LC's Take: Global awareness

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012 in Features

LC's Take: Global awareness

by LC Van Savage

I want a globe. A really big world globe, and I’m dropping my Christmas present hint now, allowing my dear husband “Mongo” enough time to get it for me and to make certain he can’t say “ooops, too late, sorry LC, all the globes are gone,” on December 24th. There’s a great big famous globe store in Yarmouth that absolutely never ever runs out of world globes, so nice try Mongo. You see, if I say it here in print that I want this globe gift, then Mongo will kind of have to get it for me, right? Poor old Mong.

The reason I’ve become so enamoured of the idea of owning a big free-standing world globe is because I’ve just spent a week in a home where that family owns a marvelous globe: huge, waist-high, standing on four thick, carved, mahogany legs. And oh, the best part: It lights from within. Wonderful!

This fabulous globe can be tilted in every direction, making its axis go in any direction one chooses. Tilting makes it simple to see the South Pole without bending down. Also tilting that globe yon and hither gives one the most pleasurable feeling of being The Force for a while and oh come on, everyone likes to feel like that sometimes. Some of us more than others, perhaps. Yeah, well, maybe me, but only very occasionally. OK, a lot.

But ah, that globe! Seeing the world, all of it, from standing above, being able to see everything as if from a rocket ship — no, I mean space ship because “rocket ship” is a little too dated, right? A bit too Flash Gordon? Anyway, seeing everything on the Earth, all there, beautiful, the world’s miseries invisible on that big, solid orb, gives me a great and powerful feeling of geographical comfort and superiority. I’m guess I should not be proud of that feeling but there you have it.

Sure I know that countries come and go as often as new dooughuts are introduced at Dunkin,’ and that as soon as one buys a globe with everything allegedly in place, it all changes because of some stupid conflict or other, and yes I understand that “conflict” is the sanitary word for “war,” and ancient countries are suddenly renamed and rebordered because of a “conflict” in which they’ve become involved, either reluctantly or on purpose. How annoying. New globe owners should be given a supply of stick-on new countries to add on and pull off as geographical changes are made each time we blow up various pieces of our world.

Furthermore, I know that while continents and oceans tend to generally stay in the same place, even those can change during random earthly hiccups, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, those tantrums old Mother Nature occasionally throws probably because we are not taking proper care of her precious space ball. But still, constant changes notwithstanding, I’d love to own a big world globe. I don’t need carved mahogany legs, but I do like the idea of a waist-high globe that I can stand up to and look down on and spin and let my hands run over the cool, curved continents and oceans.

You see, owning a globe like that will let me see for sure that India is not Texas, that Australia is not the USA upside down, that Norway and Sweden are not the Panhandle, that Canada isn’t bulging somewhere between Alaska and Finland, and to finally know for certain exactly where Mississippi actually is.

Now Mongo, if you’re reading this, I know what you’re thinking about this gift I want. You’re wondering where I’d put that recliner-chair-sized freestanding globe I hanker for, and so I’ll simply say, “Well, in the living room, of course, where it’ll get used all the time. Where else?”

And you’ll tell me that if we put one more thing in that room it will tip over, and I’ll laugh, oh hahaha, and tell you you’re a card, and then you’ll say the room is already so overstuffed with furniture and clutter we’ve never even been able to get to one set of windows to open them since the house was built. And then I’ll counter with, “Well, true, but you forget that we have a really big family of very tall, bulky people who come to visit a lot, and who no longer think it’s adventurous or fun to sprawl all over the floor like teen-agers which they haven’t been for a couple of decades, and they need furniture to sit on because they’re normal now, and furthermore, I’ll make room for the globe. I will. A wondrous, big world globe should not ever be shoved into the corner of an unused room and never looked at, am I right or am I right?”

And I’m always right, so Mongo won’t be able to say much after that. (Furthermore, who cares if family members have to walk a more circuitous route to get to the TV anyway? Walking is good for one, right?)      

And then to seal the deal, I’ll tell Mongo to think of the educational values of owning a big globe like that, how we can spin it and point out to our grandchildren the places where we were born, where they were born, or where Kalamazoo or Lichtenstein are, and we can even show them Gnome. I mean Nome. And, as a bonus, a great big waist-high lit-from-within standing-on-four-thick-mahogany-legs world globe will make us look really, really smart.

I know where they’re sold, but Mongo’s a smart guy and he’ll figure it out and I’ll say here to him that there’s really no reason to wait until Christmas to present this gift to me either. Now is good. And Christmas is really close anyway, and by the way, my birthday is exactly one week after Christmas Day on that other holiday, the first day of the New Year. There’s simply no escaping it, dear man. Either day will do nicely. Thank you. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Love you.

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