Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: 'Tis What 'Tis

Note to self: Stop reading "Sourdough" as "Sound Proof" - no one has ever cared about the audio quality of toast and biscuits.

In the backyard, I found myself stringing up tree lights for a party we were about to host. Standing on the ladder, I heard a faint, approaching, raspy whir. The corner of my eye saw the noisemaker as he neared. soon enough, a large Wasp hovered 'round my head like a News copter checking traffic on a big city highway.

He swooped directly past my earlobe - pausing, yes pausing, just inches from my face - then swiftly darted away. As annoying as Wasps can be, I am about a zillion times larger than the insect in question - my massive size and mumbled gripes probably scared him off. At least that was my first thought.

Moments later, the sound returned - in triplicate. My previous visitor had called for backup. Slower than a flying insect should be able to, the trio of troublemakers floated past my face - their reconnaissance mission leaving me officially spooked. After a couple more circumnavigations of Planet Lightstringer, they sped off in unison, and in formation, reporting back to the head of the Apiary Air Force from whence they were sent.

I finished with the lights quickly, then packed up the ladder and took a rest indoors. I've not been bothered/surveilled since - but I have noticed a tendency to turn my back on the yard when I'm staring out the kitchen window and want to eat some honey.

At the day job, we displayed a "fountain" featuring a water propelled rotating Buddha. Despite the deities reputation, his influence on the store was all but calm.

The piece itself was finely constructed, but also fragile and expensive. It's ideal placement, however, left it vulnerable to the curious hands of malicious schoolchildren, obsequious teens, or numskull grown-ups - all whom want to reach for/into the fountain, and touch the spinning Siddhartha (or, as actually stated by an aforementioned grown-up, to "see if the water wuz real.").

Troubles got to a point whereat it was decided that we'd put up a sign:

"Please Do NOT Touch..."

Within days - we needed a second.

Two signs, positioned in such a way that one couldn't even approach the fountain without being aware of our clearly printed and artfully decorated pleas. Yet, still they touched. And touched. And touched.

Oh, I get the attraction, I do. As the luckiest animal, humans are naturally expected to grab at whatever we please - our native instinct is that of
"Want To Feel. Must Be Mine."

For the majority of every work day - I try to be the gentle, helpful, tall guy for co-workers and other folks 'round the shop. Heh.Heh. Nonetheless, the willful ignorance of my fellow beasts is the quickest trigger to unleash my Bewildered and Grumpy Nostrilfaced Giant. A dozen times a day I had to restrain myself from crossing the very thin line between Shop Steward and Serial Killer. I resisted the urge to summon my most demonic chortle - "Do you not know common decency," I ached to roar, "or at least how to read?!?"

Oh how I wished to melt those words onto the bloody pulsating ear drums of those whom stoked the Giants ire...

Then, we sold the fountain. Oh, I happily cleaned the algae from it's nethers, drying the columns and wiping clean the "soothing stones" that had rested in the fountains basin since the day of it's arrival. We boxed it up and gladly handed the Rube Beacon to it's new owner, who whisked it out the door - returning to this manse with the home game of "Annoyance Decor."

The Nostrilfaced Giant retreated to his pod in the realm of retail fantasy - at least, for now.

Walking from downtown to home, I crossed into a regularly tedious intersection. I breezed through it - mentally noting that there were absolutely zero cars within any significant distance.

Mid-crossing, I glanced up - suddenly grateful for the absence of vehicular traffic. There was a glitch in the system; the lights in all directions, simultaneously green.
Z.F.L., Prop.
escalatorville@yahoo.com, speaks for itself.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: Advice and Concepts

"I'd rather go broke, than buy into despair."
-Unemployed, but Happy, Philosopher
NO, This isn't the early July 4th Edition
I'll admit, I've been a sideline fan of the recent up rise in population of our countries activist groups. Young and old folks, protesting against/for causes given a shuttered view by government, corporations, or mega-media - this is what we're all about!

Fighting for rights, justice, and equality is what has propelled us to being the Apex of Nations. Despite our struggles, current and past, the U.S.A. has stood as a beacon of achievement and hope to most other countries since the dawn of our existence. It is the Americans who have stood up, led marches, organized petitions, and started movements that brought us to prominence. I think we have, for the majority of the time - through time, trial, and tribulation - practiced what we preach concerning democracy and the common good without interference of outside influences.

That said, I have a request for today's Movementeers: please - straighten up your act, you're starting to look foolish.

I mean it. You cannot sell your message if your protest sign is misspelled. Unfortunately, we live in The Hyper-critical Society - no matter the logical strength of your cause or how meaningful a press conference you hold, some random media "reporter" will always interview the most clueless of your group.

Should you be that person, at least try to look semi-presentable, and keep your cool. Freedom of Personal Style is granted (and encouraged), but be aware that our Hyper-critical Society is also visually prejudiced. Frazzled hair, wild,eyes, and a wavering voice make a hard sell for anything but a theme park.

Finally, protesters and protestistas; I would urge you to come up with brand new, intelligent, and memorable slogans. Don't retread or paraphrase decent mottoes from times past - the unoriginality weakens your cause and cheapens the original. Make sure your motto is smart, but not too smart-assed - and no more than 7 easily repeated syllables. Nothing turns people away from a credible cause more than having to repeat overlong, insipid chants:


I know, I know - leave it to me to criticize the motivated. I only want to help.
It's my opinion that, if you want to make a big change - you may have to start with some little ones too.

The Dispatch From Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Double Standard Bearer
escalatorville@yahoo.com for truthful hypocrisies