Lots of compromises here. My original plan featured 6 months of autumn and 1 month of spring – I can’t possibly imagine an argument where autumn is not a favorite time of year. Spring exists strictly as a transitionary device. And summer is a dire warning, a reminder that we are primarily water and that evaporation could take it all away. Summer evenings are pretty nice, I admit.
Baseball has spoiled our air at 1 News Plaza like a milk carton swollen with semi-solid horror. With that gift comes the death of all banal conversation.
No more talk of office air conditioning hell bent on cryogenically preserving us. No more talk of pizza crusts. And no more natural talk of Shackleton’s great expeditions (I had to force this conversation just today!) Suck all of that chatter away and replace it with bird shit.
Our 160-mile proximity to the Lou imparts a certain tug-of-war on poor Peoria. Look closely enough and you’ll discover gerrymandering rivaling the best in politics, with adjacent neighbors waving battle flags for the Cardinals or Cubs. Genetics seem to play some sort of role in the mess, but I’m not about to bring science into this squabble.
Your author was just trying to do his job that’s not his job (maintenance/IT support/counselor) when disaster struck. I’ve wasted so much time getting to the point of this damn piece, so here’s a quick outline for your busy schedule:
See rat’s nest of power and coax cable
Decide that it can be cleaned up with a simple power strip
Unplug wall warts and hear BZZZZZAAAP sound from TV
Realize that I’m a marked man – 2 hours until Cardinals/Dodgers NLCS game
Panic by reassembling rat’s nest (with extra cord kinks)
Flee when stupid box remains in TV heaven
In other words, it’s the closest I’ve come to feeling like a wanted criminal.
Thankfully, you’ve read this far and will be hearing a tale of heroism so great that you’ll call the kids into the room (even those you haven’t fathered or borne yet!) I marched (slunk) back into the lion’s den (sports department), grabbed the nearest sword (remote control) and menaced (button-pressed) it toward the offending devices (cable TV box, wires, television) and conjured it all back to life (you can watch TBS again.)
Editor’s note: Baseball can still be a lovely thing to watch, enjoy and – we presume – to play. Just leave the teams out of it. And please call it entertainment.
There’s a knock at my apartment door and I react the same way we all do – argh, shit, sorry, I’m a loud monster.
The door opens and a frail, hunched-over man stands outside with an enormous silver platter, carrying three porcelain plates draped in pink Saran Wrap with small paper napkins underneath.
Howdy, partner! Would you like some banana cream pie?
This cowboy is the elderly gentleman who lives with his wife on my building’s floor. I’ve unofficially adopted them as my Peoria grandparents, and though I’m not entirely sure they’re aware of this one-way pledge, I like to think that they must have some idea each time I greet them by their honorifics.
The Mrs. will often be doing laundry when I’m leaving for work, always apologizing for tying up the machine. I assure her that it’s no problem, that I’m on my way out (and usually running late.)
There are smells that waft down the hallway on weekends – bacon. I often hear the newspaper deliverer step off the elevator at 5 a.m. and plop down the Journal Star on their doormat.
A small dish of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers is periodically refilled in the common hallway we share.