One thing among many that I love about adventuring with Dr. Evelyn Mervine is this: much like the Doctor, she loves goofy fun and doing things on a whim. Even when we’re doing serious geology, we’re not doing it seriously, if you know what I mean. When we needed items for scale, we ended up with plastic dinosaurs and a knight. When we wanted to have a look at minerals, we went to a rock shop that doubled as one of those kitschy tourist traps, complete with duct-taped dinosaurs. And she encouraged me to find twu wuv.
I can’t pretend I’m serious all the time, either. So the two of us sort of caused… escalations. When you’re a ripe 37 and running about with someone who just became a doctor, that’s glorious.
So there we were, in the rock shop, and Evelyn discovered the children’s section. They had plush dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum. The dinosaurs had protofeathers on. Not as many protofeathers as they should, but still, an effort was being made. Educational and accurate! Evelyn picked up a good-sized velociraptor, and then found a wee little thing, which she thrust my way for an assessment of its relative cuteness.
“It’s a Utahraptor!” she said. And I allowed it was the cutest Utahraptor ever, and she should totally get it, because then she could name it Utah Carol. I’d have to explain later why naming it Utah Carol would be so appropriate.
So she got a Utahraptor for both of us, so I could have one to name Utah Carol. Melt.
Isn’t he precious? I want to hold him and squeeze him and pet him and love him, and call him Carol.
Of course, the real Utahraptor wouldn’t have been quite so cuddly. The tag states (in several languages):
Utahraptor is related to Velociraptor and Deinoychus, but at 6.5 metres long was much larger than its cousins. We know very little about it as scientists have only found a few remains. We do know it was a fearsome predator that used its sharp teeth and claws to subdue its prey. The large claw on each foot grew up to 20 centimetres long, and could be swivelled round to slash at the belly of its prey.*
Dear, oh, dear, Utah. The song might have gone much differently had an actual Utahraptor been the star.
So here’s the story of Utah Carol, and the reason why I’m so pleased to have a Utahraptor, so I could name it Utah Carol and thus get my Marty Robbins geek on.
And yes, I know, I’ve just completely destroyed my metal cred. But I’m from the West, which used to be the Wild West, and I do have a soft spot for Western (not Country) music.
Now, that song’s a bit depressing. We should lighten things up with “Strawberry Roan.” This is from Marty’s pre-creepy mustache days.
And, while I’m going for broke on the killing-my-metal-cred front, let’s have one of Marty’s most famous gunfighter ballads. I’ll give you two versions, and you can pick which to watch. We have the Grand Ole Opry classic, sans creepy mustache:
Or the sparkly suit, creepy mustache and rather more dynamic version:
I learned lessons from Marty Robbins as a child. Most of them had to do with not making a fool of myself over women. Also, mustaches aren’t as attractive as men think they are. And don’t brag about your ability to ride any bucking bronco in existence until you’ve determined whether you can, in fact, ride any bucking bronco in existence. These lessons have stood me in good stead.
I’ve sung “El Paso” at karaoke and gotten a good reception before. How much more fun will it be if I do it with Utah Carol next time? I should have someone make me a large Utahraptor with a saddle, so I can come in riding it. It might not be metal, but I’ll bet you I could rock the house singing gunfighter ballads on the back of a Utahraptor. You in, JT? Doctor? We will own the karaoke bars!
*I love the fact that the blurb is in British English. This is a toy made in Ohio, mind you.