Here I am preserving minor aspects of our popular culture which might be easily lost forever, if we weren’t careful. Not that anyone would miss them.
Remember the invisible dog leash? Once upon a time in the last century, Patty and I went to the Seaside boardwalk for the day and saw a lot of these. You could win them at various booths, or just buy them: leash and harness for a non-existent dog. Or, as they liked to say, an invisible dog.
I wonder if the ancient Egyptians or the Romans ever had fads like this–suddenly everybody’s parading around Memphis with a cardboard pyramid for a hat, or doing a Wave in the Coliseum when a gladiator gets the drop on his opponent. Have there always been silly fads, or had it remained for modern Western culture to invent them?
Somebody out there must know! We’re waiting to hear from you, whoever you are.
I want to tell you about an odd experience we had, some years ago. I’ve used this video of a pterodactyl model in flight because it was the closest thing I could find to what we saw.
Ten or fifteen years ago, Patty and I celebrated our anniversary with a day on the Seaside Boardwalk. It was August 8.
Coming home with plenty of daylight left, we found ourselves driving all alone on Route 34 in Holmdel Township. That in itself was quite unusual. But then we looked up at the sky.
At first we thought it was a hang-glider, because it sort of looked like one. But there’s nowhere for many miles around suitable for hang-gliding. No cliffs, no mountains, no skyscrapers. So how could he have gotten up there in the first place?
We watched it for long enough to be sure it wasn’t a hang-glider, or any kind of aircraft that we’ve ever seen, or any kind of bird. What it looked like was a pterodactyl. Unlike the model in the video, it never flapped its wings. We also had a strong impression that it was much, much bigger than any model–although with nothing to use for scale, we couldn’t be sure about its size.
It glided all the way across our field of vision, and as the car kept moving, eventually we could see no more of whatever strange thing this was. All we both can say for sure is that it sure as heck looked like a pterodactyl. As a lifelong dinosaur buff, I ought to know a pterodactyl when I see one.
Very, very strange: and we never heard that anyone else saw it.