Friday, July 30, 2010

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: There Ain't No Cure For The Summertime

Howdy, thanks for coming back. We've been away for longer than we had hoped, due to various reasons other than whimsical slackery (honest). I'll tell ya a bit about the Tar Ball Jamboree towards the end, but there's also been an overwhelming heat this summer which has slowed everyone I know at least slightly.

Yes, although we Floridians can handle the annual sweltering piss-hewn mugginess of these robust months that makes lingering fingers of steam and stench grasp upward from crackled pavement in praise to their devilish master-the sun; this year it's been hot. We like our weather to stay "average" here, a variation of five degrees in any direction is far too extreme (a definition which kinda suits the well-staked political vibe here as well). Thus, this year the papers will report that we experienced a "chilling" winter followed by a "blistering" summer - and folks in Vermont or Baja can laugh accordingly.

Another in the long line of excuses? I was almost demolished by a car on my way to bring this Dispatch to you...

It was an average evening following an average day - and I was headed to my night job (a term I can now use in earnest, having obtained daylight employ as well ). I crossed May street with the light; a light that I had just waited 5 minutes for, constantly pressing the "Cross Street" button in the hopes that I may trick the button itself into thinking that there are indeed 79 people waiting, and not just me..

As I wandered through the crosswalk, I saw a vehicle out of the corner of my eye. I'm not sure that I've ever 'hurtled', or seen anything 'hurtled' for that matter - but that car was hurtling toward me, I'm fairly certain. In as many moments as a split second can handle, I watched in cliched slow motion as the car continued it's turn and through the very lane I was currently crossing.

It was obvious that the driver didn't see me until the last second, what could have been THE last second. However, at that second (the almost last one, remember?), I spewed forth an utterance that for what my ears can tell came out as the great and resounding "HarHeaaeaeaeaeaiyyauaugh!!"

Apparently, my less than onomatopoeiac chortle is also universally understood through some hidden translator in automobile windshields and driver doors - as the pilot of the hurtling car screeched to a halt. I only saw his passengers agape face in blur, however. During my yawp, I had jumped to my destination curb - allowing the driver to see that I was physically unharmed before he sped off into the dark.

It's Summertime, U.S.A.
Based upon what's been making the "charts" lately, I've decided that we need at least one new aural description. "Newsic" - sound made by pop artists of the modern era which, although apparently popular to listen to, doesn't showcase any musical talent whatsoever. Now you have a place to file all your Ke$ha LPs.

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer
About 6:45 A.M. a recent morning, I was in the hotel lobby at the end of my shift chatting with my follow-up shifter when a little old lady (of the stereotypical little old lady club) came in with a query.

"Do you know if there's any jewelry stores in town?" she asked. Well, of course, there are a plethora of them in and around town. In a retiree rich community, they are a near necessity. I have friends that work for them, and the lovely Bess has also done time in the jewelry market. Unremarkably, there are none open at 7 AM, holiday sale days notwithstanding. This woman was urgent, however, and when we told her that there were none open that early on a Tuesday - she became slightly confused and concerned.

Then came her admission. It seems her friend had hurt a ring finger the previous day, and had gone to the hospital to get it fixed. Having bandaged up the finger, the woman had put back on her rings. Overnight, here had been a bit of swelling, now complicated by the rings tightness on the woman's finger - causing the finger itself to turn colors, and meaning that the ring could no longer be removed by traditional methods.

What bewildered me slightly was the concern about the ring seemed to outweigh the concern over the woman's finger. I can understand not wanting to damage a pricey ring, but didn't they realize that once teh woman's finger falls off, there's no place left to put it?

Another trip to the hospital was simply out of the question, as we were so indignantly told. So, we dialed the local firehouse - the man who answered my co-workers call stated that they could, in fact, cut through the ring in order to remove it.

After giving the old woman directions to the firehouse, she exited the lobby. A few moments later, we saw their car leave the parking lot, presumably on it's way to the fire station. I left work about the same time, and as I watched them down the road a piece, I hoped that after the ring situation was under control, our fair ladies wouldn't hassle the firemen with any of their other troubles - like turning off their cars blinker.

Daydream Believer
I mentioned that I had recently begun a day job to compliment my night job (hey, bills gotta be paid, and since when is sleep ever important on a Monday?). As our section of the state is a pathway towards both beaches and theme parks, I found fiscal refuge in a souvenir shop. Observing the world that passes through the spectrum of retail, I get to view quite an array of humanity, and more hilariously the outfits that folks think they can get away with in public. I saw one tourista [I assume she was a tourist because she spoke in broken English and was spending money (it was the spending money part that convinced me)] wearing a T-shirt which read in all it's glittered glory:
"Ghetto Fabulous"
This is ironic because she was neither.

Summer in the City
On the most recent Fourth of July, I headed over to a friends casa after work, along with the bourgeoisie and banalities that cover our little cities streets. As I turned a street corner, I noticed the following site; A family, headed to stake their claim at a firework viewing area, no doubt - emerged a dozen or so strong from an illegally parked RV - with hands full of lawn chairs and packed plates still steaming with their meal. How American is that?

California Sun
Some folks have asked for an update on a recent Escalatorville character: Everyone, the Fish is still good, still alive, and thoroughly enjoying his 9 cubic feet of space all to himself. The lack of rain has kept his hidden among the depths, but I saw him while replenishing his home with water the other day. I fed him the remainder of some tortilla chips - then he disappeared. Perhaps I should have included some salsa?

I also want to bring your attention to the Tar Ball Jamboree. If you live in the St. Augustine area - or can visit between August 6th and 7th, be sure to join me at the Fraternal Order of Orioles Nest. we're hosting a benefit for workers affected by the Gulf Oil Spill that won't be getting money from BP. Efforts will support two different organizations: The Greater New Orleans Foundation and Pensacola's 399 South Project. The performance schedule looks like this:

Friday, August 6th:
8:15 PM
-Joe Moody
9:15 PM-Jeremy Rogers
10:15 PM-Z.F. Lively

Saturday, August 7th:
8:15 PM
-Amy Hendrickson
9:15 PM-Chelsea Saddler
10:15 PM-Z.F. Lively's Open Jam

Yup, I realize I'm on there twice. I'm an egocentric bastard, so what? Show up anyway, and you'll hear some fun music and support a good cause.

Until then, even when life throws you a curve, take the escalator anyway,
Z.F. Lively
CAOO(Chief and Only Officer), Escalatorville Studios
Christmas is coming, send recipes!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010