Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: police

Stuff & Nonsense

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: CITY DISPATCH TRIFECTA!

My shift is from 3 to 11pm. The other night, I had relatively little to do, from the time my shift started, UNTIL…At 10:21, I got, simultaneously, an armed robbery (with gun), and a burglary in progress–with knife. On the same side of town. Now, although these calls came in simultaneously, I couldn’t dispatch them simultaneously, even if I were better at multitasking than I in fact am. Because there’s only 1 of me. Nevertheless, I got it all sorted out, and then said, “What’re the chances that that would happen at the exact same time?” No sooner had I said it, than–on that same side of town, a plague upon the East Side–I got “There’s a guy outside with a gun! And he’s arguing with my mom, and she’s got a gun, and I’ve got a gun, and I’ll shoot if I have to!” And, as I was scraping up more officers to send to that one, a woman calls in about the same situation, and says that she has a gun, and will shoot if she has to. Apparently that’s what you have to say if you’ve got a gun. So I’m thinking, Could someone call in who doesn’t have a gun, for a change? This is not building my confidence in the efficacy of a fully-armed citizenry.

THE BEST THIEF EVER

At Walmart, obviously.

I have little patience with Walmart. They call in several shoplifters per shift, and expect us to babysit them on the phone while they trail them all over the store. Telling them you have other emergency lines ringing (possibly with more import than a theft from Walmart)  will not pry them from the phone. But I had to admire the shoplifter who:

  1. Stole a knife and then used it to cut open the packaging of electronic devices, then
  2. Stole and put on over his shirt–
  3. a blue t-shirt,
  4. then a white polo shirt over that, and then
  5. a blue-and-white-striped shirt over those, and then stole
  6. a pair of sunglasses, and
  7. a blue-and-white-striped hat. It all coordinates! I could not be more pleased if I’d put the outfit together myself. Of course, it was all for naught, since the cops made him take it all off when they got there.

Hey, I figured out how to make the automatic numbering feature quit! Just space down twice. I could probably have figured that out with that one old post where it got out of control, but I was drunk at the time. (Appearances to the contrary, I really don’t drink very often. I just write a lot when I do.)

MY OWN LIFE AS A SHOPPER

Not nearly as exciting as his, of course, since I pay for stuff, but I went to the $ General (I have no patience with them, either, but they’re more exciting, because they have fewer corporate policies in place and tend to attack shoplifters) (now I’ll probably be sued by their high-priced lawyers) (or, more probably, low-priced lawyers) to get trash bags. They had a fund-raising deal at the cash register where you get to put your name on a piece of paper they tape up if you contribute money to support autism. I was all for doing that, but the cashier did not offer me the opportunity, and I could not bring myself to ask her. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, now that I’ve prepared myself for the eventuality.

THEATER OF CRUELTY UPDATE

Yesterday was the birthday of a certain Nick, with whom you may be familiar. What to get him?

“Happy birthday, Nick!”

He’s lying on my torn-up towel that he stole.

“I have a present for you.”

He raises his head with a weary hopelessness that’s heartbreaking.

“I’m giving you back the power of speech!”

He leaps to his feet, tail lashing joyfully. And the first words out of his mouth are–

“Could I be venomous, too?”

“Um, no.”

 

 

 

 

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Beasts Foreign and Domestic

 

E-MAIL FROM MY VET

Well, not my vet–my cats’ vet. “ACUPUNCTURE AS PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR PETS.” Well, if I tried that, I’d be needing pain management myself. They come with their own needles, you know.

ANOTHER E-MAIL

“Expert Feline Travel Tips.” I (and the cats) got one tip: Don’t.

SPEAKING OF BEASTS–

You know, sooner or later my neighbors are going to wonder why there was a police car in my driveway. With lights on I didn’t know they had, because he was trying to make us think he had me surrounded or something. The annoying part about these various encounters (well, one of the annoying parts–basically, it’s all annoy, all the time) is that I have to think twice so often–“Oh, I can’t just smack him, what would all these people at Thornton’s think?” “I can’t give him the finger and walk out–he’s in uniform!” You know, respecting the office, even though I’m no respecter of persons. Kind of a drag. We be immature and stuff. Nick, quit giggling.

