Three Rivers Stadium, anyone?
Tribune Review review, Sept. 16, 2015:
By Tom Scanlon
The Steelers dynasty may have found its Homer.
Unlike his famous teammates, Rocky Bleier was never an All Pro. Yet he may be a Hall of Fame storyteller, judging by the debut of Rocky the Raconteur.
The official title is “The Play: With Rocky Bleier” — and the title was the only slightly clunky thing about a polished one-man show.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette essay on “R.I.P in Pittsburgh” and comments:
By Tom Scanlon
By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.
No worries, it’s completely my fault, as I engage in extremely risky behavior. I’m not a sky diver, drug taker, mountain climber, train hopper or mixed martial arts fighter, and I don’t participate in the Running of the Bulls.
My hobby is far more hazardous than all those and more, as I am a Pittsburgh pedestrian.
I know I should stop, but I can’t.
How did I start? Probably when I lived in pedestrian-friendly cities, like San Francisco and Seattle. In San Francisco, I remember walking from one end of the city — the Financial District — to the far end — the aptly-named Sunset District — pausing only for refreshments at neighborhood bars, often walking down the middle of streets. It should be noted that this was in the 1990s, before Facebook, Yahoo and hundreds of start-ups landed and took over the city, like techie Martians.
Later, I roamed up to the Northwest, to what was a sort of pedestrian Mecca; I imagine thousands of faithful walking for miles to Seattle, in order to … walk some more.
In Seattle, drivers hold crosswalks as sacred as hunters cherish the Second Amendment; instead of the Right to Bear Arms, in Starbucksville they celebrate the Right to Cross Streets.
Let’s say you are walking up Pike Street through the drizzle and are about 10 paces from a mid-block crosswalk. A Seattle driver coming ripping through the rain will brake hard, waiting for you to catch up — IN CASE you want to cross the street. And if you get to the crosswalk but have no intention to cross, waving the car on to signal you’re continuing on this side of the street, the driver will continue, but with a frown of disappointment.
Different story, here — but you know that, as you’re a Pittsburgh driver.
When you are driving and you see a pedestrian up ahead tentatively leaning into a crosswalk, you lift your right foot off the gas pedal — only to give you some momentum before stomping it down. You’re being courteous: The sound of your revving engine will serve as a warning to the walker, who, in most cases, will be me.
Being slow to react, I will leap back to the relative safety of the sidewalk (assuming it isn’t blocked by parked cars) as you speed by, screaming out your window, “Get a car, loser!”
Thinking about it, it seems to me that Pittsburgh drivers aren’t any more aggressive and unforgiving than, say, New York City drivers. But in Manhattan, herds of pedestrians cross streets; New York drivers would love to rip through crosswalks and send walkers scurrying, but they would be attacked by hundreds of angry foot soldiers.
Rather than platoons of pedestrians, here, it seems, it’s just pretty much me, an unarmed army of one ambling along in an enemy uniform (San Francisco Giants cap, Seattle flannel jacket). Perhaps the crosswalks on my South Side path should have crosshairs?
Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating for Pittsburgh drivers to be more wary of and/or courteous to pedestrians. I understand deeply in-bred cultural mores and merely think some warning signs might be wise, to protect those new to town.
At a busy intersection, when the traffic light turns green for cars and the pedestrian sign shifts from a red hand to a white man (racist/sexist?), it might be good to add a subtitle, stating “AT YOUR OWN RISK!” Or, “IF NO CARS ARE COMING AND BE SNAPPY ABOUT IT!” Or, for a more subtle touch, a soundtrack of mocking laughter.
Better yet, so as not to disturb you hurrying drivers in the least, how about having elevated zip lines at each intersection? Pedestrians would climb up to a platform elevated a good 15 feet off the ground, then just zip over to the other side — as cars and trucks rumble by underneath.
