To Your Right, Fainting Goats
April 6, 2005
Well, I’m back. I had a fabby time in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a couple of days seeing the kid-friendly sites of the Wine Country of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
As you know, I love me a good Bad Sign. My all-time favorite was a sign that used to be near every cash register at Century 21, a venerable discount department store in lower Manhattan. It said:
COURTESY IS OUR POLICY! If any employee has been particularly discourteous, please inform the management.
(Only if particularly discourteous, see? Do not bug the managment about routine, everyday rudeness. Get used to it! Don’t be such a whiner!)
One of the sights we just had to see, we craved to see, we were dying to see–was the Old Faithful Geyser of California. Not to be confused with THE Old Faithful Geyser. (You know, the one in Yellowstone National Park.) California’s Old Faithful Geyser is a privately owned attraction. It cost us 22 bucks to see it as a family of 4. We figure that the lady who owns it is making a fortune, because she has not changed a thing on the property since 1948, when it was featured in National Geographic Magazine. Wonderful old signs abound. I was in Bad Sign Heaven.
This sign, which appears to have been done by a talented fifth grader circa 1953, is the New Sign. But there is nothing wrong with the Old Sign, not a thing, so they left it up:
Sadly, we live in a litigious society. Every self-respecting Attraction must have a state-of-the-art warning sign:
One of the best things about the Old Faithful Geyser is that Hubby, who rarely if ever travels outside the range of the New York City subway system and has little experience of Natural Wonders, insisted on calling it the ‘Geezer’. The kids were so delighted not to be going to another winery, that they kept chanting, ‘We’re going to the Geezer, we’re going to the Geezer.’
Oh, so you wanna see the Geezer itself, in all its volcanic glory?
The nasty brackish pool teeming with prehistoric lava-loving fish is also a Cherished Family Memory.
Add Fun to Any Farm
Now you would think the Old Faithful Geyser itself, given its faithfulness and its exceedingly bad odor, would be enough of an attraction for anybody’s 22 bucks. But the proprietress lives to enlighten and entertain, so she enhanced the Total Geezer Experience by laying on a fabulous exhibit of
….Fainting Goats. These goats, bless their hearts, have a genetic condition that causes them to keel over when they hear a loud noise. This tendency to faint has saved many a sheep’s bacon. Bless their hearts. Really, bless their hearts.
A helpful article was provided. But, sadly, the goats never left their shed. (Maybe they had fainted.) But the sign was more than enough for me.
Of Course There Was Knitting
Knitting? You want knitting? Although I am no doubt the last person to arrive at the Clapotis
party, I finally started and finished my version:
(The yarn is a posh Great Adirondack blend of alpaca, silk & a dash of merino. Amazing drape. Hotter than Billy-be-damned.)
And I got more than halfway through Poppy by Elsebeth Lavold, in a teeny Tahki Cotton Classic version for Baby Rosie’s 2005 beach wardrobe.
The Easter Egg colorway can only be attributed to my bedazzlement in the hours immediately after the Total Geezer Experience. Hubby had the terrible bad luck of finding a parking space in St. Helena that happened to be smack-dab in front of Muse Napa Valley, a one-year-old yarn store I had never heard of and wasn’t even trying to make him visit. What a wonderful shop, with a friendly artist for an owner and an amazing selection of favorite yarns and books. Imagine finding Rowan’s Harris Tweeds in California! I was allowed only a few blissed-out minutes in this corner of Paradise, and then it was off to more touring.
It’s good to be back, although the signage around here no longer seems as much fun as it used to.