…AND MORE BEASTS

An Internet {are we still capitalizing internet these days or not?} test said that, if I were a mythical creature, I’d be a dragon. This, even though troll was an option. (Nick, who actually is a mythical creature, begs to differ, but I will not allow him to do so.) They came to this conclusion because I don’t like to share (true), and I have a thick skin (untrue). Also a bad temper.

Well, I had a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to tell you, but since I was too lazy to do it before, it’s kind of slipped my mind…yeah, I promise to develop better work habits. Again.

 

What a Bringdown     

BUT FIRST, A WORD FROM THE FASHION POLICE

I can’t believe I included “Fashion Pointers” in my last title, and then forgot to include any. Here’s what I meant to say:

You might have thought that my outfit the other day–light blue-gray shirt, dark blue-gray pants, denim slip-on sneakers–was the result of someone who didn’t want to figure out what goes with what, and/or had some weird compulsion about matching stuff (and the two are not mutually exclusive). BUT NO! MORE magazine (motto: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting blonder!”) assures us that slip-on sneakers are THE HEIGHT OF FASHION at the moment, and recommended the “light, clean” look of matching all your clothes to your shoes! Can do! You know what else is the height of fashion? Birkenstocks. Yeah, I got those, too.

**************************************************************************************

LET’S GET HUMORLESS

I had to sit through these calls, so now you have to, too.

“My neighbor’s dog got loose, and killed my other neighbor’s cat. She’s pretty distraught.” Well, I hope she’s mostly distraught at herself, because you know how to keep that from happening? KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS. Not. Rocket. Science. I’ve been doing it for years.

“I’ve got a dog that’s dying,  and I want Animal Control to take it away.”

I start to explain that she’s responsible for the medical care of her own dog, but–

“It’s not my dog. The owner died, and I’ve been taking care of it for 6 or 7 months.” She then starts to tell me all its pitiful symptoms, to convince me to act quickly, but I cut her off, because YOU KNOW WHAT? That dog had come to trust you to take care of it, and YOU BLEW IT. I did, of course, refer the situation to Animal Control, in the hope that something could be done for the dog.

HUMANE TREATMENT OF DISPATCHERS

You know that most-recent mass-shooting guy? (And aren’t you tired of the never-ending supply of them?) Turns out that he had been acting peculiar beforehand, so someone called the authorities to check on him. And who got to knock on his door? Four deputies…and a dispatcher in training. He acted sane enough that they had nothing to hold him on, but he’d already bought all his guns and ammo, and what if he’d come out blazing? That dispatcher’s not wearing a bulletproof vest. This should not be a job requirement for people other than law enforcement officers.

THE ABOVE STUFF DOES NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE CITY, OR EVEN OF LOTS OF MY COLLEAGUES.

I Walk Streets of Fire

“Streets of Fire” by Springsteen came on, and I told Rom I like that song. He said, “That’s because you like to think of yourself in the video, wearing leather, walking down the street as buildings blow up behind you.” Then Nick had to add, “As if you’d notice it. You tend to be exclusionary when on task.” But he is just a scramble-brained beast, so we’ll disregard his insolence for the moment, however accurate it may be, and move on.

ANOTHER ASTUTE REMARK FROM ROM ABOUT ME

…actually, there have been all too many of those over the years, but I won’t bring up the ones that started arguments. Before I stepped out the door today, I said, “I’m leaving. On a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.” He said, “You’ll be back as soon as you find out they’re putting you on a jet plane.” I WANNA BE SEDATED!

AND SPEAKING OF STREETWALKING…

While walking past Thornton’s, scanning the lot for squad cars, I thought, Suppose an officer–say, Nick and/or Sam–forgot to lock the car? Wouldn’t it be fun to take it? Sure, I’ve never had a license, but accelerator, brake, turn wheel left or right–how hard could it be?

