Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dispatch From Escalatorville: Pogo Possum Wuz Right!

At the founding of Escalatorville, the lovely Bess and I lived in Seattle. During my stroll to and from work, during lunch breaks, or simply on a walk around town, I would inhabit the many escalators in the downtown area.

Thoughts and ideas would come to me as I rode, and I compared the process to what transpired in my noggin during brainstorms and such - ideas go up, come down, occasionally resting or moving to some other level.

Eventually, we moved back to St. Augustine - a town with only a few buildings over one or two stories - and, in the ironiest of ironies - no escalators. At least not to my knowledge, and I've been through about all the public buildings this city has to offer.

Nowadays I take daily walks around neighborhoods, and spend more time avoiding those public buildings than I do meandering about in them. However, I couldn't just rename the blog - because calling it "The Dispatch from The Nation's Oldest dusty, litter covered streets" just doesn't have that familiar ring to it.

So here we are, three and a half years along, still tossing ideas up and down throughout my brain, crawling up the creaky staircase of imagination, one ancient step at a time.

In tribute to the origins of Escalatorville, however, we start with a tale from the bank of Jet City memories...

Cooking Failures of the Pacific Northwest
Once, my wife and I owned a toaster oven. It served us well, reheating meals, crafting crescent rolls alongside other breakfast and dessert snackables.

Then, with one teeny little kitchen experiment, I murdered it.

Sitting in our shoebox of an apartment, I decided I'd fix a treat for us as a reward for a hard days work. I took what we had on hand; some little round crackers with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on each one - gently placed them in the toaster oven, heated at the "Low" setting, and awaited deliciousness.

Three minutes into cooking, the faint smell of smoke crept into the living room. Figuring the crackers cooked a bit quicker than expected, I sauntered into the kitchen, thinking that maybe a little burning at the edges might enhance the taste.

I glanced through the window/door (windoor?) of our beloved toaster oven to see that not only were the cracker edges crispy, but they'd burst into flame.

Before my eyes, havoc spread - within seconds the entire inside of the oven was scorched. I yanked the electrical cord out of it's socket, and threw our overheated friend into the sink, blue fire still running round its innards. Water was no help, the fatal damage had been done.

Smoke wafted throughout the entire apartment. Then, the entire apartment building. It was strong. Strong enough that we felt the need to contact the maintenance supervisor, letting him know of my idiocy - should he have to field calls or queries from other tenants.

Bess and I began to air out the apartment, but the scent lingered for hours. Later that evening, with my head hung low; I carried the cooled defunct device through the basement, into the garage, saying sorry and goodbye before depositing the spent fella into the dumpster.

The next time I attempted to make a snack at home, I did so using the actual oven, at a temperature slightly above frigid - and it took forever. I enjoyed every bite, however, knowing that at least this time, I had not killed anything in my quest for tasty treats.

Golden Slumbers
Given the state of the economy, combined with how those thieves of Wall Street are running that game lately - I wonder if any moderately wealthy folks are in need of someone to stuff their money into mattresses? I have my resume at the ready...

Garbage In, Garbage Out (or 'Why do they call it an "office" if they never do any work?')
I keep seeing these new campaign ads which start with some candidate declaring "I'm not a Politician, but..."

They go on to describe how electing them will make all of our lives grander and more fulfilling, because they aren't a politician and don't do that "politician" stuff.

Well, here's a news flash - if you're running for political office, yer a damned politician. Merriam Webster even concludes that a Politician is "a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted reasons." If only the Politicians themselves would be as honest as the dictionary.

It's funny isn't it? The way that politicians, when seeking to get into office, will stop at nothing to prove themselves to be the most upstanding and responsible men and women - only to get the job and behave like absolute children.

Take a lesson, politicos; the guys who so nobly haul away my refuse twice a week - they call themselves trash men - and frankly, they seem a lot more dedicated to getting junk out of our lives than you ever have.

It's coming right for us!
Call me old fashioned if you will, but I prefer my reality to be in 3D, and my movies to be on a screen. In actual life, I can put on or take off my glasses anytime I like, and I don't have to pay double to do it.

If you can peel yourself away from the booktube...
Every so often (an by "so often," I mean "day"), I peruse the WorldNetInterHighway, like everyone else.
Here's a recent batch of coolness;
-Ruminations and other ephemera by one of my multi-instrumentalist/recording engineer pals, featuring a picture of Dr. Fleischman's office.
-A blog belonging to the coolest mom I know in Atlanta.
-And, a memory hole that will steal hours of your life away.

What the Folk?
Our town recently held the 15th annual Gamble Rogers Folk Festival. Walking past a local parking lot on the Saturday afternoon of this nationally known event, I overheard a man ask a parking lot attendant:

"Do y'all have any reserved spots for performers at the Gamble Rogers Festival?"

To which the parking attendant replied: "Um, the what? I don't know what that is."

As happens too often in our mini-burg; half the town is always excited about something, while the other half has no clue what's going on.

Rules of Consumerism
A)If the spokesperson can't pronounce the name of the business or product correctly, its probably best not to trust that business. I'm looking at you, 1-800-"Axe"-Smitty.

B)In adverts for medicine, when the warnings about side effects take longer to explain than what the medicine actually does, you probably don't need that either. You shouldn't have to get a doctors permission just to take a pill for indigestion.

How To Be A Player
I'm the resident harmonicist for my band, The Wobbly Toms (no charge for that plug, fellas). I'm getting better, but the great lesson of Harmonica is this:
No matter how good you become, the pre-requisites of that instrument require one to both suck AND blow.

Escalatorally yours,
Z.F. Lively, Taste Tester - Concerns Addressed, Fan Letters Accepted.


jeremy matthew said...

thx for the plug!

D. Wobbly said...

I bleeve there is an escalator at JC Penneys at "The Small" can go ride and cogitate all day long :-)