You’re right, Pittsburgh’s probably not quite ready for that. Maybe when the Lawrencevillers start to get some political traction …
As for me, I’ll be long gone, as I have accepted my fate. On a gray, drizzly day, I’ll have a flashback to being in Seattle, come to a crosswalk and, with that Northwestern pedestrian confidence, stride across without hesitation.
I apologize in advance to the driver who, scrolling through his phone app to find the least-trafficked way home, hears a strange “THUNK” as he runs over me. After the briefest of pauses, he will shrug his shoulders and stomp on the gas pedal, muttering, “These potholes! What’s that app to report them?”
Tom Scanlon is a freelance journalist/social services worker living on the South Side, where he is likely to meet his end (email@example.com).
No “Amityville Horror” terrorizing or “The Shining” bloodbaths in Prescott, where lodging ghosts seem more ready to charm than harm.
Your contribution of as low as $1 and as high as infinity will help me make society a less annoying place to live.
We must stop this, NOW, before it’s too late!
White House insider says Prez’s “you can keep your doctor under the new plan” quote was “taken out of context. He meant you can always stay on close terms with your doctor — there’s absolutely nothing in the Affordable Care Act that says you can’t be friends with your old doctor on Facebook. You can go golfing together, catch a movie — whatever! And, even if your doctor isn’t covered by your ACA plan, there’s nothing that says your doc can’t treat you on a pro bono level.”
a) Extended Happy Hour
b) Casual Friday
c) “Twates” (Twitter Dating)
d) Medical Marijuana To Treat Colds (“Stone a Cold, Tweak a Fever”)
e) Unattended Kids Running and Screaming Through Stores
Pussy Riot in turn stages protest concerts, pledging “we won’t stop playing in churches until he takes off our T-shirt!”
Outdoor rallies across Midwest, claiming “extreme cold temperatures disprove — again — the Global Warming Obamamyth!” Rallies deemed a success, though dozens of Tea Partiers taken to ER’s for pneumonia and flu-like syndromes.
Presidential announcement coming soon: “Anyone who makes a Black Friday purchase of insurance on the ACA exchange will receive, in addition to deep discounts on excellent plans, two free co-pays.”
Found a couple creepy, hand-written lists (I’ll save the “Best Scarey Movies” for Halloween) on an empty table at Scottsdale’s Mustang Library:
My Favoritest Movies, Ever
1) The Psycho.
“The Shower Scene” has to be the sexiest, ever! This is the best Albert Hitchcock movie (except maybe “The Halloween.”) He is, truly, an ingenious.
2) My Dog Skipped.
For those who havent’ seen it, I wont’ give away the ending. But I cried like a baby when the kid died.
3) Harold & Mod.
The old lady is hilarious! I love it when she swears! Very sexy. Continue reading
According to unconfirmed reports, dozens — and possibly scores — of applicants for the so-called “Obamacare” health-care reform are becoming so frustrated by applications that suddenly delete, options that take forever to show up and other problems with crashing Affordable Health Care websites that they are suffering heart attacks at their computers. Tea Party officials are pointing to the “Obamacardiac Arrest” epidemic as another reason to crash the entire system.
Meantime, administration officials remain skeptical of these unconfirmed reports, suggesting Tea Party propaganda. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told a reporter that he had heard the Tea Party was setting up ailing, elderly folks in front of computers, clicking on healthcare.gov and “just waiting for them to die. This is the most heartless, cynical strategy the world has ever seen. Ever.”
At massive Tea Party meeting, many proudly displaying wearing grenade vests. Thundering applause to keynote speaker Ted Cruz, who declares, “Obamacare is Satan!” Breakout workshops include “Russian Roulette: A Primer,” “Six Hundred Sixty Six Reasons Why Obamacare is Evil” and “Poverty is Laziness, NOT a Disease!”
Tom Scanlon’s writing projects blog . . . “Writing projects,” does that sound like a high school homework assignment, er what?
