30 oct 1999         

- harvest festival -

I spent part of yesterday afternoon as a carnival barker at Amy's grade school, inveigling children to come on over and try their hands at that mainstay of Harvest Festivals: Knock The Plastic Jack-O-Lanterns Over With The Bean Bags.  

When I first arrived on the campus for my 3:30 - 4:00 shift, the place was teeming with sugared kids bouncing around the game booths spread across the playground.  All the favorites were there - Throw The Wet Sponges At The Teacher, Pumpkin Bowling, Pull The Tootsie Roll Pop, a few variations of Ring Toss, A Haunted House, a Cupcake Walk, Clothespin Fishing, Miniature Golf, and there in the middle sat our booth, the pitifully calm eye of the storm.  No takers.

So I, Mr. Look-At-Me, cranked up the showbiz juice.  In 30 minutes I ran 38 suckers contestants through my little game, bean bags flying as I dished out animated praise, comedic commentary, and plastic back scratchers as prizes for the wee beasties.  I should mention that my father sold used cars for several decades.  It's genetic.

It was an exhausting and happy experience, but it left me hoarse.  And since I was already in a weakened condition from my cold, I think I'll coast on this display of good deed-doing for weeks and weeks, opening my raw throat only for the occasional rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."


A cold isn't the only contagion that has hit.  Like Chuck, I seem to be overcome with hiatus fever.  It's a slightly different strain, however, as I will be back after the first week of November, unlike Mr. Atkins (if that is his real name) who is now probably off at the library poring over the Diaries of Ana´s Nin to see if he can change names and locations and use them as crutches in the re-ignition of his own journal.  He is too shy a man to tell you himself, but his life has become powerfully mundane now that he's in his golden years, and he is troubled by the absence of thrill.  Age has left him weak, and flame wars have turned his spine to powder.  I'm proud to say I knew him when, back in the day, before questionnaires and surveys, before the phone booth got too famous, before Dave Van got funnier.  

I hope he's having a nice birthday out there in the desert where the arthritis and the lumbago don't act up quite so much.  Happy Birthday, dude.


Speaking of me and Chuck and the booth, I received an e-mail from a student who matriculates at the State University of New York who happened across our journals while perusing the Mojave Phone Booth site.  Sarah P. writes "I live in the dorms and every so often, when I stumble upon something worthwhile, I print it out and tape it to the walls in the common bathroom.  So your journals have been on exhibit... in a girls dormitory bathroom for a few days."

A moment of silence, please, for the glory that is the web.

It may be time for me to get a digital camera and explore the possibilities now unfolding.

See you soon.


  today's music:

"Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" -- David Spade -- MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE LOST & FOUND


today's wisdom:

"The less you bet, the more you lose when you win."

- Bonetti's Law