Friday, October 17, 2008

Special Delivery

The street is in my blood.

(Okay, it's actually gravel in my kneecaps, the legacy of a bad scooter wipeout on Beech Street in 1987.)

An Important Message!

(The source material.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Resurrection Mary Sunshine

When I was a sophomore in high school, I paid a visit to a book liquidation warehouse that briefly occupied a back corner of the East Woburn industrial park on Washington Street. Any hopes I had concerning stacks of beautiful and cheap books were quickly dashed upon stepping inside the place.

I'm hardly retail manager material, but even so I have to question the logic of renting a few thousand square feet of space for the purpose of shifting dozens of pallets of programming guides for the TI-99/4A and hundreds of copies of the 1968 edition of the Kelley Blue Book. I ended up leaving with just two remotely interesting items plucked from the dollar bin (though I've since regretted not picking up the coffee table book about The Spinners I saw there).

One of the books was an "encylopedia of modern wars" so unashamedly Anglocentric that it dedicated sixteen column inches to the Great Franco-Anglo Slapfight of August 17, 1662 while summarizing the American Civil War as "The North fought the South over slavery and the North won." The other book was the 1974 edition of The Hitchhiker's Field Manual, subtitled "The Complete Guide to Hassle-Free Thumb-Tripping in North America."

The title and publication date say it all -- the book is a handy source of freak-friendly information on thumbing it (which is to transporation what Russian Roulette is to gun safety) across Nixonian America, full of such nuggets of practical wisdom as "beware of rednecks with axe handles" and "don't try to bribe an Idaho state trooper with a dime bag."

The manual also features a detailed state-by-state breakdown of hitcher-friendly and hitcher-adverse locales. (Berkeley = Good, Alabamba = Bad.) It was this cryptic passage from the entry covering Massachusetts that convinced me to purchase the book:

Freaks Beware!

Monday, October 13, 2008

It would be so nice

I'm enjoying my holiday weekend. You should, too.

I'll be back on Wednesday with cautionary information for the freaks of thirty-five years ago.