant octopus, giant cobra, King Kong, and others). Greg, our 9-year-old, loves dinos, and we waited through three weeks of bad weather for a Saturday that was right for taking him, and Halloween was it.

Unnecessary Legal Note (which I add because I’m a decent guy): The fact that we shot these pics unaccosted at Dinosaur Land does not constitute the park’s endorsement of SuperHuman Times. It just means that we were the first people in the park that morning and were able to get away with this.

After exposing Greg to such things as the Dinosaur ride at Disney World, and other sophisticated Audio-Animatronic attractions,
we weren’t sure how much he’d enjoy something so kitschy.


But he loved it, as you can see.

So, other than entertaining our son, why did I put my long-suffering wife -- who took those shots, by the way; thanks, Cindy -- through the embarrassment of playing dress-up? Simply, I wanted something a little more, how shall I say it, “me” than the “Bond shot” I’ve been using everywhere, including here. Not that anyone was ever fooled into thinking I was sophisticated and urbane. I just wanted to try a different direction .

Less 007, more CIA.

I refer, of course, to James’s US counterpart, Felix Leiter, specifically as portrayed by Cec Linder in my favorite Bond flick, Goldfinger. Of course, this Felix is renowned for being the most obvious Company operative in movie history, but I'll take him over the cipher who played him in The Living Daylights anytime. (And there's no way I could pull off the 2 cool Felixes, Jeffrey Wright and David Hedison. "Obvious" I can do.)

I was also influenced to some extent by Mark “Deep Throat” Felt, the FBI agent who helped Woodward & Bernstein bring down the Nixon administration. Isn’t this a great shot? It’s on the cover of his book.

I had a retro-looking suit already, but even in this era when Mad Men has made ‘60s-era clothes hep again, it was hard finding a snap-brim hat in the color I wanted. And while these pics may make the rig look a little more like Kolchak than Leiter, they’re enough to make someone wonder, “WTF is that about?” And maybe check out the show. I just hope they won’t be too disappointed when dinos don’t show up.

Of course, by the time the new stories are ready – they’re still in the studio, along with several other Prometheus Radio Theatre projects -- dinos may evolve back into existence. By then, I may be out of what is clearly turning into a pretty sad, delusional midlife.

Thanks for your patience, with me and with the wait for the new episodes.

-- L.

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