Or the worst? Either way, this will be a benefit, with all proceeds going to North Beach PAWS (in memory of the great Joan Baus) and the Ocean Shores Food Bank. Tentative subtitle is “From Mayor Pie Fight Challenge to Shortsale Homes and the Case of the Vanishing General Fund.” Or, possibly, “I Fought City Hall – and City Hall Won.” Will be available at amazon in a week or two. More details as they submerge . . .
Now I know the excitement tinged with anxiety of NCN letter submitters: Will my little missive be selected for publication? Oh, the suspense!
And newspapers wonder why they lose readers . . . Letter to the NCN Editor, and his response:
LETTER TO EDITOR
I was sorely disappointed by your recent editorial regarding the motion made by Council member Schroeder to affirm the discontinuance of the surf rescue program.
I was disappointed because I thought that as a seasoned reporter, you would at least have a knowledge of the term “ethics”. Instead, I found that you only repeated the blather of another council member who clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of the word. Continue reading
*Pope Approves Gay Marriage
*North Korea Threatens to Blow Itself Into Annihilation: “We Have the Technology and the Will”
*”A Gun in Every Backpack”: New NRA Plan Unveiled
*Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler Gets New Title: City Administrator (Pay of $100,000 Per Year)
*New Owner Plans to Form Own Government, Re-Launch as The Villages of Unincorporated Grays Harbor County
*City of Ocean Shores to Hold “Town Hall” to Cut Taxes, Apologize to Citizens: “Seriously, We’ll Really Listen From Now On!”
*North Coast News Announces Re-Hiring of Tom Scanlon! (But With New Title: “Paperboy”)
Another strange “Bucket List” has surfaced, this one found in the pocket of a battered leather jacket at the Aberdeen Salvation Army. It reads:
Things 2 do before I OD:
10) Give my parole officer a wedgie
9) Find a job where I get paid but don’t have to go
8) Take so dope if feels like skydivin
7) Slash every tyre in Aberdeen and Hokie Continue reading
Is this just a scary-sounding pre-April Fools joke, or a legitimate threat? I’m hoping it’s the former, but something makes me wonder about this email from an obviously fictitious email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shut down your blog.
SHUT IT DOWN NOW, YOU PATHETIC UNEMPLOYED BEGGAR!
If not, you will regret this decision as long as you live. You have 24 hours to completely remove all your stupid blog’s postings and snarky comments. (The photos we could care less about.)
Who we are, individually, is of no concern to you. Rest assured that, as a group, we hold great power – and are unafraid to use it. While we are centered in Ocean Shores, a great town that you tirelessly trash, our reach exceeds far beyond the city gates.
And if you do not immediately shut down this blog, we will take control of your Bank of America account, your various credit card accounts, even your pathetic Stephens Media 401k account.
Your credit will be so screwed, you won’t even be able to get a library card.
We will blacklist you so that no legitimate employer in Arizona will hire you. You’ll be fighting with the Mexicans for day work.
On top of that, you’ll be put on a Homeland Security Watch list, so that you’ll be strip-searched any time you try to fly.
We thought you would just blow off some steam with this blog and then disappear like a boil that’s been lanced. But you continue to disparage our mayor, our department heads, our paramedics and policemen, even our prized library.
No longer will you spread insidious half-truths and insinuations about alleged abuses at what you sneeringly call “the lie-bury.” This is where our children learn, you piece of crap! Just because an RFQ was not done the way YOU wanted it to happen, do you think we will roll over and let you ruin our most sacred institution?
That goes for your half-assed jokes about the hard-working paramedics. When you had the gall to suggest that we would replace our worn out ambulances with a “fuel-efficient limousine,” that truly was the last straw – and put a target right on the back of your skull!
And then your statement that, “The Ocean Shores Police are the best in the state – at busting senior citizen pot smokers.” Do you have any idea how many law enforcement professionals across the country you offended? Continue reading