The Monolith was ready.
The site was ready.
We were ready.
Standing on its own two feet the Monolith was large. 12 foot tall,
weighing about 230 pounds. Moving it would be difficult. Gary and
I could do it, but we'd be making rest stops along the way, and
no telling what might go wrong, or who might see us. Three people
would move it that much faster over the grassy, but uneven terrain.
It would be safer to have a third person. Our friend Bret agreed
immediately. Everyone wants to help pulling a practical joke,
especially a big, elaborate one.
We also got Gary's dad to drive his big Jeep Grand Cherokee. Parking
a vehicle along the roadside would just invite attention. The
Monolith just fit with the back window open, with a few feet of it
projecting out. A red rag tied to one of the 2x8 "legs" made us
legal. He would drop us off and then "orbit", waiting for us to
We stopped along Crawford Avenue, the road that defined the easternmost
side of Governor's State's property, at a point we figured was a
straight line shot to our site. The three of us bailed out quickly
and wrestled the Monolith out as gently as we could, mindful of the
paint on both the Monolith and the Jeep, even though we'd covered
the edge of tailgate with towels. Andy picked up the Monolith by its
top and Gary and Bret took the "legs", and set off, feeling the
adrenaline rush from our biggest practical joke ever, and slightly
illegal one at that. We made good time across the grounds, pausing
only a couple of times to rest and limber cramping hands. It was
dark, even with the full moon walking through the thick grass was
difficult. Completely blind footing.
Then the hard part. We had taken a couple of twigs to mark in the
holes we'd dug with the auger. In daylight it might have been fairly
obvious what they were, when you got close, but at night the were
just a couple more dark bits of foliage blending in with the background.
We had to set down the Monolith and look around with flashlights for
several minutes before we found our "camouflage". We hauled the
Monolith over to the site, pulled the small branches out of the holes,
then carefully guided the "legs" into the holes, and rotated the
Monolith upright. We packed the holes with the dirt we'd dug out.
Looked at our creation, black against the dark as we hadn't aligned
it with the full moon. I think I pointed out Clavius crater on the
moon, the site where the TMA-1 was found in "2001". Then we turned
away and ran back for the road.
The first thing Gary's dad wanted to know was what took us so long.
So long? It seemed like we were gone maybe twenty minutes or so, so
we were astonished to find out that it had taken us forty-five minutes
to actually do the job. That's adrenaline for you.
We'd done it! We'd installed our "donated sculpture" and not been
discovered in the process.
Now to wait for the reaction...