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THIS SCENARIO:

1. It would not be immediately detected, because Nick would have his back to the door, trying to decide on ice cream flavors for his cone (and there is nothing cuter than a cop with an ice cream cone) and daydreaming about seeing his relatives in the upcoming Dragon Exhibition, and Sam would be in the ladies’ room doing ladylike things.

2. Presumably, upon detection, they could jump in the back of someone else’s squad car for the subsequent pursuit, but Nick wouldn’t know how to call off a pursuit, having never initiated one before.

3. I wouldn’t have to worry about traffic, because other motorists would hear my sirens and assume was chasing somebody and pull over.

4. Nick would know who it was from the description, since there is no other middle-aged woman with a skull t-shirt and cobra tattoo in this town. He also knows where I live, which might lead to some ugly taser-related incident. Maybe this wouldn’t be a good idea after all.

SPEAKING ABOUT STREETWALKING AND CONVENIENCE STORES SOME MORE….

Sure, Phillips has swish-and-swallow Male Stamina Powder, but what about the ladies? Well, next to the cash register, there is Honey Lip Gloss in various flavors. Reminds me of the time I told Nick that I give out lip balm as favors at our July 4th party, and he said, “What kind of parties do you throw, that the guests need Chapstick?,” thus turning our G-rated family gathering into something twisted and sinister.

SPEAKING OF SONGS, IMAGINE “BUS STOP” PLAYING FOR THIS NEXT STORY

At the bus stop, a guy asked me what time the bus arrived, and I helpfully told him. He turned out to have a social impairment which translated to NOT KNOWING WHEN TO STOP TALKING AND NOT UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL SPACE. I would take 2 steps away, and he would immediately take 2 steps toward me again. He’d have shared my umbrella, had it been raining. “Where do you work?” I foolishly told him. “Oh, that’s great! I’m working on being a First Responder! I like to direct traffic when I see an ambulance coming. I did that just now! What’s your name? I’m glad I know someone from Central Dispatch now! What’s that badge? I’ve never seen one like that before!” I tell him it’s my city I.D. (which I carry because it gets me free bus travel, which I knew better than to mention). “Oh, really?” (He leans toward me to see it better. I’m thinking, “God, don’t let him touch me, he knows not what he does, and I don’t know if my self-control would hold.” Things like that can make me uncharacteristically impulsive.) The bus finally (finally!) arrived, and he said, “Hope you don’t mind, I’ll sit behind you!” I’d already barricaded myself with my tote bag so he couldn’t sit next to me. It so happened that his fly was open. Imagine the conversation we would have had if I’d told him.

Death & Taxes & Ridealongs

Just finished them taxes–yeah, live dangerously!

Speaking of death (as he would no doubt like to think of himself), I ran into Nick and the long-suffering (or is that short, suffering) Sam. He revealed that he won’t fight at Guns & Hoses because it might mess up his pretty face (which would thwart the aspiration he mentioned to me the last time I ran into him, which was to become a porn star–he never got around to explaining why that career path hasn’t worked out for him. He also suggested I could become one, but I disagree, since I have no acting ability.) . He also called me ugly, opined that my vacations would be boring without him (this is known as being Desperate for Validation), and said, “How about a mini ride-along? I’ll give you a ride home!” What a pitiful fantasy about something to which I will never consent. (“Oh, that won’t be necessary,” he murmurs…) And why won’t I consent, you may be wondering? (Or you may not be, but far be it from me to sound Desperate for Validation.)

MY PROBLEM(S) WITH RIDE-ALONGS

–I might encounter something gross or messy (for example, dead bodies, mud, a house full of fleas/roaches/bedbugs/eyebrow mites).

