Harry Potter and the Days of Future Past

FADE IN

Suddenly the door thumps. Harry jumps. Professor Xavier sits down on the couch, takes out an umbrella and points it at the empty fire. The fire remains empty. The family gapes.

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Harry: Who are you?

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Xavier: My name is Professor Charles Xavier. I don’t expect you to have heard of me, or of my school for gifted young men and women just like you.

Harry: Sorry, no.

Xavier: Harry, has anyone ever taught you about evolution?

Harry: Learnt what?

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Xavier: Have you ever made anything happen? Anything you couldn’t explain? Maybe when you were angry or scared.

(Harry softens his expression)

Xavier: You’re a mutant, Harry.

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Harry: I’m a…what??????

(Professor Xavier hands Harry a pamphlet advertising Professor X’s school for gifted youngsters)

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Harry: But…I always just assumed I was a wizard or something.

Xavier: Harry, a wise man once said the difference between science and magic is indistinguishable if it is sufficiently advanced. Mutation is the next step in the  grand narrative of humanity. The process is slow, and usually takes thousands of years, but every few mellenia-

Harry: But Professor, the things I do can’t be explained. I can talk to snakes, make glass disappear…

Xavier: All these strange phenomena are the result of your specific mutation. A mutation which can be most easily explained by science. My mutation, for example, allows me to read another’s mind. Your abilities to talk to snakes, among other things, is encoded in your DNA.

Dursley: He’s not going to some crackpot prep school across the pond! He’s attending Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry just like his old man!

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Xavier: One more word out of you, Vernon, and you’ll spend the rest of your days under the belief you’re a six year old girl.

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Harry: But…if I’m a mutant…then what are my abilities?

Xavier: I believe that, based on incidents which occurred when you were first born, that you have the power to absorb the souls of those who try to kill you.

Harry: And that is because of a mutation…

Xavier: Harry, people’s mutations cause them to do all sorts of extraordinary things. Move metal. Create weather. Control ice. Look like a toad.

Harry: I always imagined going to school in a castle…

Xavier: My mansion is a castle.

Harry: Play wizard sports…

Xavier: At my school we play chess.

Harry: Wizard chess?

Xavier: Mutant Chess. It’s different.

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Harry: …finding my true home and kinship with those I come in contact with.

Xavier: You, Rogue and Iceman will make an excellent trio.

Harry: But what will my new mutant name be?

Xavier: I’ve been thinking that while you’re at my school, because of your special abilities to stop those fight against you…should be Death Eater.

Harry: Death Eater.

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Xavier: Now, how about you come with me? Our school’s private jet is waiting just outside.

Dursley: Harry’s not going!

Harry: It’s Death Eater now.

(Professor Xavier freezes the Dursleys in place)

Xavier: Now, we’re a bit behind schedule. Unless you’d rather stay of course. Hmmm?

Harry grins, looks back, and grins again.

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END SCENE

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DC’s Camelot Showbar: Generation 2 Generation

You don’t visit or live in DC without at least once wandering past the Camelot show bar, apparently a staple of the night life scene that goes back at least to the Jimmy Carter administration, but not as far back as the JFK years which would be more appropriate.

Still, you know its an institution when I cleverly bring it up in conversation and my mom replies, “that place is still there?”

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So at least, we have an opportunity not just for a smashing travel blog entry, the kind I used to do when I lived in another country, but for a cross-generational analysis of what Maxim magazine was paid to label “the best strip club in DC.”

Together, mother and son have all the answers. What did Camelot showbar look like back in the day? How has the venue adapted along with our changing social mores? Are Are any of the girls still there? Why is there an “Angel” on the roster but no “Bambi”? Where is “Bambi”? Unfortunately, none of these questions will be answered below:

Deborah Landau 1872:

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Camelot. A place of kings and queens and high morality.  Well, not exactly.  About forty years ago, while living in a slum of an old YMCA, about two blocks from the White House, where the local university placed us when they ran out of dorm space, my roommate and I wisely befriended the security guards.  One was working on his Master’s degree, another longed to be a cop and a third was a career security guard.  They liked to hang out at the strip joint a few blocks away, known to this day as Camelot.  I can’t think how or why it was named that.  It was an average bar with below average strippers doing pole dances. I can’t recall why we ever agreed to go there with them, or why they wanted us to.  I felt very bad for the women, who were friendly, kind of regular people, with other jobs and kids and places to go home to.  I just thought there had to be a better way to make a buck, as this looked so demeaning.  I think I went there at least twice, as an alternative to hanging out alone with Ralph the Roach in my “dorm.”  Strangely, with all the bars and restaurants that come and go, Camelot remains.

Dakota McKee 2014:

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Camelot. A place of butt and boob and high fidelity. Well, not exactly. About forty weeks ago, while living in a house with people who used to talk to me, about two blocks from the Sibley Hospital, where the local university could send people when they got sick, my housemates and I unwisely befriended the cocktail waitress. She was “working on her bachelor’s degree”; another longed to be a showgirl and a third was a creepy security guard. They liked to work at the strip joint a few bus trips away, known to this day as Camelot. I can’t think how or why it wasn’t named “the black hole in the Golden Triangle” because that’s really what it was. She was an average cocktail waitress who blocked the view of the average strippers doing pole dances (however, I could still see the catatonic man with his tongue out, grasping for his wallet as he stood there in front of the “stage”). I can recall exactly why we agreed to go there–no cover and no line!–and why they wanted us to–it was a trick! They find ways to make you shell out cash anyway! I felt very bad for myself, me being a friendly, regular kind of person, with other jobs and places to go; there just had to be a better way to spend a buck, as this felt so demeaning. I think I had to pay the cocktail waitress at least twice…as an alternative to talking to hanging out alone with Murray the Narwhal in my “fantasy world”. Strangely, with all the embarrassing memories that come and go, telling her “my name’s Dakota and I’m a millionaire” remains. 

