Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dispatch From Escalatorville: Gimcrack and Snicklefritz

Tall Drip To Go? That’s Me.

Recently, we lost a treasured member of our family. I refer, of course, to our dear, beloved coffee maker. After 3 1/2 years, the old brewer has given up the ghost; sputtering, hiccuping, and belching out it’s last drops within the past couple weeks. As we did with it's brother, Toaster Oven (2005-2007, now buried somewhere outside Seattle – perhaps), we will observe an appropriate time of mourning before finding a replacement.

This means that, while I’ve not been able to drink my usual tub of coffee each day - I have had the opportunity to visit a few of downtown’s java purveyors:

I entered one establishment and asked for a "regular" - after waiting a moment for the brew to, well, brew - I was given a cup and a total, to which I replied-

"Oh, that's probably the cheapest deal in town."

Having enjoyed that particular beverage, I went back to that shop the very next day and, Ta-Da; they’d raised the price.

I was at another shop, when one of my audiological pet peeves come to life. I dislike when quirky and modern idioms/phrases suddenly blast their way into the everyday language before time, poet, or playwright has tested them. The situation becomes slightly depressing for snarky English majors; by which I refer to those of us who believe in the rule of
"If it ain't broke, don't… oh damn, you just broke it, didn't you?"

Anyhow, the exchange was as follows:

TeenUnit1: "I thought you were bringing me the bread and the ice?"

TeenUnit2; "I brought up the bread..."

TeenUnit1: "Well, yeah, but - Total FAIL on the ice."

Then again, I still use terms like “gewgaws” and “strumpet,” so what do I know?

A while ago, I bought a book of those stamps that you can use anytime, regardless of rate increases. They are non-denominational. I laughed when I noticed the stamps edge, next to a picture of the Liberty Bell (“With it’s crack hanging out, for all to see!”), it reads "USA. First-Class. Forever."

Profiles In Circumference
The staff of Escalatorville would like to note the recent passing of Fred Morrison
, the inventor of the Frisbee. While I have enjoyed this product for the majority of my life, I do have to acknowledge that I hold Morrison personally responsible for half of the beach sunburns I ever got.

Giving Indexes The Finger
Every now and again, I take delight in thumbing through the phone book to find those odd headers at the top of the page. You know, the ones that give the alphabetical span of that section according to names or business description. Funny couplings often show up, such as:

Abortion - Accountants

Handicapped - Hats

Truck - Uniform

I haven't checked in a while, but luckily, Escalatorville has eyes everywhere.

The following came from an associate we shall refer to only as El Capitan:

"On page 398 of the current ATT "Real Yellow Pages"

(as opposed to the 'Unreal' ones), you will find "Septic - Sex". I think that to be just a tad too Yellow for my tastes."

I agree sir; no one should ever have to read that.

Tales Of The Nagged, Part 4 (in a seemingly never ending series)

Occasionally, when I work at the hotel, the batteries in a rooms TV clicker will expire. We have a few extra’s available at the front desk - instead of handing out single batteries left and right. What surprises me, however, is the amount of people whom are too lazy to get up and simply change the channel on the machine itself - but will frantically send their spouse down a flight of stairs, across the parking lot, and into the lobby to request a new remote.

Or Maybe The Spinning Lights Remind Them Of Disco…

Previously, I commented on the abundance of sirens caused by emergency vehicles racing around this old (and aging) town daily. On a recent morning, I hit upon a theory:

I walked through town, noticing ambient sounds; the buzz-hum of scooter motors, the “WHA-PAP! WHA-PAP!” of a nail gun signifying "home improvement" on every block, air tour helicopters hovering low, and the constant “Rat-A-Tat-Chung! Rat-A-Tat-Chung!” of giant jackhammers ripping up the old bridge.

Imagine a combat veteran - having witnessed the worst of humanity – now retired, and relaxing in this old beach town. Then, during scrambled eggs it starts…

Choppers flutter overhead, motor transports whizz past, and just yards away - that consistent, ear-shattering

“WHA-PAP! WHA-PAP!” “Rat-A-Tat-Chung! Rat-A-Tat-Chung!” “WHA-PAP! WHA-PAP!” “Rat-A-Tat-Chung! Rat-A-Tat-Chung!”

I wouldn't be surprised if half the retirees in town awoke to flashbacks and heart attacks every morning. Sometimes it makes my pacemaker skip a beat, and I don’t even have one.

This Isn’t Anything. Although, 30 Seconds After We Passed, I Was Swatting Like Crazy.
Oddest conversation starter I've heard from a stranger this week:
"You got a lot of flies attackin' yer head?"

Notes From A Long Pig
Let me state this first and foremost: I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends. I whole-heartedly respect their decisions and reasoning for choosing the diets they have. I've even been known to go that route once in a while myself.

However, I don't really have any qualms about the eating of meat.

Boars and Hogs have been said, like Dolphin, to be fairly intelligent beings – and I have no doubt that if Swine had thought of bacon first, they'd have done it to us.

Of course, pigs have also been known to experience a 30-minute orgasm - and jealousy does wonders for the appetite of the carnivore.

Deck The Hall Or Hit The Deck
It’s only 8 months until Christmas, folks. Now, thanks to thorough research by the lovely Bess - we have footage of Santa keeping in shape during the off months, using the patented “Blitzen Workout."

Profiles In Circus Tents
We at Escalatorville would also like to recognize the recent passing of Joe Rollino. From the late 1920's to his last day - Joe performed amazing fitness tests on Coney Island as the "worlds strongest man"- exhibiting an amazing physical prowess into his 11th decade on the planet. He once lifted over 3200 pounds, he bent nails with his teeth, swam every day for 8 years straight, and died at 104 years old while on his daily 5-mile morning walk - after being hit by a van. Too much exercise will kill you.

Even Death Is Not To Be Feared By One Who Has Lived Wisely.”
We have a fishpond in our back yard, with exactly one fish. This big ole goldfish, however, is not afraid of anything - having withstood attacks from cats, hawks, raccoons and vicious thunderstorms.

Sitting at the edge of the pond, a statue of Buddha. That doesn't faze him either. I think Fishy is a Protestant.

A while ago, I placed a naked fishing pole in the vicinity (no line, no hook, etc.) at an angle, so it looks like Buddha has gone fishing in the pond.

Fish is still un-scared. Of course, I think he probably should be. It seems quite Buddhist to me that one could catch fish with no bait.

Thanks for tuning in, see ya on the flip side!

Z.F. Lively

Proprietor, with cream and sugar

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