–I might encounter something dangerous–high-speed pursuit, BEING SHOT AT (or, as Rom says, “the bullet that’s marked ‘To Whom It May Concern'”). As I’ve said before (hell, by now I’ve probably said everything before in one post or another), if I’d wanted to put myself in danger, I’d have become a cop. (Now there’s a thought for you. Just think about it a moment.) If anything were to befall me on one of these mandatory adventures, I–or my next of kin–might decide to become part of our litigious (I always want to say “litiginous” for some reason) society.

–I might encounter Nick in other than my optimum situation of, “Thanks for the ride. You can go now.” (I should probably throw him a couple cat treats for his trouble–I got a bale of ’em on sale at the $ General.) And that might involve…well, I prefer not to speculate, that being what’s known as Borrowing Trouble. (I promise to give it back when I’m done with it!)

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: OVERHEARD FROM ACROSS THE ROOM

–“Sir, our police department does not use helicopters.” Damn!

–“I’m making a traffic stop on a riding lawnmower.” Now that’s more like it!

I’m Still Here

THESE CALLS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

–“Female walking down the street, kicking cars like she’s a ninja.”
–“So someone was throwing raw chicken legs at you from his car window?”

–“Complaint of someone in the motel room trying to hug the caller’s wife.”

–“Report of a hillbilly inside the gas station at Barker and Broadway, trying to start a fight with the caller.” Being a hillbilly turned out to mean wearing a cowboy hat. You know the lights are always bright on Broadway…

–“Report of a man walking down the street screaming like he’s mad at the world.”

–“Check for a teenage boy dressed all in black curled up in the middle of the road.”

–“What’s my address? Ask President Obama and he’ll tell you.”

You might think these were all the calls I’d saved up, well, since I last posted about strange calls, but no, they all came in a single night. As did seven traffic accidents, all over town, within a two-minute time span. Ready, set, crash!

TALES (OR TAILS) OF THE FRIGHTFULLY IMMATURE

Dinner was brought, once again, by Nick and his handler. He proudly brought the bag in his teeth and dropped it on my desk (all that training is paying off!), then, remembering that I can’t eat with him staring at me, tactfully withdrew and bothered somebody else. Everybody else. Then he returned and–

–stole the scissors so I couldn’t open the soy sauce, but refused to open it for me himself instead,

–threatened to throw my grapes all over the room (and a good thing he didn’t, because I take my food seriously and there would have been a scene),

–and accused me of treating him like a prostitute, in which case he would be high-priced and insolent.

FOOD RUINED BY OFFICERS–MORE COMMON THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

The specter of grape-throwing reminds me of a dispatch party held at Ye Olde F.O.P. Club (at Louisiana and Fares, across from Red Spot Paint–very atmospheric!). Former Officer P.K. (name withheld to protect the innocent, by which I mean me, from the guilty), under the influence of alcohol (I hope, otherwise there’s NO excuse at all) smashed his face into the cake, thus ruining it for us all before we’d even cut it. And I don’t mean he passed out and fell into it. I mean he deliberately stuck his face into it and rooted around. He is no longer with the department, due to another error in judgment.

You know, tales of the old Club could make a whole post in themselves. It would embarrass quite a few people, me not the least.

Splendid Isolation

Why have I not posted? If I got nothing to say, my lips are sealed, as David Byrne so wisely tells us in “Psycho Killer.”

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

–I am implacably opposed to this weather. I prefer not to worry about slipping and getting killed every time I venture out the door. Every day is an adventure, and you know how I feel about those.

–I overheard a guy on the bus saying, “I’m going to decorate my bathroom all in Packers. I already ordered my toilet seat cover and night light.” Sports Teams–Helping People Decide On Decorating Schemes For…oh, I don’t know know how long. I’m just tickled there’s a night light available.

–I was at Walgreen’s, getting Rom’s Valentine’s Day presents (the theme this year is A Bunch of Cheap Crap–but carefully-chosen cheap crap!), and overheard a song that said, “My hands are bleeding and my knees are raw, ’cause I never met a girl like you!” Sounds like just another day of me dispatching, right, Nick? It does what it’s told, as the old saying goes.

