I saw a wild turkey walk across the street on the way in to work today. They’re everywhere. I think they might be the most intelligent species on the planet. Think about it: turkeys are smart to start, so the wild ones must be so finely attuned to the world that they could probably do your taxes if they didn’t decide to instead expose a loophole in the Constitution proving that filing income tax was unlawful. And then they’d eat your tie and take your wallet. I once saw a flock of them surrounded a hunter’s jeep on the side of the road, while said hunter was probably in the woods trying to track them down. Awesome creatures, wild turkeys, and they even like to take the piss.
I saw a huge bill for “fixing” my heater from the people at Conover Swanson and nothing is really fixed. It’s the last time I call on them, actually. Not just because they charge $100 per half-hour. Every time I ask them to do something, they forget half of it. So I have to call them again. Then they say they’ll call me back, and they never do. And when I call them back to tell them about it, they are so dim-witted and soft-spoken it’s like they raise rabbits in the back or something. They’re the Lennies of the world, Conover Swanson and their ilk.
I saw myself file a government complaint against the duplicitous filth at IMAGECAVE.COM. I was more thorough than a colonoscope, more dogged than a burrowing owl, and more laced with malice than a wild turkey coming upon a jeep on the side of the road. I will not stop until I blacklist this couple’s every online venture in the past, present and future. And when the world is entirely digital, they’ll be left out to scavenge for sandwich crusts on the side of the road. They might even devolve, and develop heavy brows and a sloping gait. Yes, I will not stop until they rediscover fire.
I saw my face on Facebook and several blogs that I frequent for the thousandth time and decided to grab my phone and take a new picture. You know that technique, where you stretch your arm out, point the phone at yourself, and try to look natural. For some reason I held the phone high in the air, so I’m looking up. I have no idea why I did this. Luckily, the photo was usable on the first try, as I couldn’t see me trying it more than twice. The best part about it is I look completely ridiculous in a friendly G way. I’ve confused a few people, as well, which has made the effort worth it, and I no longer have to see the same photo of me for at least a little while. I give the lifespan of this new photo about three weeks. It’s far too obnoxious to last much longer than that.
I saw Rufus Wainright on Elvis Costello’s show “Spectacle” (Sundance Channel) and it was a decent follow up to the Police segment from the week before. Rufus could never trump The Police for me, but the guy’s got deceptively powerful pipes and I love his piano playing style. I heard the song “Vibrate” for what felt like the first time and it’s another addition to a long list of his hauntingly camp confections that would make Mike Tyson weep before putting him to sleep, thumb in mouth, clutching a blankie. And Elvis has gotten so grizzled and fat, he made Rufus, resplendently casual in his white pants and blazer, look like Tatum O’Neal circa Little Darlings. Come to think, Elvis could have been a big, wild Tom in a little bowlers hat. Love him no matter how big he gets, though. Go on, E, pack ’em on.
I saw myself reach page 64 of my new screenplay about a group of friends and the aging garage band that keeps them together, called Shelf Life. To be fair, I should have been further along but life and work and other nuisances got in the way. It’s going well, and I just completed probably one of the most emotionally authentic scenes I’ve ever written. Each word of dialog took an age to get on the page; about the same amount of time it would probably take to bring up the courage to say it. I find it takes about 50-some pages to breathe enough life into a script to where it begins to go ahead of you and pull you along. Novels are similar, but they don’t have the same kind of breathless pace that a screenplay has. You hear about people writing scripts in three days or a week. Rarely do you hear the same about a novel, unless you’re two and the novel is called “Potty Time” and each page consists of exactly one squiggly crayon mark. But who are we to judge?
And finally, I saw the lights come on in the condo across the way. It’s the first time I’ve seen that warm glow since Dorothy passed. She was my neighbor for about ten years, and she and her husband Jack had become sort of surrogate grandparents to me. Jack was a hard-ass, ex-Navy man who loved to bust my balls, and Dorothy had a laugh like a murder of crows. He used to like his Johnny walker until the diabetes set in, and she used to love her walk until she went blind in one eye. Everyone kind of expected Jack to go first, since his memory had begun to fail with certain speed in the last couple of years, but as it turns out, he was just outrunning his past. Dorothy was left in his wake when she suddenly fell ill one night and never woke up. It was her heart, they said. Now, I wonder if old Jack knows me well enough to break ’em. They say he still asks for her, so I guess not. Anyway, I like to think it was her in there last night, as I didn’t see any cars in the parking lot. Maybe she had unfinished business. Makes me wonder if there really is any other kind.
I realize this was something of a make-weight entry, so in keeping with the outre tone, I figure I’d let Rufus take us into the weekend. Here he is singing “Vibrate” on Elvis’ show. Elvis, unfortunately, isn’t with him. He had to leave the building in order for the cameras to get a clear shot of the performance. Nah, just kidding. Enjoy the weekend, folks.