A detail left off yesterday’s tale: the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. Which makes his survival all the more interesting. The man must have been an acrobat; he knew how to fall. Then again, don’t we all? It’s in human nature. People only look silly falling when they try to pretend they’re not.
At the office coffeeshop, where the internet does not penetrate; the only news here is what you get from this morning’s paper, heaped on the tables. I could sit in front of my computer and read the wires, but that lost its appeal long ago. Once, though, the wires felt like Power. When I was in DC, for example, we didn’t have the Internet as it is currently understood; there was AOL, accessed through screechy modems, and subject to interminable (DOWNLOADING ART. PLEASE WAIT . . .) delays. But that was at home. The office had the wires – AP newsfeeds piped in hot every other second, scrolling down the screen, green letters on a black screen. You’d get a headline, a synopsis, then DEVELOPING and some strange characters that meant something to the bright boys on the copy desk. Still, it was an improvement over the pre-computer days, when you had to move your entire body to another location, using your feet, and stand over a typing machine that banged out the work of invisible hands a thousand miles away. In those days, I suppose, the guys who ran the wire room where the best informed people on the planet. Talk about your gatekeepers: If there’d been a coup in some small country, they could have kept everyone in town from hearing about, just by ripping up the story and tossing it into the trash.
Now we are soaking in news 24/7, but are we any more informed?
So now I’m here, enjoying a cup of coffee, staring out the same . . . window . . . as . . . ever. And I’m one column behind. And I have two others to write. It’s a heck of a day. I should be home cleaning out the OIWF – it’s full of rotten slimy leaves – but my wife is home with a cold, sleeping, and if I go in and out Jasper will bark. The dog is ever the enemy of the nap.
As noted, a busy day – and tomorrow’s going to be worse, albeit with an amusing kicker. (I hope.) Here’s some stuff I got at the postcard show.Sigh:
Genuine Chili! Accept no false chilis. I don’t know how anyone could contradict the sign’s confident assertion; Steak and a Shake is, without question, a meal. I want one now. I should note that the "Steak" was a "steakburger," which is even better: it's real steak punished with sharp metal blades, rearranged into divot form, and packed between bread so you can eat it with your hands. The way meat is meant to be eaten.
You may ask why I bought this cheap old postcard of a cheap old LA hotel:
This is why, of course:
I didn’t know that French Dip was a basis for an entire restaurant, but apparently the dish was invented in LA, and this was the old hotel’s means of capitalizing on a popular addition to the American table.
Wouldn't you love to know who that old man was? An ordinary day for him, perhaps; he leaned against the building while waiting for a bus, or a friend, or a reason to live, and click: he's entered the Postcard Afterlife, frozen forever, his picture sent across the land without his knowledge or consent.
Some cityscape closeups, with lots of juicy neon. This seems like a town comfortable with making money:
It's Salt Lake City. On the opposite side of the moral continuum, it’s “Famous Silver Street, Hurley, Wisconsin." Steaks Chops Girls! You can smell the spilled beer, Winstons, hair spray and Old Spice:
The card says “Cabarets, Nite Clubs, and Dining Places make Hurley, Wisc., the Evening Entertainment Center of the Northwest.”Uh – no. Incidentally, it was signed by “Mom and Dad” and addressed to “The Kids.”
From the Fort Hays Experiment Station: sheaf-nursing field sirens!
And finally: It's the famous Mystery Spot, where the laws of gravity, and fashion, do not apply:
That is all for today, except for the Quirk (link fixed) and the Comics, both accessible below. Thanks! See you tomorrow.