Speaking of police officers and what they must endure, Nick & Sam dealt with a crazy guy who kept saying he was a six-star general in the Russian army. They must be running out of stars over there.

Also speaking of officers and what they have to put up with, I saw a sentiment on Facebook to the effect that, “If you followed a police officer for one day {first off, stop following them, it’s very annoying!}, you would be amazed by the depressing and upsetting things they see. You probably wouldn’t want to follow them for a second day {especially since  they’d start getting suspicious by that point}.” Certainly this is often true (although there are also days when the most depressing and upsetting thing they see all day is the interior of the squad car and their partner’s face), but the strange thing is, there are all kinds of people (scratch that–there’s only one kind of person, namely, adrenaline junkies) who volunteer to ride along with them. How crazy is that?

Also speaking of officers and poking them with a sharp stick…

**************************************************************

LET’S GET SERIOUS! (cue the stampede for the exits)

The police chief recently wrote an article in the department’s in-house newsletter, concerning the body cameras that officers will shortly be wearing. He pointed out that officers tend to complain about innovations, but eventually adjust, and then can’t imagine doing the job without said innovations. I have noticed that when the computer goes down. I have also noticed it among my own co-workers. When we first got computers, the people who complained about them most bitterly eventually became the ones who complained most bitterly if they had to work without them. (For the record, Your Humble Narrator was one of the complainers, but I wasn’t in the “most bitterly” category. I had other topics to complain about, like how having to wear a uniform would impede my right to express my individuality through fashion.) And, now that I think about it, you can see this about people in general. When Lloyd Expressway has to be closed for some reason, people whine and cry as if they’ve forgotten any other way to get across town. And speaking of highways we once did without, I would like to personally remove 164. Its only function, as far as I can determine, is to provide an opportunity for people to slide off when the weather is bad.

Have I gone on long enough yet? I was planning to finish off strong with something amusing, but nothing more comes to mind, so you’re on your own.

 

 

Moody and Inconclusive

…is how Rom categorized my fiction writing. Such as it is.

THEATER OF CRUELTY 2.0

This was my first day of dispatching the traveling road show of Nick and his new partner Sam-I-Am. (The latter’s feelings about green eggs and ham have not been determined as of this writing, but she seems to feel positively about green food in general, since she doesn’t realize that peas are gross. And Nick puts PEAS AND CARROTS IN RICE, which is just unspeakable.) The last run I gave them: Numerous pickup trucks on the lot of Sonic with alcohol in the vehicles. This is how you Sonic! (“It isn’t how I Sonic,” Nick said primly. He has never even been drunk, so afraid of losing control is he.)

THE SILLIEST INJURY I ALMOST CALLED IN ABOUT

The other night I woke up with heartburn, as I all-too-often do, and fumbled the new bottle of Tums out of the hall closet. This was the brand-name bottle, not the Walgreen’s generic bottle I’d had previously. Well, the lid was not only child-proof in its tightness, but the tab you had to push to open it was razor-sharp (which also discourages children, I understand). Which I proceeded to prove–there’s nothing like standing there with heartburn, half-asleep, wrestling with recalcitrant packaging. I finally wrenched it open and wormed a tablet out of it, snapped it shut, and realized my fingers were slippery with blood. Yes, I had sliced my thumb on the razor-sharp thingy. Good thing it was my left thumb–the right one would have been in just the right spot to hit the space bar on the keyboard, and I would have had to call in sick with an outlandish story (and not for the first time, as Sam knows, and Sam, do me a favor and don’t tell Nick about that one). Although my colleague L.L. raised the bar on that one by CUTTING OFF THE TIP OF HER FINGER and coming in to work anyway. And then there’s my other colleague’s deodorant-related injury…

THE SCRATCHY GLITTER COMMERCIAL GAZETTE, ST JOE EDITION

A new CVS is going to be built catty-corner (NOT “caddy-corner,” OK?) from Walgreen’s. And no one will be able to pass through safely, because they will be shooting arrows at each other across the street.

