Monday, August 10, 2009


My husbands cousin was in town on business and professed a desire to see The Liberty Bell. Now I'm gonna let you all in on a little secret here... I despise Philadelphia. If you've ever been there, you most likely know why... If you haven't? Well, let's just say 'The City of Brotherly Love' is a misnomer.

However, I'm an amiable kind of gal so a quick drive north to see an overrated piece of American history, for a favorite cousin, wasn't too tall of an order. Traffic was actually pretty sparse and the GPS helped me locate the historical district without incident.

We were however, a bit confused as to exactly where we needed to go to actually see the bell. So we waited an interminably long time to speak with a very chatty park ranger. 'Ranger Rick' gave us directions but informed us that the queue would be interrupted by a visiting VIP between noon and 2:00pm. I stated we were VIP's but 'Ranger Rick' didn't miss a beat and stated that yes, we were and as such, other, less notable, historical landmarks were awaiting us. Ever hopeful we'd get to glimpse the 'bell' before the forced closure we trekked across the street, only to meet up with a line which surely wasn't about to move fast enough for us to see anything more than a lengthy wait in the summer sun, before they closed everything up for the VIP.

Who was this mysterious 'Vacation Crasher'?

We decided to ride the 'Duck Tour'... An amphibious vehicle which takes you around the city and on to the Delaware River... And NO, I didn't do the Macarena, but I did blow on the duck billed kazoo like trinket the tour bestows on all its passengers. Note: Pictured here is neither myself, nor my cousin. Found this via Google search.

Side note: Somewhere, right now, there are mother's of kids who took the tour that are either screaming, "For GOD SAKES, quit blowing on that thing!" or they've already ripped the duck bill out of their child's mouth and have smashed it into a hundred pieces under their shoe.

On the Duck Tour, we saw some lovely historical landmarks whizz by at 10-15 mph... We also bore witness to a hairy bare ass, when some clown mooned us along the riverfront... Awww Philly, just another reason to love ya... Um yeah, so following the tour, it was evident the VIP(s) were making their entrance because streets were closed down and the line for the Liberty Bell viewing had magically disappeared. Unimpressed by VIP's who'd spoiled our plans we wove our way through the gawkers and hoofed it down to South Street, where we had a relaxing lunch.
An hour or so later, when we got back to 'Liberty Place', the cops had gone and the line to see that damndable defective bell had increased by roughly 500 people? 700 people? a 1,000 people? It was hard to tell because the 1/2 mile queue wrapped around itself.... Great, juuuuuuust Great. We decided to pack it in, pay our $16.25 parking fee and head home. Nice picture eh? Had to find it through Google image search because we didn't get anywhere near the damn thing.

But! Just WHO was that VIP? None other than
Michelle Obama along with Malia & Sasha. How lovely that she could share a bit of American history with her girls after a 130 mile drive on the taxpayers dollar, during the height of the summer tourist season... Oh well, guess that's what it's like to lead a life of privilege.

*My thanks to Chris for his thought provoking comments on this post.

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Blogger lime said...

i have to say i do love to visit philly though. i really do. that would have annoyed me though. the caption for the duck tour pics cracked me up, that's for sure.

4:19 PM, August 10, 2009  
Blogger Chris said...

You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

8:01 PM, August 14, 2009  
Blogger Chris said...

Jeeze I can't help myself, you don't have to post this one, but:

There once was a great cathedral with a tall bell tower with a very very large bell in the top. For years the cathedral paid a man to stay and ring the bell on the hour and during special occasions. Then one day the man died of old age and the cathedral was forced to find someone to ring the bell.

The church put out an ad for a bell ringer and for weeks they got no responses. Till one day there came two nocks and followed shortly by a mild groan at the cathedral doors. There outside stood a man with no arms and a bruised face. The man said "I'm here about the bell ringers position". Well the monk who had opened the door was shocked and unsure how to handle the situation and invited the man in to talk to his superiors.

Put your ad here!

The man with no arms was introduced to the Bishop and the Bishop being a little older and a little faster on his feet said "I understand you would like to ring the bell for us but you can't… you have no arms." to which the man with no arms said "Take me to the top of the bell tower and I'll show you that I can truly ring that bell better than any before me".

So the Bishop being amused took the man with no arms to the rope room of the bell tower to see how the man would ring the bell. "No I need to go all the way up". So they started climbing the many many stairs to the top of the bell tower where the bell was. There to the Bishop's surprise the man took six steps back and ran head long towards the bell and slammed his face into it ringing the bell louder than it had ever been rung.

"Surely you couldn’t do this all the time!" said the Bishop, "You'd kill yourself on the first day!"

"I twas born with no arms sir. I grew up on the streets and have lived a hard life. My face was the only form of defense I've ever had from those that would try to hurt me. My face is as tough as any mans hands and I'm used to hitting things with it. It is my dream to work here. I would have a warm bed, which I've never had before. I would have a small stipend, which I've never had before. But mostly I would have some sort of purpose and that would truly be the greatest reward."

Having heard this the Bishop was so taken that he gave the man the job. And from that day forward the bell rang every hour on the hour. It rang out with joy at every funeral and in mourning at every funeral. At Christmas the bell rang throughout the night and on Easter the bell rang the loudest of all at Dawn.

The man with no arms, without a doubt was the greatest bell ringer that the church had ever known.

Then came the centennial year of the cathedral. A great celebration was planned and the Bishop came to the man with no arms. "I need the bells to ring out the loudest they have ever rung! I need the people from all the surrounding towns to hear that bell. The celebration will start at noon and surly God has sent you to us because no other man could raise a sound as you to the heavens".

"Sir it would be my greatest pleasure. I will ring the bells so loud that people in the neighboring countries shall hear!"

The day came and at noon the bell rang out the loudest it had ever rung. People in towns thirty miles away heard the bell and knew it was time to start the celebration and come to the cathedral. Again and again the bell cried out beckoning all to come and see her in her glory!

However sadly the man with no arms became a little dazed with the loud of ringing. After a half hour he stepped back and saw three bells. Aimed at the wrong one and missed the bell entirely. So great was his force of motion that it was impossible for him to stop, and he flew right off the edge of the belfry down to the ground and his untimely death.

A crowd gathered around his broken body and stared in disbelief.

"Who is that?" one of the people from the neighboring towns asked quietly.

To which a reply came "I don't know but his face sure rings a bell"

8:03 PM, August 14, 2009  
Blogger Chris said...

Really, can he stop?


But wait, there's more...

The following day, despite the sadness that weighted heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist (now there's a trivia question), the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame.

The first man to approach him said, "Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty."

The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man's brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side

"What has happened?" the first breathlessly monk asked. "Who is this man?"

"I don't know his name, " sighed the distraught bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother.".

8:04 PM, August 14, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

Lime, Really? Please tell me where I might go in that city which I might find enjoyable because I haven't found that spot yet.

1st comment Chris, *breaking into my finger point disco move* heh!

2nd comment Chris, Read the second paragraph and finished the joke, 'cause you had me at "no arms, bruised face"

3rd comment Chris, Heh! Thanks so much for driving up my comment count. Comments have been rather sparse around here lately.

8:52 AM, August 15, 2009  

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