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.
My Opinion on the Economy:
Working for 12 dot com companies I can attest the economy is not in the shitter. Don’t believe the hype. People lost jobs because they worked for companies that were not fwd thinking.
The great citizens of America are still spending frivolously .
Oh yes they are.
I am not sure WHY every aspect of media is set on spreading this urban legend of doomsday. Turn Off Your Television.
Big Bear In OH says
Let’s see…driving to Florida, we were running at about a quarter tank, saw a sign for gas and considered stopping off somewhere while driving on the WV Turnpike…which was a poor idea–combination gas station strip club on the left, and a even poorer looking gas station on the right. Needless to say, four grown men all looked at each other and went “We don’t really need gas that badly.”
The other one would be making an incorrect left turn in Cleveland, and accidentally turning into an area where young white males are “Not welcome” needless to say, I high-tailed it out of there rather quickly.
Too many of those “not right” experiences to count, but the one that comes to mind was really odd in particular. I was in the grocery store with my eldest (then 6 years old) and we walked by this woman. She was dressed nicely, nothing odd. but for some reason she gave off the weirdest vibe. I literally wanted to run away from her and FAST but I thought that well… it was Wal-Mart after all, so there could be another psychic freak in the chip aisle too for all I knew. I tried to blow it off until my daughter said “somethng is just NOT right about her – I wanna go home!!” and lo and behold – that Wal-Mart was normally so busy that you needed a shoe horn and lube to get into the aisle yet everyone was parting before her like the Red Sea. Kids crying, the works. It was freaking unreal and I still get the willies thinking about it.
I think the media is spreading the economic doomsday message so if Obama’s “stimulus” doesn’t work they can excuse it by saying “see, we told you it was bad” or “it was even worse than we thought”.
“Young toughs”…now there’s a phrase you don’t see used much anymore. You rock, Jeff. 🙂
1974 or so my folks took us out to the left coast for a 3-week vacation. Drove from San Diego all the way up to Seattle, stopping at ‘destinations’ along the way. On one of our many adventures (which included having the gas siphoned from our rental car in Gilmour CA), we decided to eat at one of the ‘popular’ restaurants in San Franciso. I forget the name now, but it was one that Rollie Fingers used to shill for. We walked in, and instantly noticed that things were not quite as ‘charming’ or ‘wholesome’ as one might have hoped for. This feeling was topped off when the gentleman two tables over fell asleep headlong into the pool of puke he’d just deposited on the table. His fellow bums didn’t bat an eye, but instead returned to shuffling around layers of clothing, combing their hair with their fingers, and gumming Rollie’s famous bread pudding.
Ah, the 70’s. Life was good n’ raw back in the day.
Alice in WV says
We’ve been in our 100+ yr old house for about 10yrs. About 15-20 times/yr, I’ll hear distant-sounding music from my bedroom but the sound goes away when I investigate. I used to think it was a car radio or the house next door, etc., but I can only hear the music from my bedroom. I don’t even bother getting out of bed to look for the source anymore. Recently, I hear conversations and I did look for that.
I know sound insane. nutty. My husband has heard the music before so it’s not just me, tho.
I’m going to shut it now. the more I talk about it, the worse I sound 😛
But, Tammie, Brandy, and Trisha aka Mrs. Wally – c’mon! don’t be shy NOW!!
Alice in WV…don’t I get myself in trouble enough without you egging me on?
Seriously…I’m skipping this one.
Everyone already knows I’m a nut. They don’t need “further evidence” of that.
Hold up there Sparky…. You’re talkin about the town I love!!! HA! However, you are partially right. Downtown Pittsburgh at night can be a little scary. Once the working class scadattles out at 5PM the only thing left are Night of the Living Dead, except the Cultural District. Ashame really…there are some great bars/restaurants and shopping. Not to mention PGH Penguins!!
Years ago, we were driving on I81, and got hungry and started looking for a place to eat. It was 10 o’clock or so on a Sunday night, and fast food wasn’t looking appealing, so I was keeping an eye out for a truck stop type 24hr place. We pulled into a parking lot of a restaurant and walked up to the door and saw the staff inside mopping and stacking chairs, so we turned around to leave. A waitress unlocked and opened the door and hollered for us to come in, which we did. She said that the kitchen was closed, but we could have sandwiches or leftovers from the buffet. I had the fried chicken, and friends, that was the best fried chicken I have ever eaten, and lots of it. On top of it, they made us milkshakes which also rocked. Our tab? About $15. Here’s where it gets weird- I’ve been back through that stretch of I81 many times since, and have specifically sought out that restaurant, and it is not there.
For the record, I was not high.
Some of these stories are resembling Pee Wee’s Big Adventure- Anyone been picked up by Large Marge?
This is a little off-subject, but I wanted to let everyone know that tator tots are not useful in ping pong, and that proving this theory is frowned upon by bartenders.
I also live in a 100 year old house. We’re almost sure ghosts move things around and make noises to the point that we just are immune. People that stay overnight are usually freaked out by the experience of the noises…..
Alice in WV says
Peter, this has made me think that I’ve probably become a little casual about stuff, too. Between that and the weird looks I get when I say stuff like, “last night my son came in and bounced on the foot of my bed – scared the crap outta me. but when I turned to yell, he wasn’t there.” I’ve stopped mentioning it – except to all y’all out there in the cyber world. i can’t see you’re weird looks or eyes rolling. but Jeff Kay rang that dinner bell, dammit
Sometimes I’ll move things around just to fuck with the ghosts…
Point Pleasant WV is about one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been at night. And, of course, I keep returning, at night. The Point has a pull, it has an aura. Sleepy, but with secrets.
One Wednesday morning a few years ago, my oldest daughter who as 4 at the time came into the kitchen carrying a picture. It was a picture of a girl on a bed with a couple of larger figures with wings above her. We asked her what the picture was. She said the girl on the bed was her and the other figures we’re Grandpa Joe (my wife’s father) and the other one was “Mommy’s mommy” (my wife’s mother had passed away before our daughter was born so she didn’t really know her) We asked her why they both had wings and she said they were angels and they had come to see her the night before. We told her what a nice picture it was (although a little odd) and didn’t think much of it. The next day, Thursday, I got a call from my wife that her dad had passed away. They eventually determined that he had died Tuesday night, the night our daughter had gotten a “visit” from them. We still have the picture of course. Sort of creepy but in a very very nice way.