Why haven’t these posts been illustrated lately? Because the illustration function hasn’t been working. Why don’t I fix it? Because I don’t know how. Next question?

P.S. Nick, the point I was trying to make in our last conversation begins with “R.” You’re mighty slow on the uptake for someone who wasn’t drunk.

Another Visit With Nick

Civilian Pacification Vehicle

Civilian Pacification Vehicle (Photo credit: pkingDesign)

Since he’s been lamenting the slight diminution of my attention lately (I need to stop spoiling him, obviously), what could be more appropriate than a little visit?

I made my way into his den (I have a lair–he has a den), carefully avoiding the litter of cubs tumbling about the floor. The full-grown beast was sprawled beside them, but was all alertness when I approached.

“Why are you here?” The low growling was barely perceptible, but I am the Cop Whisperer, so I took note of it.

“Just checking your welfare. When will you be back to work?”

“Maybe never. I’m enjoying myself–I have no chores, I have plenty of food. Never is sounding good.”

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you at all.” Without warning, I grab him by the tail (avoiding the barbs) and start to pull him out of the den.

“Noooo!” He digs his claws into the ground, uttering frightful curses, and finally just starts to wail. I drop the tail hastily–I happen to know the armor plating on his underside is coming loose in one spot, and what if I damage Police Department property? I look down and discover one of the cubs has attached itself to my ankle, trying to bury its needle-like teeth in my leg. I gently dislodge it and place it in the nearby nest box.

Nick has curled into a trembling ball, with his tail over his muzzle. The green eyes regard me balefully. “I think I’m bleeding,” he says accusingly.

“You are not,” I answer, with more confidence than I feel–after all, I don’t know what color his blood might be.

“I hate you.”

“Of course you do,” I say reassuringly.  “Seriously, when are you coming back to work?”

He buries his face in his tail, but keeps an ear cocked in my direction. “After you retire.”

“The truth, please.” I take a step toward him.

“OK, OK! Don’t touch me again! I’m waiting until you go on vacation.”

“Really?”

He raises his head and suddenly smiles, showing a great many gleaming teeth. “Yes. And things will be different then.” The claws flex ever so slightly….“Very different.”

To be continued….eventually.

Festival Day 5: I Become Part of the Problem

I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)

I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…albeit a very small part.

You had doubtless been wondering, “But, World Leader, when will you actually attend this festival of which you speak?” Well, today is the only day this week I’m not working, and squeezing something in before I go to work is, well, too much for me to cope with. So here I am, and there I was.

FOLLOWERS OF CHAOS OUT OF CONTROL!

The Festival is difficult to dress for. You want something snazzy to impress the crowds, yet something that won’t leave you devastated if you get grease spots on it. I usually go with one of my various rock-&-roll looks, a/k/a “dressing like a 13-year-old boy.” And I look back nostalgically to the time when having a tattoo made me remarkable. There is also a minor tradition of wearing your Halloween costume (and I guess some people over the years thought I was costumed as a 13-year-old boy), so I saw several people who were not actually as creative as they thought they were in that department. I also saw a clown, but more on that later.

Speaking of nostalgia, I knew I had turned the corner and was headed for the grave the year the music on the loudspeakers was no longer hard rock, but…well, something other than that. The Day the Music Died….well, they say rock & roll will never die. Of course, they also said big bands were coming back.

Your Humble Narrator is unnerved by crowds, so I normally get something from a couple of booths that are on the end of the street, closest to home. But this is the first year I’ve Had a Blog, so I felt compelled to plunge into the thick of it (and it was very thick indeed), so I could give you the report that you’ve been impatiently waiting for, did you but know it.

GREAT CONVERSATION!

It should be pointed out that I’m never uncomfortable being alone. And that’s a Good Thing, because if I were the type who’s uncomfortable eating out by myself, I would have gone unfed for my first several years of adult life. So here are some statements I overheard:

“She told me a vision she had…”

“I’m in this f*ckin’ line the same as you, you f*ckin’ ho!”

