My 10 year old daughter returns breathless from checking the mailbox, with only one shoe exclaiming, "There are 3 dogs out there that scared me so bad I ran in without my shoe." "Sure Naomi, too much TV." I go out in the yard, "Just in case." To my amazement outside on the grassy area twenty meters away are three Rotweiler-sized dogs in a pack. I snuck up like a predator myself and yelled, "Go away".

Closing the distance immediately the big white leader charged me, baring its fangs, and barking the killer instinct for the others. They quickly circled around to either side. Quickly, with barrel chests like powder kegs. I was not trained for hand to jaw. I faced the leader with a cheap mop I had picked up on my way out. He didn't slow down as I ran towards him. He's supposed to slow down, it's spiritual. Then I charged at him with my biggest feeling, roaring at the top of my lungs. The other dogs heard this as they closed in and backed away. The leader stopped and looked at me just as I was preparing to crush his skull with the handle of the mop. He backed up and turned away. They all left together.

Later when I was on my way to get a brain scan there was lightning and thunder. My car engine suddenly stopped and I coasted to a stop up at the top of a hill. My daughter started to cry. She said, "We'll get hit by lightning if we walk". I said, "We won't get hit by lightning" She said, "How do you know?"

Study Questions:

1) Are wild dogs really quick, smart and unpredictable?

2) Is a mop the ideal weapon for canine attacks?

3) Can the author predict lightning?

I had gone into shock in the middle of the night a couple of times went for a checkup. Towards the end the doctor asked, "Are you claustrophobic?" I said, "Well I don't really want to be buried alive, if that's what you mean". Without looking up from the paper he was busily scribbling my fate on he said, "You'll enjoy this".

Still on the brainscan quest we reached the confectionery receptionist who borrowed our personal information and gave us questionnaires as a consolation prize. Cut to the chase: I'm inside a tube surrounded by 10 tons of steel. It was like being buried alive, but there's no place like home. A little fan blew air across my face. A mirror like an iron lung that let me see down my tubular home to the glass console framed by my Nike Airs with my hands politely folded in the foreground. The man behind the glass talked through a hidden microphone which led to the bridge of his Enterprise. He would say, "How are you doing?" which translated meant, "Are you hysterical yet?" "No. I am in a Japanese tubular motel and there are some construction noises outside." The usual thoughts ensued: "hold still or they have to do it again." "I wonder what my brain looks like." "Is it unnaturally small or large in certain places?" "Is there a tear, or a tumor or a big gap where something useful used to be, or worse yet, where something should have been?" Environment check: A cage like a defensive end surrounds around my head. What's that for? Machine collapse? It made such loud whirring and clicking noises that I had to wear earplugs while it flipped every proton in my brain at 63 Megahertz, the pronation frequency of Hydrogen. At least they weren't cooking what was left of me in the microwave. I tried to become Zen one with the scanner and let it do it's thing. I wanted to do the proton dance. "I could write a story about this.", I thought.

These would be perfect images, no breathing or twitches allowed. I didn't blink for 5 solid minutes. Then suddenly a tear formed. I was offering money to scratch the itch beside my eye. My vision clouded. It was an emergency. To move now would destroy the scan, and quickly ruin "Fantastic Voyage."

The technician extracting me had brought a choke chain into the room. It did not remind me of wild dogs, nor of my adventure earlier in the day. I did notice that it was not hanging down like choke chains in most venues. It was sticking straight out in space, magician like. I pretended that was normal. The man said, "A paper clip goes from zero to 42 mph in the length of the stretcher", I had been lying on. They shoved me inside that machine like raw beef into a sausage grinder. My daughter was walking around the room with the choke chain and it did funny things. It made a W, it made a V, as it plotted the field lines of a superconducting torus. I liked being in there. It was like being dead and alive at the same time. Like some great womb ready to undo me but instead put me back together.

On extraction from the tube I asked if my images were "developed". The man said, "Yes, in 90 seconds they're up". I walked in and there was my brain on TV, like someone had split me in half longwise. When I moved the console's trackball I got to see something I'd only imagined before. The sinuses, eyeballs, pituitaries and voids. Tooth fillings, spine, and brainstem. The cortex, where vision starts, connected to the rest of my brain without the break, without the pinch, without the inferior constriction I'd always imagined. Here was a hunk of brains hanging directly off the back of the like a mattress off the end of an overloaded pickup truck. There it was in front of me for the first time in my life. Built for seeing. That is what I am.