Because our minds are not confined to the constraints of our craniums, a ride down the rabbit hole can be endless with its twists and turns, zigs and zags, steep climbs, and plummeting tumbles into a time-sucking abyss. You’re familiar with it, I’m sure.
All you want to do is fact check what farmers fed their chickens in 13th century Italy. You know it’s not corn because during the revision of your work-in-progress you realized New World epicurean delights like corn, tomatoes, and potatoes weren’t available until after 1492, so after clicking on a plethora of sites that appear helpful, but end up being useless, you land on a page boasting the use of live chickens as a cure for plague related buboes.
How do you scroll past that one? Live chickens? Boils? But the clock’s ticking. You don’t have much time before the afternoon traffic begins to back up and will make you late for an appointment. But chickens? Real? Live? Chickens?
Oh how you wish you had the will power to leave it for later, but your enquiring mind has been piqued by this luscious tidbit of story fodder. You want to keep it from diving into yet another time sucking abyss, but hey, how long can it take? You grit your teeth, hover your mouse, CLICK, and there it is. THE recipe for the treatment of the Black Death.
You fly over the text to get to the meat of the piece since, tic-toc, tic-toc, the school bell
signaling end-of-day is about to ring. Right away it’s clear this is NOT your mamma’s, Mrs. Finkelstein’s, or anyone’s famous chicken soup remedy. The words rump, pluck feathers, and place over bubo stand out like a flashing neon sign in the middle of a moonless desert at midnight.
You’ve just GOT to read on. You are spell- and duty-bound. Never mind the droves of kids stuffing their backpacks, slipping on their jackets, and lining up for dismissal or the yellow buses, SUV’s, and crossing guards gathering on your escape route.
Mesmerized, your mind slips back in time to the 10-year-old you. It gobbles this information up like the twenty-five cent bag of hot-buttered popcorn you savored watching James Bond save the world on a giant screen. At the same time, your writer’s mind searches for a way to use this jewel somewhere in your middle grade novel. “Kids will love this factoid,” you exclaim to no one but you. When you’re finished reading and being totally grossed out, you glance at the clock, reel in your mind, and slam your laptop shut.
Oh, shhh-ucks! You’ve missed your window.
But you look on the bright side while you slog your way through town. You ponder on how prepared you’ll be for the plague victims you’ll meet in the waiting room now that you’ve missed your appointment. And imagine your surprise when you pick up a magazine to while away the time until it’s your turn and the first article that catches your eye is titled Mike, the Headless Chicken. What are the chances? Is the universe trying to tell you something? You make a date with your untethered mind to check back later for the answer to that one.
What curiosities have you come across in your travels down the rabbit hole?
And thanks for stopping by today!