(on the phone) “Yes, I have your sandwich. No, I won’t eat it.”

(teenage girl): “What is this stuff on the sidewalk?” {An excellent question–it was orange and purple.}  (Mom): “Something you don’t want to put your foot on. Stop that.”

And, of course, a crazy guy yelling, “EAT A FUNNEL CAKE! THE SHERIFF WILL BE HAPPY, LIKE A GIRL WHO’S JUST GOTTEN ENGAGED, WITH A HEART FULL OF JOY!”

I ran into Denali, husband of the Tragically-Hip Nikki, and explained my sense of duty to my readership, although he hadn’t really asked. He said, “Don’t worry, there are lots of people hanging on your every word.” See, that’s why everyone loves firemen! They’re so charming.

GREAT FOOD! NOT ALL OF WHICH IS PURPLE AND ORANGE!

Going down the street, scanning booths, overwhelmed by choices… (Variety is not the spice of life, as far as I’m concerned. Well, maybe it is, but I don’t like spicy stuff.)

Rib-eye steak sandwich! “Yes!” I thought, with a surety I seldom achieve in life’s decisions. I then became involved in a cheese-vs.-pickle controversy, which led to me slinking away, with the meat between my teeth. And without pickles–that’s the important part.

WE’RE ALL HOUSEBROKEN HERE!

I really should become the world’s first restroom critic. Today’s review is for the unique facilities at the Festival–they’re like if a trailer park had a public restroom. A room on wheels with a line of stalls, and no locking doors. Instead, you hang onto a rubber strap to hold your door closed, defending your stall against the person yanking on the door from the other side. As some wise person once said, Time is relative, depending on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.

ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER! AND ASK NOT WHAT THAT WET STUFF IS ON THE GROUND!

I have not entered the Festival midway in years–probably since the year the hard rock music vanished. Rom doesn’t much care for carnival rides, and I only like the kind that neither go up high nor turn you upside down, so there wasn’t much point. But I thought a complete report to my readers should include it–even though there was a danger of encountering Nick, who was being paid (with raw meat, presumably) to lounge on the Library steps and look scary. But it was not to be. I guess he hadn’t been released from his cage yet.

Carnival barker announcing a very scary ride: “IF YOU ARE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS, DO NOT GO ON THIS RIDE! {Why else would you go on it?} BUT MOST IMPORTANT, MAKE SURE THERE’S NOTHING THAT COULD FALL OUT OF YOUR POCKETS!”

There was an attraction called Clownin’ Around, which of course I had to check out. “DROWN THE CLOWN–WIN A PRIZE!” Just an old-fashioned dunking booth, with a hapless and tired-looking clown, listlessly insulting the audience to incite them to throw stuff. It was uncomfortably like patronizing (or being) a bored prostitute.

By then I was tired and slightly dehydrated–I had avoided beverages, to minimize bathroom breaks. This is also my strategy on ridealongs. It’s an excellent way to end up with a headache, and so I did. So I wended my way home, after buying some of THE BEST blackberry cobbler for Rom from the SWIRCA booth. But if I’d known how late the bus would be (of course, the bus itself probably didn’t know how late it would be), I’d have hung around the midway longer, to see if I could drown the Evil Clown.

MY DARKEST MOMENT:

I thought maybe I’d go on my favorite ride, the Scrambler, which is truly innocuous–you just go round and round and back and forth. I was crushed when the sign said, “PICK A PARTNER! NO SINGLE RIDERS ALLOWED!” I actually, though briefly, entertained the thought of asking a random stranger to be my partner. Where’s a police officer when you need one? I think this falls under the category of Protect and Serve!

MY BRIGHTEST MOMENT:

–Spotting a T-shirt that said, “If I want your opinion, I’ll remove the duct tape.” And yes, I just regaled you with my opinions at great length. It’s called irony.

 

 

 

 

 

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