Friday, August 25, 2006

Locomotive god terrorizing citizens

All right, all right.

Nothing to get excited about.

So what if you are out of food, booze, cigarettes and everybody's calling you a p*ick, so what if your wife left you because you couldn't satisfy the bourgeois contract of a hundred thousand dollars a year, so what if your girlfiend has taken off-- you told her you were bending over backwards for her and she tells you she had been bending over forwards for Frank-- ouch that hurts! So what if you've embarked on writing a play, putting yourself totally out of your medium, so what if you are as flatulent as a l6th century theatregoer high on you diet of onions and beans, grossing out the players.

So what?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn amateur?

There is something left of Hunter S. Thompson here. The weird really have to turn pro.

You must write. You must get something published--it matters not where; you have to get your clout back.

You must publish or perish.

The blogs are not doing it anymore.

You need something as surreal as an Old Navy ad, the Balloon Song, replete with lyrics by Fanny Fa-shon.

Proof for sure that the overground is a hell of a lot more talented than the underground, anf if not, they hire Fanny to bring the house down (up?). Fa-shon's gonna getcha!

Old Navy. What a genius promotion department. And the same for Telus, with Wal-Mart not far behind.

A kind of retro Cindy Lauper, but cooler. You can't quite identify the drumbeat. It's something new, always the new on top of Old Mikey and the incredible Jack White and his Stripes.

There has been a change in the zeitgeist and only musicians seem to have noticed.

If I were a musician starting out today, I'd be into Indie rock so fast it would make your harmonium spin.

All of which is reasonlably cool stuff for a blog, but you have to get your feet back on the ground.
Get something published!


And so this old scat-writer sees a story in the paper about noise pollution all over town and is suddenly awakened by a train whistle he swears has come right through a wall and into his poor addled cranium. The catchy Balloon song is all but drowned out by a whistle so loud it makes the cat claw at the screen door.

So, like many another belligerent and fearsome Canadian, he makes a warlike gesture. He writes a letter to the editor.

Here is how it came out in the Era-Banner, just yesterday:


For the past five years, I have been terrorized by the locomotive god of Newmarket.

He is a thundering and implacable god. Once you hear his peals, you retreat to your bedroom.

But here too, the walls are shaking with the god's mighty thunderings.

You retreat to your bathroom and close the door, and even there you have to put your hands to lyour ears, quite to little avail, for the god's mighty bellow goes right into your skull and nearly into your major aperture, so penetrating is the sound.

I don't know what the decibel level is for permanent ear damage, but having been a musician, I know the noise is mightier than the most powerful tweeter and there must be a lot of deaf seniors at 540 Timothy Street alongside which the train is almot in our laps, four times every morning, beginning at six.

The same thing at six p.m.

Usually, it's when you're in the middle of doing dishes; you put soapy fingers to ears, gald, finally when the noise dies down, only to have that damnable claxon rattle your skull just minutes later.
The GO-train's claxon, for some reason, is set so high, you can hear it all the way from Aurora, getting on your nersves as it gets closer and closer to its awful crescendo, right under your balcony.

All right. All right. There have been seniors offed at the intersection of Timothy and the tracks, but that's probably because they had been deafened by the train's horn inthe first place and couldn't hear the thing coming.

---Era-Banner, August 24, 2006

Ah, the straws we clutch at when we haven't been published for a while and trying to write a play.

A play, for chrissake! What do I know about plays?

Enough, I suppose, that if you put your work in a whole number of different mediums, somehing has got to come out.

Well, a little bit just did.


Josie said...

I like your writing. I think you're a hoot.

Did you know that if you stand right in front of train you can't hear the whistle?

ivan said...

Gee. No wonder we lose so many.
So I guess it doesn't matter how high they crank it up.
Thanks for visiting, Josie.

Sela Carsen said...

All dialogue, too! No falling back on introspection and narrative here. Every word means something.

You can do it!

H.E.Eigler said...

GO IVAN! Glad to see you got something out there and that you're looking ahead. All the best on that play - what an interesting medium for a story!

ivan said...

Have you got an ear!
I would have said monologue.
But you're right. It's dialogue.

W. Somerset Maugham's editor to
"Cut, cut cut, eh Willie?"

ivan said...

Thanks Heather,

Always the woman to teach a clumsy male writer to use his left hand.

I am finding, in the course of my research for the play, all sorts of fascinating material, and it can surely lead one astray.

For example, there is FannyPack, a group of three Brooklyn ghetto women who are causing a storm with the current "Bubble Song" in the Old Navy commercial. FannyPack rocks, and they are all only about l9!
What is fascinating about that booty-rap group is that they are way ahead of the curve, even though I'm sure the'll make a pee-pot full of money out of Old Navy.

Hate to give away the plot of something not yet written, but imagine a 69-year-old ofay booty-rapper, pot belly and all.
Well, might make a hell of a skit.
Thanks so much for commenting.

Flood said...

Hi Ivan,

Based on your suggestions earlier, I'm writing a play for a theatre start-up. We're both babes in the woods, so why not?


ivan said...

Hi Flood.

Nice to "see" you.

Theatre. Yeah. Why not?

Last I spoke to one of the three groups here in Newmarket ON, they were practically down on their hands and knees begging, both for material and publicity (I am also partially in the critic business).
What the hell, we can write by day and moonlight as critics.