Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Don't Drive Like My Brother" Edition

The Dispatch From Escalatorville arrives at the onset of an early spring storm, providing thoughts and observations to fuel plots and conversations the world over. Or so our editors would like to think.

Back to one set of footprints...
In my day job, I hear a variety of voicemail greetings. About one month ago, I noticed a fast spreading trend of messages concluding with a variation of the wish "...and have a blessed day." There's no umbrage to be found here - hell, I'll take as many blessings as I can get. The rising pace, however, gave me the urge to start tracking them.

I marked a corner of my notepad with a check at each occurrence. Daily, the numbers grew. Three. Five. Nine. Nine!?!

As I began this past week, I once again sectioned off an area of said notepad for "Blessed Day Scoring, " carefully organizing my papers so as not to confuse my "actual work" check marks with my "new hobby" check marks. I double click my pen - full of ink and ready to go. Then, nothing.

For the entire week, no "Blessed Day" wishes. As quickly as they had sprung up - they were gone.

I blame the media.

Best served cold, and addictive
Strange, isn't it? Engineers from Japan- y'know the country we knocked out in WWII - are slowly conquering the world with a device called the wii.

There is nothing I can say here that won't get me in trouble
In St. Uglytowne, one of my favorite neighborhoods is the historic African-American district, Lincolnville. The area's history in the struggle for civil rights is well documented, and it has recently been added to the slate of the Tour Tram attractions. It was awkward to see, on a recent drizzly afternoon, a Tram full of tourists pulling into L'ville's residential section - every passenger dressed in identical, white, hooded, rain ponchos.

Although, probably a bit more awkward for the residents...

Why I don't live in Hollywood (Part 1)
Here's a movie I'd like to see: The story of a man or woman who, due to an incident in high school 20 years prior, has lungs that - as well as circulating air - also produce Vodka. Thus our protagonist is drunk all the time. Send me a good title, and I'll send you a potato.

Fake Boob Tubing (Why I don't live in Hollywood, part 2)
Garrison Keillor beat me to the punch this week with a column on 'waiting in line,' a subject that I had planned to address in this space. Thus, we now present the Escalatorville Soap Opera Roundup:

Lustful Days of Vengeance - Chas was thrown lustfully from his horse, Chas Jr. - landing miraculously in the lap of Archduke Boris, who had vengefully pushed his lover, Patrice, over the Hoover Dam. Meanwhile, Gracie realized that by marrying Carlos, she'd become her own great Aunt.
Harlots and Hussies- Charla slept with Rudolfo, who flirted with Cecelia, whom later slept with Chance - then Rudolfo, and Charla. Chance also slept with Charla, who then slept with Pamrissa - while flirting with Cecelia. All were then poisoned by Wilbur, whom announced he was now reclaiming his virginity.
Pechos Con Acentos - Que la mujer con los pechos del levantamiento consiguió en una lucha caliente del gato con la muchacha tomboy linda pero trabajaron todo hacia fuera para el momento en que tuvieran que exprimir en sus uniformes de la escuela católica.

It stands for Need Pledged Revenue
Recently, its been Public Radio pledge time again. Now, I'm a big fan of Public Radio, and I do give it my support. granted it's mostly moral support, but support nonetheless. In any case, it's been my experience that the national personalities are far more persuasive than the shills for your local affiliate. In fact, local pledge break broadcasters, while fiercely necessary, are annoying enough to make me want to throw up a transistor. As Guy Grand is wont to say: "Sometimes, it's not merely enough to teach. One must punish as well."

So, I've made another game out of the experience-

At the start of the pledge drive, obtain the amount of money you would normally donate - in the form of $2 bills. Lay them aside (you can put them in a pile of arrange a pretty pattern on the floor, however you'd like - it's your money). Then make note every time a local correspondent:

A) Makes a comment which clearly indicates that they weren't really paying attention to what was just on the air.

B) Tells a joke that is either stupid, unfunny, or too "inside" for the general audience.

or C) Uncomfortably tries to relate a story that has little or no relevance to the pledge drive.

Every time you witness one of the above, take away one $2 bill from the pile. At the end of the pledge drive, send in what's left. If you happen to be a detail-driven person, include a list with your cash.

Spend the rest on tickets, when your favorite touring radio program comes to town.

With apologies to Robert Bly
A few weeks ago, some of my best friends and I embarked on an adventure described singularly in the Encyclopedia of Testosterone as "MANCAMPING." (yes, the caps are necessary, it aids in proper enunciation of the term)

This was my first MANCAMPING experience, and I was a bit hesitant, as I had heard tales from the last MANCAMPING excursion a year prior. I had envisioned contests involving feats of strength, being randomly wrestled to the ground in the midnight hour for fighting, and perhaps a bit of light hunting - with just our fists and teeth as weaponry.

To be quite honest, however - after loading and unloading gear into and out of a boat, having travelled in that boat upriver to set up camp on a small island, then gathered up firewood (and the dog)- we were satisfied just to get quite inebriated and relaxed.

Yes, while there were the occasional conversations of the "What have you done/who would you do" variety, we were content in not having to fully express our "manliness" - collectively acknowledging that it was manly enough just to know we could.

The new 2% solution
Have you ever noticed in nighttime photos of our national monuments, just how bright they are? There must be a thousand lights around the White House alone. Now imagine, if we took away 20 lights. Just 20 lights out of one thousand.

Then, imagine if we turned off just 2% of the lights at all of the national monuments and government buildings.

These beacons of democracy will lose no noticeable shine, and yet would shave a considerable sum from the nations electric bill. Cash that could be spent say, eradicating the Homeless problem.

Also, we all know that we have the greatest military, probably ever. With a team so efficient, it stands to reason that any mission that requires 50 new $200, 000, 000.00 planes, could be done just as well with 49. We could then use that extra 200 Million dollars for our nations schools, perhaps? That's a bunch of computers/books/teachers for a measly 2%.

If we're willing to give a little in the accumulatory sense, we stand to gain a lot in a communal sense. Call it the "trickle up" theory.

No membership required in Escalatorville,
Z.F. Lively
Escalatorville Chamber of Commerce

p.s. if you know anyone looking to pay,oh, me- on a regular basis to write things akin to the above, let me know. Better yet, let THEM know.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Oh, man, I would have paid to see that trolley full of tourists in Lincolnville. What a fantastic postcard for the city that would have been.