Monday, July 28, 2008

Wilbur, Get My Agent on The Line, Pronto!

And when they came for the pandas, there was no one left to speak out.

You go to bed one night as a charismatic megafauna – the picture of the freedom, the majesty of the great western plains. The wild horses! The stuff of legends and little girls’ dreams. The “go-to” extra when Detroit reaches out for new car ads. Wild horses! Rolling Stones hits and god knows how many faux-western “saloons” salute you and it’s all good baby. It’s phat!

And the next day ka-pow! That star on the dressing room door now says "feral equid". The Times is telling the Sunday brunch crowd on the Vineyard that you are a feral equid. A pest. You and your kind are just so many giant pigeons shitting on the great statue that is the American wilderness. We can’t feed you we can’t corral you; we can’t even afford to kill you. Feral equid.

Killer bees? Who cares – they died with that Belushi guy didn’t they? And what about those Northern snakehead fish that were attacking Maryland? Voracious, air-breathing, land-crawling predators that are ugly! I mean 1950s sci-fi “nuclear test gone bad” mutant ugly. Nobody paying them much mind.

Even the damn sharks have a fan club. Try to haul a few of them out of the water and win a prize in Nantucket and they’ll treat you like you took a nine iron to a fairway goose cause you choked on your backswing.

Maybe if you learn to swim under water you can hide out among the manatees until this all blows over.

I’d call Mr. Ed. He’s gotta know somebody. Or Ellen Degeneris.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oh, What a Tangled Road We Surf.

When I was a pup they had this thing called the Internet. Al Gore came up with the idea before the planet got a fever. The information superhighway they used to call it.

The buzz was thick with metaphor. It was pretty easy to grasp at first. The metaphor that is. Enthusiasts (I am told that geek is a hurtful word) told of travelling at the speed of the information superhighway, or moving in the fast lane on the information superhighway or, (terror) breaking down on or being left behind by the side of the information superhighway.

In fact, it was damn-near getting out of hand with everything from rest stops to express lanes to road kill.

We got it. Internet=highway=fast=good. It appealed to the minds that grew up on jet-age technology, new and improved anything and E-Z steps to every measure of success, from financial security to converting the basement into a playroom. There was a comfortable logic that eventually took us from jet-age to space age. Space-age! Now that has got to be good.
Mind you, back in the day, we actually needed proof that Brand X couldn’t compare. But once we saw it, we got it and we believed it and our belief in it was enduring and unshakable.

So, why suddenly were we back on a highway? In fact, why were we suddenly surfing? On a superhighway?

I have never surfed, but I can’t imagine it’s a very smart way to get anywhere –not anywhere in particular anyway. Throw a web and a net into the metaphor and I’d say you got a toxic mix – a technically difficult, aquatic, recreational ride through a complexly woven trap capable of snaring flies, fish or fowl. All on a dry, mostly level paved surface teeming with tractor-trailers going 80 miles an hour?

I say, get me out! No wonder the damn superhighway is so littered with fast-food joints, souvenir stands and titty-bars.
I have got to bury this Andy Rooney attitude. Has anybody heard from Xuxa lately?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You Can Help or You Can Just Look Away

I need Sally Struthers’ phone number.

Providence guided me to the e-mail from Abidjan as I reviewed the spam file. I do so once a week for any sign of a reply from that doctor who promised me a full refund for the enhancement products. I am quite comfortable with what I have and, well that’s why it’s just called enhancement after all. I just don’t like being left hanging like this. But that’s another story.

Her plea was simple and touching:

Hello Dear,

My name is Stella Sigcau, the elder daughter of Mr.Zac Sigcau of Zimbabwe.

I got your esteem contact and particulars out of desperate search for a business minded personality in your country, who will honestly assist my younger brother and I to realize our inherited funds into his/her account and as well as invest it into a lucrative business.

Well without recounting the whole of her dire story, I will tell you that it seems this Robert Mugabe has killed the elder Sigcau and seized his farm. Now that they only run the cryptic crossword puzzles every other week in the Nation, I have been reading about this Mugabe from time to time and I can tell you it is not good! He hangs more than chads – you can bet your lunch money on that.

Thoughtfully, and fearing the worst, Mr. Zac managed to place $14 million in a safe account. Having fled to Cote d’Ivoire, Stella and her brother only need my help to access their rightful inheritance. I am to send them my direct phone and fax numbers and await further communication from their Counselor-at-Law – a Mr. Nesbitt. Apparently Nesbitt acts on their behalf because as asylum seekers in Ghana, they cannot transact any business in their homeland.

I will not lie to you; the 30 percent that will be mine is a powerful incentive – it will surely permit me to finally settle that ugly matter with the Girl Scouts and will probably leave me living pretty high off the hog for many years to come. But of course the real satisfaction will come from helping this desperate young lady (she calls me “Dear” though we have never even met!) and her brother through this most trying time.

Sally would be proud of me. I just know it.