Tuesday, June 07, 2005

AN ENCORE, OF SORTS...

Hi, gang. Philip here.

Okay, according to his comment on the last post, Sam won't be back until later this week. So rather than let the blog lapse (this seems to be the week for my bloggers to take a break), I'm going to hop in the driver's seat for another spin around the track. But I warn you, this has as much to do with my own boredom as a desire to give Sam a hand for a while.

My day job has been very monotnous of late. No, I'm not going tell you what it is; suffice to say that I help people sell crap. When things get really dull I do a little creative writing. Sometimes, I go to the men's room, just to give myself a different set of walls to looks at

Oh, but look what I find upon my return. Mrs. Claypool is at my neighbor's desk. Not the REAL Mrs. Claypool, nor is she anything like Margaret Dumont. Not the heavyset dowager of Marx Brothers fame. Instead she’s a slender – dare I say (Dare! Dare!) scrawny – woman who dresses like a teenager of the 1960s. Lots of leopard prints and neon colors. Wouldn't be so bad if she weren't old enough to have known better. Hell, she's old enough to have known Beethoven.

Her hair is a blonde mop, set atop a skull that's like one of those monkeys-carved-out-of-coconuts you buy in the Carribean. Her flesh appears to have about the same texture, though I've never touched it. I have too much a respect for history to handle mummified remains so frivolously. She confesses to “a little work,” but the truth is she’s kind of like the Katherine Helmond character in BRAZIL. Her skin’s been tugged, tucked, nipped, sliced and dice so many times...

It’s easy to call people like her such frauds, but that’s not entirely fair, is it? She’s fabricated for herself her own little world, in which she’s perpetually 26, and everyone thinks as she does, that shopping and fashion are the most important things in the world. And who among us has done no less?

People often tell me I have a tenuous grip on reality. Comes from reading too many comic books, they say. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But people just seem bound and determined to live in their own little world. It’s safe to say we view the world through a filter, seeing it as we would like it to be. That which is important to us – be it movies, baseball, or Indian pottery – becomes worthy of a web-page or weekly column – which in Mrs. Claypool's case is really paid advertising in print. A webpage is on thing, but when you're killing trees just to validate your meaningless desires, I draw the line. Remember the Lorax!

But I digress...

As I indicated to the someone else, we all have our happy place, where we’re the hero, or the princess, or the king. We have some sort of environment in which we are The Big Kahuna, even if it’s only in our immediate 4-foot air space. For some, it's a beach in Maui, for others it's the bridge of the starship Enterprise. For me, it's the Great Depression.

No, really, I would've loved to have been a Little Rascal. No Gameboys, no television. Just junkyards and empty lots fueling my imagination and putting on circuses in the barn. A world where all cops were Irish, and penny candy cost less than a nickle. Comic books were only 10¢, and an afternoon at the movies lasted well into the evening.

Of course, had I been an adult in the Depression, it'd be a whole other story. But comic books still would've been only 10¢, as well as pulp magazines. But perhaps right now I need a dose of reality. Nothing to strong, mind you, I don't want to be up all night. Perhaps tonight I'll go home and pop in PENNIES FROM HEAVEN. I need a little musical cheer.

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