Monday, June 22nd 2009

Toxic Mound Junior High
posted @ 5:58 pm in [ ]

I am currently enjoying a trip to the Maine coast. During the drive from the Portland Jetport last night, my stepfather was pointing out various points of interest — or rather, asking us to take on faith that they were there, given that they were obscured by darkness. We believe that he believes they’re there.

One of the more curious points of interest was a defunct business. Apparently, this guy had purchased a chunk of land and installed a bunch of mounds on it in anticipation of having a shooting range there. As it turned out, though, the mounds were actually toxic waste, and the guy in question had declared bankruptcy and probably blown town. Or at least, he should have blown town, because after you do something like installing a series of toxic mounds in a small New England community, it makes for some mighty awkward conversations down at the Hannaford when you run into your neighbors there.

One entertaining thing about New England, though, is that a bunch of smaller businesses spring up around various landmarks (geological, geographical, historical and otherwise) and name themselves after said landmarks. For example, at Walden Pond, one might expect to encounter Cantankerous Hermit Condominiums across the street. This got me thinking about what kinds of things might be available around this former aspiring Superfund site. Toxic Mound 7-eleven? Toxic Mound Square? (Although that’s more of a Somerville, Mass. thing, where every damn intersection is Some Joe Bag O’ Donuts Square.) Toxic Mound Junior High School?

This of course leads to wondering what the mascot might be. A six-legged ‘possum? Cerberus? A two-headed ‘possum with a football helmet on one head and the football in its other mouth?

Where did you graduate from?

Oh, Toxic Mound. Good ol’ TM. Those were the glory days.

Wednesday, June 10th 2009

I hate Shiraz
posted @ 1:19 pm in [ ]

Just as I am the only human on the planet who doesn’t think Johnny Depp is all that, I am apparently the only human on the planet who thinks Shiraz pretty much sucks across the board. I find it bitter and too tanniny or something, like it leaves a bitter, almost powdery-sludgy film on my palate, and to make matters worse, that film tastes like Shiraz.

The other day, I was picking up a bottle of wine for dinner, minding my own business, and I was beset by Shirazes. It seemed like fully half of the wine section at my local liquor store was nothing but Shiraz. It was much like the earlier scenes of The Birds, just before it became too late to just set about 50 cats on them and be done with it. Walls of seemingly OK wines had scores of Shirazes mixed in with them, peering down menacingly at me, knowing I hate them, and possibly plotting against me. Because, let’s face it, they are pretty bitter. And probably evil.

I base the statement that Shiraz is probably evil on its insidiousness. I think it’s so popular right now because, like many evil things (Satan, Blofeld, pineapple pizza), it seems rather charming at first. That’s how evil stuff reels you in. Can’t you see, people?! They’re all walking corpses!/They’re only fattening us up to eat us!/It’s really terrible wine! Don’t be fooled.