Men Who Stare at Planets

Please don't stare at these goats.

Please don't stare at these goats.

“Hey buddy, wanna see Jupiter? Jupiter — the planet?”

This is definitely not one of the usual questions I hear when walking out of the movie theater parking lot on a chilly November night.

Familiar would be, “Didn’t you just love that movie?” or “Hey, wanna get ice cream?”

So yeah, I was having what turned out to be a strange Saturday.

It all started waking up this morning.

I arose from sleeping to hear someone talking about pancakes. Getting pancakes to be exact.

This got me pretty excited, as groggy as I was, because I happen to love pancakes. My favorite place to get pancakes is iHop, and I quietly hoped that what I had just overheard would lead to the aforementioned International House.

But alas, I was most discouraged to find McDonald’s hotcakes waiting for me in the kitchen.

I have a longtime, if shaky, boycott of all things McDonald’s. This includes every food item there. Well, except their delicious Sweet Tea and McFlurry’s.

Anyway, in addition to the Mickey D’s boycott, I just happened to hate the fake, plastic tasting faux pancakes they make there.

So not the best of mornings. And that pretty much set up my day of strangeness.


George Clooney in Men Who Stare at Goats

The rest of the morning and afternoon, I caught up on a couple of things on my computer while feeling like I was in a strange mood.

Then when my father wanted to go see a movie, we decided on The Box cause, “oooh it’s a scary one,” according to Dad.

Of course, much like the hotcakes kerfluffle earlier in the day, that didn’t exactly work out as planned because my sister wanted to go with us to get dinner, causing us to miss the movie.

Since the next movie wasn’t for three hours, my dad and I decided to see the new George Clooney movie entitled Men Who Stare at Goats.

Now, putting Brother Where Art Tho aside, I figured that a movie with Clooney couldn’t be that bad.

So we went in and sat through an hour and a half of a movie equally as strange as my mood for the day.

It was apparently based on a true story, but a true story that made entirely no sense. And then Clooney’s character killed a goat with just his mind. And then they all took LSD and liberated Iraqi terrorists and, yes, goats from the military base.

What the hell that movie was about is beyond me, and I would have regretted going if there weren’t a couple of laughs along the way. Strange, so strange.

At least Brother Where Art Thou had some catchy (and twangy) singing in it.

So anyway, back to leaving the theater.

"Hey buddy, wanna see Jupiter?"

"Hey buddy, wanna see Jupiter?"

“Hey buddy, wanna see Jupiter? Jupiter — the planet?”

My dad and I looked at the guy standing there in a winter jacket next to a two-foot wide and 4-foot long telescope on a swiveling stand.

He also had an empty 5-gallon size water jug with some coins in it that was labeled,“See the planet,” as he questioned movie-goers if they wanted to see the Red Giant.

We kept walking to our car and my father turned to me and said, “Wow, what a strange day… first that movie and now this guy!”

I agreed and then noticed a vanity plate on a car we were walking past.

“JUPITER1” it read.

See, I told you my day was really strange.

I just wish I had thought of the Uranus comeback before we were halfway home…

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  • Miss

    I think you should have looked in the telescope. It could have been Jupiter. Or a naked lady. Ooh maybe a goat!