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Grand Entrance
by Michael A. Kechula

“Dora, I’ve decided that you should have the magnificent honor of being the first person to enter King Gazanga’s tomb,” said Professor Brown, the expedition leader. “You’ll go down in history as the first woman to break the seal of an ancient Egyptian tomb and go inside.”

“What about the nasty curse?” she asked. “It says he who breaks this tomb’s seal will be attacked by giant praying mantises, after his head splits wide open from being struck by lightening.  And the ground will open and swallow what’s left of him. And his miserable carcass will fall into the Pit of Fire. And he will suffer excruciating pain from horrible burns for all eternity—not to mention the constant sting of worms nibbling away at his innards.”

“You can’t possibly believe that. When you translated the hieroglyphics on the door, didn’t you say it used the words he and his?”


“How can those words apply to you? You’re a her. It didn’t say her carcass would burn, or get munched by worms. So take this sledgehammer and whack that door.”

“Will you guys take lotsa pictures to prove I did it?”

“Of course. Hey Nick, start your camera.”

Dora grabbed the sledgehammer. “Damn, this is heavy.”

“Say something for the camera,” Nick said.

“Hello everybody. I’m Dora Duncan. I’m a senior at Santa Buffoona University, California. I’m in Egypt carrying this sledgehammer, because I’m gonna break the seal of King Gazanga’s tomb. Hi Mom! Hi Uncle Henry!”

“Speed things up a bit,” Professor Brown said.

“I want to thank some people who made this day possible,” she said. “First are all the guys at Joe’s Bar who taught me what life was all about. Then there’s the lady at the candy store who urged me to stay in school when I got preggers and almost quit.”

“How about describing what you see as you approach the entrance,” Brown said.

“It’s sandy around here,” Dora said. “This is, after all, the Sahara Desert. And the Sahara is known to be pretty sandy. And even though this is a desert, there’s lotsa Egyptian Desert Pigeons. Ooops. One just dropped something on my head. Nick, can you get a close up of my hair so people can see how different their droppings are from American pigeons?”

“Don’t lose track of what you’re doing,” Brown said. “Keep focused on the tomb.”

“The tomb’s just a few feet away. It has a big wooden door. So now, I’m gonna raise this sledgehammer and hit that door. I’ve always wondered why tools always have to be so ugly.  Why doesn’t anybody ever paint them pink? Or lavender?”

“Hit the damn door, already,” Brown said.

Dora swung with all her might. The door gave way, breaking the tomb’s seal.

The entire archaeological team applauded and cheered wildly.

Lightening and giant praying mantises prevented Dora from hearing their accolades.