Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Years in New Orleans 2010

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
New Jeers Leave
Never Too Late
It seems incongruous by rhythm or rhyme for us to chose to label our days with numbers on pieces of paper, catalog them into some nebulous kind of order and give meaning to their sequences and individual merit.
Likewise strange is our inclination to separate life into camps of ‘my ways’ and ‘your ways’, of boundaries and borders, of mendacities and integrities? How is it, at the beginning of (what we’ve decided is) our periodic calendar, we can become inspired and intimidated into asking ourselves if we are good enough for ourselves and exact from ourselves vows to become the person that we would rather be or become? Well, Cats and Hats, fools that we are, we can and we do. We call those absurdities New Years Resolutions; and, like it or not, we hold those truths to be self-evident that not all of us are created in god’s image until we shape up or are shipped out.
In a perfect world, resolutions (the process of re-solving) is merely our way of raising the bar for ourselves with a firmness of mind and purpose. Of course, you live in a perfect world; unfortunately, I do not.
My resolutions now are not to make any resolutions because my past resolves were selfish, harebrained or so far out of my reach and attainability that they were simply self-indulgent horseshit. Lessons in the futility of ego and ability; it’s almost like me asking myself what I want to be when I grow up, never admitting to myself that I will never grow up. I don’t have the ability or the inclination to mature, it’s enough just to be able to be responsible; I’m afraid that that’s as good as it gets for me. Of course, you’re different.
So, what’s it gonna be for your New Years resolutions? What do you want to change in your life? Your home, your partner, your job, your family, yourself or all of the above? Diet? Exercise? Quit smoking, go back to school, join a club, get a fleur-de-lis tattoo, go traveling or get a phone booth?
To want to change is a dissatisfaction with who you are and what your behavior is, right? Right. So, what you do one day out of the year is to sit down and give yourself a report card with those god-damning words scribbled at the bottom: “needs improvement”? Good move for you, I say, but not for me. You see, I make all of those resolutions…every day! Along with immortality, intelligence, integrity and the ability to make a butt load of money! In short New Years resolutions have got nothing on me. Every blessed day I want to hit the lottery, lose fifteen pounds, have twenty-twenty eyesight, and have… a phone booth!
But wait, to illustrate that illusive elucidation; here’s ‘the Superman myth’ that I/we was/were fed as kids: Take Clark Kent (please). Clark Kent is a wuss; he wears glasses, is unsure of himself in conversation and behavior and Lois Lane treats him like the lint on her impeccably tailored jacket. What’s his cosmic retaliation? His phone booth. He’s got a friggin phone booth!
He ducks inside (after doffing his fedora, loosening his cheapass tie and taking his glasses off so we can see his finely chiseled features) and comes out: “ Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. !!!!!!!” music crescendo, “LOOK, up in the sky; it’s a bird… it’s a plane… It’s SUPERMAN!!!!!!!!!”
Yes it’s Superman-strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands and WHO (disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper) fights a never-ending battle for Truth! Justice! AND The American Way!!!
{oh, by the way, I was able to write that Superman stuff from a memory etched into my brain of a television series that was on from 1951 to 1958. What are the chances?}. Question: What was the difference between Supermen and young mild mannered me? [Already I had girls treating me like lint, but that’s another story.] Answer: The phone booth!
NOW what do I have? Do we have phone booths any more? No, we hardly can find a public phone anywhere. So what would happen if I achieved my old New Years resolutions of stronger/faster/harder? I’ll tell you what: nowhere to change! Not that that would make a difference to me, I wouldn’t change out of that suit; it never stays dirty, it has great boots and a cape that I’m sure is hard to hide under your cheap mild mannered suit and tie. I’d probably look like “hey, look at that mild mannered guy with a hunchback!” It has that flashy S right in the middle of my now muscular chest. Nah, I’d stay in the suit, sleep in it, swim in it, walk on the beach with Lois (in her Victoria’s Secret bikini) and even go out for super cocktails in it; for, if anyone smarted off at me or stepped on my cape or distressed some damsel… boy, I’d give them a super ‘what for’! That’s what I’d do!
Every year I made the same resolution, the same wish on a star, the same birthday ‘blow out the candle and make a wish’ wish. The four-leaf clover, the golden ticket, the lottery ticket and that bet on the nag that never crossed the finish line. I even read a book titled The Phantom Toll Booth, thinking that it would give me clues to that phantom phone booth that I wanted and was looking for.
I even thought for one second that, maybe, in the movie The Birds, Tippi Hedren was gonna rip off her clothes, shake her hair out, reveal chiseled features and emerge from the phone booth to give those damn pesky birds a what for. She could have, but, she didn’t. Wrong phone booth, I guess. Gee, she would have looked great in a cape and tights, sigh.
Okay, okay; I’ll give it one more try. Ahem: this year, once again I make my New Years resolution to only use my x-ray vision properly, fight for truth, justice and the American way, and to find that damn phone booth!

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