Author’s Note: OK, last time I attempted something like this, it went over well, but again, I feel I must warn you. While the events outlined did take place, and it led me to make a phone call, only about 5% of this transcribed phone call actually happened. The rest is made-up so as better to tell my day of adventure. It’s called dramatic license, folks, and I’m sure you don’t find it in your average online journal.
Me>> Hey! Guess where I’m calling you from!
Chuck>> Uhh, the top of Mt. Moiwa.
Me>> Not quite. I’m still at the winter sports museum.
Chuck>> What’s so special about the winter sports museum?
Me>> I’m calling from the top of the ski jump.
Chuck>> The Olympic ski jump?
Me>> The one and only.
Chuck>> Huh. I didn’t know you could go to the top.
Me>> Well, dude, the view from up here is amazing! Why didn’t you and L come up here when you came?
Chuck>> I don’t know. I guess we didn’t know at the time.
Me>> Well, when you get the chance, you’ve got to come back and do this. It’s…it’s…wow. Did I say it’s amazing?
Chuck>> Well, take lots of pictures, then.
Me>> Oh, you know I am.
Chuck>> So how long have you been at the museum?
Me>> Most of the day. This is how I’m ending my trip.
Chuck>> You’re leaving after this, then?
Me>> Yup. Well, I’ll probably go to the gift shop, stand in line, get my souvenir miniature ball of twine, but that’s about it.
Chuck>> Did you try the ski jump simulator?
Me>> You know I did! Ahh, that was so cool! How they strap you in, put on those goggles, and then, whoosh! You’re ski jumping!
Chuck>> How far did you jump?
Me>> About 80 meters.
Chuck>> That’s all?
Me>> Yeah, they said I jumped too soon.
Chuck>> That’s always the case. Did you try any other ones?
Me>> Well, if the hockey simulator is to be believed, I’m ready for the NHL. I’m not much of a speed skater, so I didn’t perform too well on that one. The biathlon was cool, but I can’t aim worth shit.
Chuck>> Yeah, when L and I and a friend of ours went, we spent an hour on the biathlon simulator. Those targets are tough! It wasn’t until my fifth try or so that I actually hit one.
Me>> I know. I love this museum!
Chuck>> So, you still going to try for Mt. Moiwa?
Me> I’m not sure if I should bother. I mean, I can see Mt. Moiwa from here, and I’m about level with the top. I’ll probably go for it anyway. I don’t know when I’ll be back in Sapporo!
Chuck>> That’s true, man, go for it!
Me>> What have you been up to today?
Chuck>> Just doing some drawing…playing around more with Zoo Tycoon.
Me>> Ahh. So, how’s it going?
Chuck>> Well, I did some more looking around on the KaZa network, and I managed to find the complete version. I think it’s the complete version. It was from some guy’s custom install, so I think there’s a few files missing. At least, with some of the pictures, it comes up “file not found.” Anyway, I’ve been playing it, and it’s crazy what you can do! I filled my zoo with bears, sealed up the exits so people can get in but not out, jacked up the price to $150, then let all the bears run loose to eat all the customers. And you know what? People are still coming to my zoo! It’s nuts! I love this game! (silence) You still there, man?
Me>> Yeah, I just got lost in this view, man. Sorry. You were saying?
Chuck>> Yeah. I see that attendance to my zoo is on the decline, so I think the only conclusion I can draw is that the bears have begun eating customers. They have to be, because I’ve got no zookeepers to feed them. And…you still there?
Me>> Dude, this view up here just rocks! Why didn’t you guys come up here when you came here last?
Chuck>> I don’t know, maybe it was closed, or we just didn’t know. We probably just didn’t know.
Me>> Well, you’ve got to do this sometime.
Chuck>> Yeah, I guess.
Me>> I guess that’s the beauty of being a local. You can come back up here and do it whenever you want.
Chuck>> That’s true.
Me>> Except in April. According to the guidebook, the ski jump is closed to the public in April.
Chuck>> Good to know.
Me>> Anyway, I’m burning daylight here. I’d better head on down to the gift shop and then over to Mt. Moiwa!
Chuck>> Hey, why did you call me?
Me>> I dunno, man. I just thought the view up here was incredibly cool and I wanted to share it with someone…..
Me>> …and my folks were long distance.
Me>> Anyway, see you tonight.
Chuck still resides in Sapporo. No word yet on whether he’s made the trek to the top himself. The bears did eat all the customers in his zoo. And despite our radically different political views, I still consider him my best friend.