There is still a little hope left

By David Grima | Dec 06, 2018

As the world hurtles toward ruin, with flames coming out of the exhaust pipe and occupants baling out all over the place, an intense debate unfolded on social media this week over whether ketchup sandwiches can be legally considered food.

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The nation mourns the passing of a once-upon-a-time president, but there is always a bright side to these things.

My dear friend Lord Prez Reginald K. Trumpleton is over the moon with excitement at the nation’s great loss, because this time he will be allowed to attend the funeral.

He’s been having a rough time lately, as I am sure you know. His vacation to the international summit in Argentina last week was less than a stellar triumph, because nobody from any other country would sit next to him. In the end, he had to settle for a plate of dry turkey sandwiches with the leader of China.

He couldn’t even get any ketchup on them, for pity’s sake.

But the news that he was to be allowed to go to the presidential funeral this week – even though he was told he must stand at the back and not fidget – was a wonderful tonic to his oppressed soul.

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Speaking of other things, Fabulous Bob swears that he saw a guy with four chickens on leashes, walking together along the fictional South Main Street last week.

Nothing I could do or say would make him change his story, so I suppose the possibility must be entertained that he has a 20 to 25 percent chance of being right about the chickens.

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Speaking of our streets, I am deeply saddened to notice that the highways and byways of the Lime City are starting to look like the surface of the moon, yet again. Huge craters are appearing everywhere, and swallowing vehicles up to, and including, tractor-trailers.

Maybe the guy with chickens on South Main was using the birds to detect holes and crevasses? Who can say how useful a trained bunch of chickens might be in such a situation?

But the fact remains that every day it seems that yet more pancakes of asphalt are working their way loose and breaking away from the surface of the streets of Rockland. South Main, naturally, is a hellhole.

There is some story going around that the state was going to resurface this street completely, before it found out by reading the paper that the city was also going to fix the pipes under the road. So the state withheld its hand and the repairs were put off until the sewers were fixed. Sounds almost rational.

The restoration of the South Main pipes was slated to begin this past summer, or thereabouts.

But then the cost of fixing the pipes is said to have come in at about a billion dollars more than Rockland was prepared to pay, so now both projects have been put on hold.

I am sure you are fully aware that it was only because of constant nagging printed in this weekly piece of nonsense that the city felt compelled to repair Very Old County Road a year or two back. Do I have to go through it all over again, before the rest of our potholed and crumbling roads are fixed too?

I tell you, I am a martyr to our roads.

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Despite my many doubts, there is some hint that my latter-day journalism might be having some effect on our life together here in Rockland.

Last Saturday I went into the Goodwill store and stood in amazement in front of the videotape shelves. A year or two ago, I found it was getting very difficult to resist the urge to totally reorganize these shelves, by putting all the movies in alphabetical order. The random mess of tapes all over the place was becoming too much for my fragile spirit to bear.

I had assumed this desire for order was just the deranged fantasy of a deranged old guy from the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. Surely, nobody else could possibly care so much about so small a thing?

But I was gloriously wrong, for as I saw last weekend, another human being had gone through the four or five rows of movies and placed the numerous copies of identical movies together on the shelves. It wasn’t quite alphabetical order, but it was some kind of order, after all.

No longer were the 50 copies of “Pearl Harbor” in 51 different places. Now they were all together! Likewise, many other movies of which the store has countless copies. I did notice, however, that one copy of “George of the Jungle” was still out of place, so I put it where it should have been, with all the others.

Boy, did that feel good!

In a maddening world where everything seems to be going wrong, where self-described Christians gather to pelt poor people with rotten tomatoes and scream at them, and where the poverty-stricken masses desperately believe that people of stupendous wealth will represent them fairly in the halls of power, the appearance of reason and organization on the shelves at this store seemed to me like a small sign from beyond, signaling that there is still a little hope left for humanity, just as long as people can be found who still care about things like this.

Or, I suppose it is also possible that I had simply forgotten to take my pills.

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Having said all that, it will come as no surprise to you at all how distressing it was to see that several of the letters in the marquee in front of The Strand movie theater on Main Street were not working, the other night.

It was a case of The Stra, and not one letter more, on both sides of the marquee.

This was so upsetting, I think, because ever since it was restored to a condition that is probably beyond even its original splendor, The Strand has seemed to me to represent the beauty of perfection. Everything about the place, inside or out, has always looked absolutely stunning.

‘Tis a great wonder to me that the place has never been used as a movie set for a film about a movie theater.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Eric Thurston | Dec 19, 2018 19:25

I do not have any insight on ketchup in sandwiches, but I do remember having mustard and butter sandwiches. Our "butter" was actually Blue Bonnet margarine. Good times. On another note, perhaps we should have a certain street renamed to South Maimed Street.

Posted by: Drucinda Woodman | Dec 08, 2018 11:10

Always love your columns! Goodies this week---fictional South Main St, and by the way the clock is not working again! And while driving to avoid the craters on Water St,Ocean St?... I never can remember what the road area from Suffolk to the actual ocean is called.Looking for a street sign the first & only one I found was at the corner of Pacific and SCOTT ! News to me that little Scott St has advanced westward 'Manifest Destiny'? When and WHY did this happen? Funny anyway that Ocean & Water turn into Scott just when the actual Atlantic ocean appears! As a person whose record collection is alphabetized(yes LPs) and who deadheads downtown Main St window boxes as I pass, I too applaud the Goodwill masked organizer.For one bright shining moment...

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