A few nights ago Toney and I were watching the local TV news, and they did a story about a recent appearance here by the Harlem Globetrotters. Apparently they sold-out a large arena in Wilkes-Barre, and tickets cost as much as $70 each.
And how was this portrayed, you ask? That’s correct, as yet another sign of a weak economy…
A person might be tempted to believe difficult times would cause fewer tickets to be sold to such an event. But that’s not the case, according to the reporter. The fact that the joint was packed to the rafters, with smiling fans buying up souvenirs and cotton candy, is a sure sign the economy is in a shambles. Because everybody’s seeking escape.
Oh, for the love of all that’s holy… If the Globetrotters had come to town and the arena was half-empty, do you think they’d report that the economy is showing signs of turning around? You know, since fewer people are in need of escape? I somehow doubt it. I think the final verdict would be exactly the same, no matter how many people happened to show up to that “game.”
I believe the reporter went into the story with a pre-formed conclusion, and backwards-engineered that shit. That’s what I believe, and it agitates me. Because there’s more than enough genuine doom and gloom to go around, and no real need to manufacture more.
The Secrets (I still haven’t settled on new internet names) are participating in a beginner’s golf clinic, at a school in Scranton.
Usually Toney takes them to stuff like that. But she’s busy with other things, and I’ve been carting them all over (as one of my aunts would put it) carnation. There’s no difference for the boys, really, except I provide better restaurant pre-meals, and a higher grade of profanity.
The first week I had to use our GPS device to find the place. It’s in a neighborhood I didn’t even know existed, and which caused me to make sure all our doors were locked. Since there seemed to be a whiff of urban decay in the air, complimented by the subtle tones of folks who long ago said fukkit…
Everything seemed OK until we passed under a rickety railroad bridge. Then it all went wobbly. In fact, it felt like we were being influenced by our surroundings, and taking on the general vibes of the place. It was like something out of a Goosebumps book.
My car was quiet and smooth until that bridge, then it seemed to start rattling, and I thought I heard something fall off. The hell?? When we stopped I was sure I’d discover the fenders eaten-up by rust, and one turquoise door.
And here’s the really weird part: I was completely confident that if we broke-down in that area of town, I could diagnose and fix the problem myself! Will somebody please hold me?
We found the school (a high school? who the hell knows?) and it looked like a prison. The thing was hulking, kinda gothic, and at least eighty years old. And the fact that it’s also built on a bluff, elevated above everything else in the neighborhood, made it even more imposing.
“OK, get out! I’ll be back in a couple of hours to pick you up,” I told the boys, to break the tension in the car.
Of course I wouldn’t leave them outside the gates of a haunted 19th century penitentiary, that was just some more of my “comedy.” I parked behind the school, and there were several young toughs hanging around in their hoodies and menacing expressions.
This just keeps getting better and better…
We were a little early, and I didn’t see any other parents about, so we sat in the car and waited. Eventually they started rolling in, many carrying their own golf clubs, and entered the school through a door at the rear of the building.
We joined them, and it reminded me of the lighthouse at Cape May. It must’ve been five hundred steps up, in a tight circleish square, and all us parentals (as well as a few of the unknown dumplin’ children) were gasping for air when we reached the top. Holy shit! What kind of maniac designed that crap? It was sadistic.
We followed the crowd into a gymnasium straight out the FDR era. I’m not kidding, I’d bet good money the place was built during the early part of Roosevelt’s administration, or possibly Hoover’s. The scoreboard itself should be in the Smithsonian. It was amazing.
But the guys running the clinic (or whatever they call it) seemed OK, as did the other parents and kids in attendance. I hung around for thirty minutes or so, just to be sure I felt right about everything, and sneaked away. I wanted to go to Staples and buy a new ink cartridge for my printer.
And as soon as I passed under that bridge again, my car stopped rattling, the music sounded fuller and richer, and it seemed like every bolt tightened.
Eventually, I expect to learn that all the other kids at that so-called clinic died during a 1940s TB outbreak, and are, in fact, ghosts.
Have you ever gone into something you thought would be innocent and wholesome, only to find it a tad creepy? If so, tell us about it.
Also, if you believe you’ve seen any ghosts, or UFOs, or anything like that, we’d sure like to know about that as well. Use the comments section below.
And I’ll be back tomorrow.