Mapping My Matzoh Pie

 

 

Early in March I began building what would later become a 3-dimensional (and edible) representation of my mythical birth place, DAKOTALAND:

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Dakotaland is a magical place located in the realm of the Great Pan, surrounded on four sides by a holy and impenetrable wall. Beyond the wall lie the WHITE LANDLORDS, great men who wish to vanquish all living things within and without the Great Pan. Only their guardian and cowboy wizard, Dakota McKee, can forestall the coming doom.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? We will start out in DORMAN HARBOR, that white city tucked just below the green cliffs of Tarula’pek. Dorman Harbor is a great city known for its mighty commerce and above-average baseball team. During our three-day stay, feel free to ride a canoe around the narwhal-infested bay, or cross the water to the fuzzy ice cliffs of BISHONNE POINTE.

After climbing the Jose Reyes Memorial Staircase, through a dense and moldy jungle where all the animals observe the laws of kashrut, one reaches the central plateau of Dakotaland. We are now in the central forest, home of female centaurs, wild shoe trees, drug dealers, and a lawyer named Robyrt.

You always know where you are in Dakotaland because the Gods who carved it out of matzoh meal, cheese and a touch of spinach (this is all just a story we tell to children) conveniently cut out deep gorges at right angles every Dakotaleague, forming a geographical grid.

As you wander around the forest, watch out for the groves full of bloode oranjes. They are tart like grapefruit but a good deal sweeter, and a great deal bloodier. Sample their juices if you dare. $6.95/bottle, Dakota Dolhers only.

Crossing through the forest to the east we reach the brown mountains of Georgetown, home of the bicurious Kee Kee monsters. Kee Kee monsters have never been seen long enough for an accurate description, as they run between their day work and the mountains faster than anyone in Dakotaland can say “hello” to them. However, far from being benign, Kee Kee monsters will occasionally run amok in the towns and cities, spoiling the dining halls with heaps of garbage and burnt brownies which were found unsuitable for consumption.

Worst of all, Kee Kee monsters are known for their wild skype calls at three in the morning, mournfully wailing about “Obama’s hair” and other terrifying mysteries of the Universe. Those in Dorman Harbor stay up all night, cowering in fear and preying for headphones.

Enough of the mountains! Let’s head to the desert highlands, the top of Dakotaland and the world. From the desert of Sporegaria you can see everything: the green mold, the dark green mold…whoops, I meant you can see the valleys, the towers of the dark lord, the oil fields, the golf courses, the petting zoo, and the Vampire Elf Collective.

Vampire Elves. Can’t live with e’m, can’t live…just can’t live with ’em. If you get to close they’ll bite and even if you’re across the room they might stare you down and walk away without saying anything nice.

Vampire Elves don’t laugh at your jokes and don’t invite their friends out on your birthday. They leave a pan of oil underneath a burning fire on at all times, the better which to burn lost puppies and children who wander into their layer. This is a big fucking nuisance because as long as the fire is on, the true citizens of Dakotaland cannot celebrate their favorite holiday, a festive meal known as “Dinner.”

Forget the highlands! Let’s go deep underground, into the laundry mines underneath the surface. Diving below the gorges, we see that the thermal vents below Dakotaland make excellent fuel for producing clean clothes and finding extra light bulbs.

Deep within Dakotaland lives the softspoken Techno-mancer, one of the Ancients and a handy computer expert. The Techno-mancer has not been seen since the last waning of the moon and prophecy has it will only return with the coming of the “new arrivals”, a messianic influx whom only the gullible of Dakotaland believe exist.

Well, that pretty much concludes our tour. Check your local bookstores in the coming months for the epic chronicle of Dakotaland’s history, “A Plague of Passive Aggression“, which tells the story about how the six original settlers committed original sin and went their separate ways. Spoiler alert: someone gets punched in the face.

Also check craigslist for affordable housing in downtown DC for August/September.

 

 

Dorman’s Law of Drugs

As a student of scientist, it is our job to develop and assist with cutting edge research in our field, which for me is environmental science, but nevertheless I have branched out for about ninety seconds this evening to synthesize what may be my very first breakthrough, a publishable maxim that can be appreciated by all:

ONE: DORMAN’S LAW OF DRUGS: DRUGS CAN NEITHER CREATE OR DESTROY IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO ADJUST IMBALANCES IN THE BODY. THEY CAN ONLY TAKE FROM THE FUTURE AND GIVE TO THE PRESENT.

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Some pertinent examples:

Coffee takes about two hours worth of energy from your future and gives it to you in the present.

Alcohol takes about two hours worth of anxiety from your present and displaces it so you incur ‘anxiety’ debt in your future.

Chocolate takes two hours worth of libido from your future and gives it to you in the present.

Ecstasy takes all the happiness you are ever going to have for the rest of your life and gives it to you over the course of about 12 hours.

(precise measurements and amounts tbd)

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TWO: THIS LAW DOES NOT GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL YOU ARE 23.

takin___drugs_by_liquid_mushroom-d5ox7b3That’s all I got for 12:50 am.

-Dakota McKee