Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dubs and the Crystal Skull

I photographed this Crystal Skull in the  Popol Vuh Museum in Guatemala City.  My wife knew one of the curators who gave us special access, so this is one of the only photographs in existence of this particular crystal skull.  The red on the eyes, nose and mouth, is Cinnabar, a mercury compound used by the ancients for mystical purposes.  Since there's no backlight, I'm not sure why it glows.

I told you about my friend, Dubs McClusky in my last post.  He's my whiskey drinkin' buddy who's convinced the world's going to end on December 21.

I shouldn't have played with his  mind like I did.  But,  I saw it as a way that he might partially reimburse me for some of the many bottles of 15 year-old single malt he's more than helped finish while sitting with me at the table over the years.  Unfortunately, after about a week, I'm still waiting on the cases of 18 year-old stock I thought he might deliver.

If you don't know what I'm talking about to this point, go back to my last blog entry and read:  The Mayan End of the World:  The Perfect Subject for Photography and a Drink.  It will open in a new window. Then come back and you'll get the rest of the story.

Dubs stopped by again just a few minutes ago.  "Hey, let's have a drink," he said.  "I want to ask you some more questions about that Mayan prophesy stuff."

"Okay," I said softly.  "Let's talk.  But I'm out of whiskey.  I just haven't had time to stop by the liquor store."

He stared at me and squinted for a while. "You know, Tom. I don't recall ever stopping by when you didn't have whiskey.  But, right now, I'd drink about anything."  His look was almost deathly.

"Something wrong, Dubs?"

"No, not really. I know your wife knows about this Mayan end-of-world stuff and all.  She has a real pretty voice when she speaks that Spanish.  But maybe she's wrong about it being the end of the world."

"She's never been wrong before, Dubs."

He looked at me seriously.

"Never," I intoned. 

He hesitated.  "Yeah, I know."

"You know, I've got a bottle of 12 year old rum," I offered. "It's one of the most most popular in Guatemala, and it's the Baktun edition."

"Back-toon," he said in an accent that made him sound southern. "Is that something like the rerun of a cartoon?"

"Well, sort of," I offered. "In this case, a Baktun is a Mayan period of time.  We're on the last one.  It ends on December 21.  That's the last day."

"A period of  time?"

"Yeah, it's about 400 years long.

I opened the bottle of rum and poured each of  us  a snifter.

"Hey, this is good," he said.  "A toast to the Back-toon!"

I lifted my glass.  "Yeah, drinking to it only ensures that it's gonna happen.  That's cosmic law."


"Yeah, the end of the world.  It's okay. We've lived a long time.  It's time for creatures from some other universe to occupy our space!"

"What!"  He downed every drop in his snifter, and I quickly poured him another one.

"Sorry, Dubs," I apologized, "but it's time on this Earth for creatures that will appreciate 18 year-old Scotch, those that are more spiritually developed."

"What... I appreciate 18 year-old spirits.  I appreciate them a lot!"

"I know, Dubs, but I suggested you bring over a couple of cases, especially since it's the end of the world and you won't have to pay the credit card bill.  You  haven't done a thing!"

His eyebrows shot up.  "Why?  So we can toast to the end of the world again and again?"

"Yeah, but you can also toast against the end of the  world."


"That's right.  That's what the Crystal Skull told my wife."

"The Crystal Skull?..."

"Yeah, there's a very special Crystal Skull at the museum in Guatemala City.  It might be hundreds of millions of years old, maybe billions, or even trillions.  No one is sure.  It told my wife that if enough people toast against the end of the world with very good whiskey, it might not happen.  It's eyes glowed red, and it told her. It told her in Spanish."

"Are you sure!" Dub was aghast.

"I photographed it as it was telling her how to prevent the end of the world."  I went to my files and pulled out a print of the Crystal Skull and handed it to him.

"It's real, he said, looking intently at the photo, "it's real. That means we can do something about the end  of the world!"

"That's right," I said.

"Okay!," he was almost yelling.  "I'm going out to buy a case right now. Call all our friends.  We're going to do some  toasting!"

"That's great," I smiled.  "I'll call some of  my buddies, you call some of yours. We'll meet here for a toast in an hour."

"That's great," he vocalized almost at the top of  his lungs. "Maybe the world's not goin' to end."  Then he paused with a puzzled look on this face

"What is it, Dubs?"

"You know, I don't want to sound like a kill-joy, but if the world doesn't end, I'm going to have to pay the credit card bill for all that whiskey, aren't I?"

I looked down in sympathy.  "You're right, Dubs.  The skull said it might be a problem.  Maybe it's better that the world just ends to make way for the more advanced beings."  I almost sniffled.

Dubs' again looked like a deer caught in headlights.  "Wait a minute," he said.  "Make those calls.  I'm off to the liquor store."

"Good call, Dubs," I said.  "The skull knows how to throw a party."

"Wow," he exclaimed as he went  out the door, "maybe you won't have to take that picture of me as the world ends, after all.  Maybe you can take a picture of me drinking against the end of the world!"

"Sounds good to me," I said.  "Just go out and get those cases of 18 year-old single malt before it's to late!"

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