The People’s Forum
Because I encourage it, I get a fair amount of feedback, grievances, and downright weird commentary about this humble column. I devote today’s piece to my people and their rantings. And away we go.
Mt. Kisco, NY: “How about someone gets a snake tattoo when young and then adds a few dozen pounds. By the time they’re done, the snake looks like it swallowed a goat.” (Or the tramp stamp, located on a particularly spreadable area, the Saddlebag.)
Westport, CT: “I am ruffled by the way corporate and utility bills that come in the mail keep urging us to Go Green—not because they give a flying burrito about the planet, but so they can save on payroll and postage, which is to say naked greed. Automate the heck out of everything. And bury your customer service number deep within your website. Have just two employees with minimal benefits and no customer service beyond recorded loop nonsense. All in the name of Going Green. Yeah, okay.”
Randolph, VT: From a friend in her 80s, “At my age, Honey, a nose job means melanoma removal.”
New York, NY: “This from my 11-year old niece: ‘Boys are nothing but problems.’ Wise beyond her years.”
Washington, DC: “As film studios and advertising agencies throw bizarre apocalyptic movies and disturbing television commercials at us, we urge: ‘We’re banged-up creatures in a post-9.11 world suffering from global disaster burnout, not heartless rocks impervious to your scenes of contagion, explosions, and angels crashing on city pavement.’ What the heck are they thinking? Were the people who cooked this violence up born after 9.11? Possible. Employers like to hire people who’ll work for nothing because they’re still living with their parents—even after college.”
Hanover, NH: A friend e-mailed and I saved, “My new mantra so I don’t crack: No one escapes.” I wrote her back to ask what word I had mistakenly cut off at the end. No one escapes what? Her reply: “Nothing. That was it. ‘No one escapes.’”
Somewhere in the Heartland: “I, too, eschew the news. It’s what drove me out of my parents’ house when they generously let us, our birds, and our rescue cat stay there. The TV was always on, tuned in to bad news followed by court TV followed by more news! Waaaaait a minnnnute….”
Los Angeles, CA: “It’s weird is how, almost instantly, you can tell how old basketball footage is from the shorts. Long shorts have been in so long it’s time for them to go out. Which is bad for those of us entering the Long Shorts—and Big Jewelry—years.” (Also the Big Glasses years. They were in a season ago and you can still find monster ones that cover half your face. As for the short shorts, well, giant hair from the 80s never came back. So there’s hope.)
New Chappaqua, New York: “My harp teacher sent me the Top Ten Tips To Remember About Playing In Public” (thematically abridged by UVG):
1. It’s a harp. They’re gonna love it.
3. Even if you do make a mistake and do telegraph it, they won’t care. It’s a harp. They’re gonna love it.
6. Noodling in the middle is perfectly acceptable until you can find your way back to the tune. It’s called improvising. They’ll think you did it on purpose, and since it’s a harp, they’re gonna love it.
8. People aren’t as tired of the old standards as you are. Go on, play Greensleeves. On a harp, they’ll love it.
10. You are sharing yourself in a way few people do, and you have a right to be proud of that. And since you are doing it with a HARP…They’re gonna love it.
Westchester, PA: “On an Islamic holy day, my teenage son’s friends were all hanging out in town and one kid’s mother called him to reprimand him about praying, so he went into the Dunkin’ Donuts bathroom and said his prayers. I couldn’t help myself; I asked my son, ‘How did he know to face east in a room with no windows?’ The answer, ‘Duh, his cell phone, Mom.’” (Try the Compass app, you’ll lerv it!)
My doctor’s favorite bumper sticker: Reality Is Not What You Think.
My suggested bumper sticker: Just a minute, Officer. I’m texting.
Vanity Plate Spotted on Route 4: PUZZLES
My next Vanity Plate: PUZZLED
Feel free to send your deepest thoughts. For inspiration, play Deepest Purple, Deep Purple’s best of album (think: Space Truckin’). Good day.