April 18th, 2005

Tom Lehrer is Smug

The Head

THE SCENE: The corner of Elm and Porter Streets, Somerville.

Look both ways before crossing the street, ok, no cars, let's cross, all right, very good, let's go up Porter now.
Couple kissing, twelve o'clock! Reroute path so as to not disturb them.
Sure, avoid them at all costs and try not to seethe. Bitter much?
Listen, we know how I feel about public displays of affection when we don't have the ability to do the sa-- HEY! KEYBOARDS!
Tonight must be trash night.
Holy cats, check out all these keyboards on the sidewalk! One, two, three boxes full!
Who would throw away so many keyboards?
And an old printer with tractor-feed, look at that!
Some office must have just upgraded all their stuff. Or gone out of business. Most of this stuff probably doesn't work.
And hey, there's a sign! FREE! Oh boy! My four favorite letters in the alphabet!
Well, there's actually only three letters there, one's just repeated and--
Get a load of the monitor.
We don't need another monitor, we've got plenty.
But what about keyboards? What if there's a Model M?
Oh, go ahead, look. But I don't want us taking away too much stuff out of here.
Model M, Model M, Model M, Model M...
I bet this is all just a trap to lure unsuspecting computer geeks into complacency. Any minute now someone's gonna jump over that hedge and club us and then won't we be sorry.
Rats! No Model M. Just a buncha Gateways and NECs, one Digital keyboard tho.
Don't touch it! It's even cruddier than the one we've got. And the keys don't feel the same.
Would've been nice to have found a Model M in this haul. We could've crowed about it on LiveJournal.
Didn't think there would be one. Most of the good stuff's probably already been taken.
Oh yeah? Whaddya call THAT? Look! "Sears TeleGames Home Arcade."
The plastic's totally yellowed. It probably doesn't work.
Ye gods, what a find! This was Sears' own Intellivision knockoff!
We sure about that? It's probably just one of those elderly systems that only plays fifty-nine variants on Pong.
No, it's the Intellivision one, look, here are the controllers with the movement discs, and the keypads, and here's the slot for the cartridges. Let's take it!
Are we crazy?! We hated Intellivision as a kid! It was Atari or nothing!
But some of the games were fun, remember the frog pond one? Or the Dungeons & Dragons one?
We had fierce loyalties back then. Carter over Reagan, Atari over Intellivision, Coke over Pepsi...
Well the Coke one was because we had a crush on the daughter of the guy who owned the Coke plant in town.
Listen, this ain't gonna happen. Refuse to take it.
You sure? Because if we don't, it's ONLY GOING TO BE THROWN AWAY.
Oh, don't you start with that.
Can you handle knowing that without our intervention, this wonderful piece of plastic and electronics, which probably made some kid happy over 20 years ago, is going to be relegated to the landfill?
I'm not listening...
We doom it to spending eternity unused, unloved, shattered, broken, bleeping and blooping no more...
You KNOW what object empathy does to us!
It's gonna cryyyyyyyy!
SHUT UP!
ACTUALLY, WE SHOULDN'T TAKE IT.
Aw, fuck, it's Voice of Reason.
Who the hell let him back in here?
THERE'S TOO MANY THINGS GOING AGAINST THIS ONE, GUYS. FOR ONE, THERE'S NO RF MODULATOR. WITHOUT IT, WE WON'T BE ABLE TO HOOK IT UP TO THE TV.
We can probably get one at Radio Shack.
WE HATE GOING TO RADIO SHACK. AND BESIDES, THERE'S NO GAMES TO GO WITH IT. OH SURE, A VIDEO GAME SYSTEM WITH NO GAMES IS GONNA BE LOOOOOADS OF FUN.
Someone's about to suggest eBay, although we hate it and haven't used it since like 2001.
Hey, when eBay works, it works...
I'M PUTTING THE KIBOSH ON THAT ONE RIGHT NOW. NO EBAY, NO FLEA MARKETS, NO WANT ADVERTISER, NO NOTHING. THE CONSOLE MAY BE FREE, BUT THE SEARCH FOR GAMES WOULD TURN INTO A COSTLY OBSESSION. JUST DOWNLOAD AN EMULATOR AND SOME ROMS IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PLAY THAT FROG POND ONE THAT BAD.
Whoa, wait, Voice of Reason is advocating illegal ROM downloads?
OH BITE ME, IT'S ABANDONWARE.
Bite me. Now there's a punchline we haven't used since, say, Junior High.
Oh, all right, we won't take the game.
MOST LIKELY SOME RETRO-GAMER HIPSTER TYPE WILL FIND IT. THERE'S PLENTY TO GO AROUND NEAR PORTER AND DAVIS.
We could point this out to the kissing couple.
THEY'RE LONG GONE.
Maybe we could point it out on LiveJournal! Corner of Elm and Porter, guys, just across from the back of the Starbucks & laundromat!
GOOD IDEA.
hey guys are we gonna be much longer? there's a sandwich in our backpack that ain't gonna eat itself!
OH STOMACH, YOU AND FOOD, IS THAT ALL YOU THINK ABOUT?

Everybody laughs. Exeunt, pursued by Freud.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

oh you can't call housekeeping up in massachusetts

Ah, once again Roadside America intrigues and bewilders me, this time with a report on what's happened to the house where Lizzie Borden may or may not have murdered her family so many years ago:
The house of death still stands, across the street from the bus station. Now known as the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast-Museum, it offers guests a night of sleep in the murder rooms. Slumber in the Andrew & Abbey Borden Suite, or in the John Morse room (where Lizzie's stepmother got whacked). The home has been restored "to its original look at the time of the murders." According to their promo literature: "Guests are treated to a breakfast similar to the one the Bordens ate on the morning of the murders, which includes bananas, jonny-cakes, sugar cookies and coffee in the addition to a delicious meal of breakfast staples."
Jonny-cakes and sugar cookies? Fella's gotta have a hearty breakfast if he's gonna be brutally murdered in the afternoon. (I wonder if they let you take afternoon naps on the couch, too.)

The other thing I wonder is how many people, do you suppose, have gone to this B&B thinking "Hot dog! I'm gonna have sex in the murder room tonight!"




...what?! I'm just sayin, is all.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

Vehicle Colors I Have Known

Cactus
Champagne
Magnesium
Patriot
Pepper
Dignity

Champagne is almost discernible, some kind of tannish beige. But Pepper (Black pepper or red pepper? In this case it's red.) And Patriot? (Turns out it's a dark blue, which must go over well in the red states to whom this jingoistic color scheme is dedicated.) And Di-- well, ok, I made up the last one. Cause dignity and froo-froo SUV colors just don't mix.