The road to Hogwarts is fraught with danger and excitement.
My job frequently requires me to drive long distances, often through long stretches of desert with no good scenery to look at of either the lush forest or beefcake kind. So, I have long periods of solitude where I let my imagination soar to lofty heights. I daydream of a world where I am Queen of Everything, and rule perfectly with a velvet glove. I also listen to audio books. I just finished the Harry Potter series, with which I have been totally engrossed.
What a fun romp, listening to a story about a whole class of people who are different than the majority and must hide their special talents. No wonder most of us can relate. Now that I think of it, the Hogwarts Crowd could do fabulous magic that even Samantha Stevens could not twitch her nose at. Not that I’m trying to belittle Bewitched – I hold that show in special reverence. As a young princess-in-training I remember being very envious of Endora and her incredible outfits. In fact, I try to emulate her to this day. And Uncle Arthur, well … enough said!
But Harry, Ron and Hermione have an act in which I can truly immerse myself: doing wonderful magic to confound the stupid, and to confront evil. Really, they just need a queenly makeover to get some flashier robes and audacious jewelry. Perchance a rhinestone-studded wand? I mean Hermione’s already off to a good start: her bottomless purse must be the envy of all queens everywhere. I know I’m jealous! And speaking of beefcake, how about Fred and George the Weasley twins? Oh, have I ever mentioned my twin fetish?
As you probably know, each book gets progressively more and more gripping with higher doses of intrigue, treachery and violence. Just like backstage at a drag show! I don’t want to give the plot away for the solitary remaining person who has not yet read the series so I’ll just say this: In the last book several characters we have come to love and almost see as family are maimed or killed as Lord Voldemort and the forces of darkness attack Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
As the dreadful and horrifying battle escalates, it appears that Hogwarts and its inhabitants are doomed for ultimate annihilation. The citizens of Hogsmead Village, rather than fleeing into the forest for safety, instead proceed en-mass, young and old, man and woman, human and animal, wizard and witch to stand with the students in the battle of all that is right and good in the world against the forces of darkness and evil.
I couldn’t help but liken that situation to us here in Utah: we citizens marching tens of thousands strong from St. George, Vernal, Logan and every city, singing anthems of freedom and justice and converging at the State Capitol Building (our Hogwarts), to demand the defeat of the dark and oppressive forces of Lord Voldemort (Gayle Ruzicka and Chris Buttars).
I was a little unprepared for just how strongly I was affected by this imagery. Not since reading Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school, have I had such a voluminous release from the tear ducts. It was like driving through a monsoonal downpour, except the windshield wipers were useless. So here I am at 2:30 in the morning, approaching beautiful downtown Wamsutter, Wyoming (population 75 jackrabbits and one coyote), crying like somebody just canceled my account at Maybelline while trying not to bounce off the orange barrels in the construction zone like the ball in a pin ball machine. Thank God for waterproof mascara! I certainly wouldn’t want to have a wreck while looking like Tammy Fay Baker. I would much prefer a more staged, Marilyn Monroe effect.
I needed to stop for gas. It took me at least 10 minutes to “Butch it up” enough to go into the store and replenish my Diet Coke. I planned on getting in and out very quickly so that no one could really see me in such an emotional state. It didn’t help matters when the clerk was one of those drop dead gorgeous strapping farm boy types. He could brandish my “wand” anytime! Of course, I was obligated to stare being the lecherous queen I am. And “Mr. Future Farmer of America” must have been bored, because he was all intent on chatting. Well, so much for a making a discrete and speedy get-away. Where is that confounded invisibility cloak when you need it?
Under normal conditions I’m all for flirting with the straight boys. It’s so cute because most of the time they have no clue what’s going on. But my powers of charm and grace were greatly diminished at this time. I just hope the clerk thought that my eyes were bloodshot from driving too long, not from having an emotional meltdown. After some pleasant yet awkward banter with the boy wonder, I returned to the truck and, armed with my potion of Diet Coke, drove off into the dark abyss of Wyoming, continuing the good fight against the forces of evil.
As always, this story leaves us with many important questions:
1. Is making a kid read Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school emotional abuse?
2. Do they use a sorting hat to divide the legislature between Democrats and Republicans?
3. Are the Republicans the Slytherins?
4. How fast do eye drops get the red out?
5. Would a Wyoming farm boy appreciate a lesson in “wand” handling?
6. Do I need a superhero costume to fight the forces of evil?
7. Should it be made of spandex? Oh joy!
These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of “The Perils of Petunia Pap-Smear.”